- 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?
Other types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.
New methods of delivering radiation therapy
- Radiosensitizers: Drugs that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation. Combining radiation with radiosensitizers may kill more tumor cells.
- Hyperfractionation: Radiation therapy given in smaller-than-usual doses two or three times a day instead of once a day.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: A radiation therapy technique that delivers radiation directly to the tumor with less damage to healthy tissue. The doctor uses a CT scan or MRI to find the exact location of the tumor. A rigid head frame is attached to the skull and high-dose radiation is directed to the tumor through openings in the head frame, reducing the amount of radiation given to normal brain tissue. This procedure does not involve surgery. This is also called stereotactic radiosurgery and gamma knife therapy.
Hyperthermia therapy is a treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anticancer drugs.
Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient's immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body's natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.
How are metastatic brain tumors treated?
Tumors that have spread to the brain from somewhere else in the body are usually treated with radiation therapy and/or surgery. Chemotherapy may be used if the primary tumor is the kind that responds well to chemotherapy. Clinical trials are under way to study new treatments.