- Adult brain tumor facts*
- What are adult brain tumors?
- What are metastatic brain tumors?
- What are the symptoms of an adult brain tumor?
- What tests are used to find and diagnose adult brain tumors?
- What is the grade of a tumor?
- What are the types of adult brain tumors?
- How are adult brain tumors treated?
- Three types of standard treatment are used.
- Other types of treatment that are being tested in clinical trials
- Treatment options by type of adult brain tumor
- Where can a patient get more information about adult brain tumors?
How are adult brain tumors treated?
Different types of treatment are available for patients with adult brain tumor. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.
Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. To learn more about clinical trials, call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237); TTY at 1-800-332-8615. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site. Choosing the most appropriate cancer treatment is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and health care team.
Three types of standard treatment are used.
- Surgery: Surgery is used, when possible, to treat adult brain tumor, as described in the Description section of this summary.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). A dissolving wafer may be used to deliver an anticancer drug directly into the brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.