Although surgery is usually the chosen treatment for brain tumors , there are times when the brain tumor cannot be operated on or surgery cannot completely remove all of the tumor.
When surgery is not a choice or when surgery cannot remove all of the tumor, other treatment options must be considered. Chemotherapy and radiation may be used to shrink and potentially cure the tumor. Or, these treatments may be used to prolong survival and decrease the severity of symptoms caused by the brain tumor.
Other treatments may also be used for brain tumors. These are often chosen based on the type of brain tumor. They may be used alone or in combination with traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation.
These other types of treatment include:
Targeted therapy uses different biological pathways to interfere with the ability of cancer cells to grow, divide, and/or spread.
Examples of these types of treatments include:
Immunotherapies are treatments that improve the cancer-fighting ability of the immune system or administer immune cells in order to fight cancer. These treatments include:
Lukas RV, Boire A, Nicholas MK. Targeted therapy in the treatment of malignant gliomas. OncoTargets and Therapy. 2009;2:1-19.
Treatment information. National Brain Tumor Society website. Available at: http://www.braintumor.org/TreatmentInformation/ . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Brain tumor treatments. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at: http://www.abta.org/care-treatment/treatments/ . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Understanding brain tumors. International Radiosurgery Support Association website. Available at: http://www.irsa.org/brain_tumors.html . Accessed June 4, 2013.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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