Brain Tumor

Brain Tumor Treatment Options

Unlike earlier days when brain cancer meant death, a lot of brain tumour treatment options are available nowadays. They’re based on the type and symptoms of the brain cancer, location, and biological aggressiveness. Additionally, a relevant treatment is prescribed according to the pathology of tumour tissues. In this blog, we will discuss an overview of this medical condition, the latest treatment options available, and more.

About Brain Tumor

A Brain Tumor, also known as Brain Cancer, is a group of cells growing abnormally in/around the brain. They can destroy the healthy brain cells directly or indirectly by occupying other parts of the brain, thus causing inflammation, swelling & pressurizing the skull.

The brain tumour can be malignant or benign. In the former case, a tumour is also referred to as cancer because it grows faster and invades all the healthy areas of the brain. Benign tumours expand slowly and don’t contain any cancer cells.

Brain Tumor Treatment Options

1.    Surgery

Most of the time, doctors suggest patients for surgery because it helps in removing tumors as much as possible. Moreover, surgical treatment option ensures minimal damage to healthy brain tissues. Thanks to advancements in the medical field, neurosurgery and imaging technology techniques help in removing tumours more precisely and completely. You can seek further guidance from your medical expert.

2.    Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, often known as ‘chemo’, is all about the medications that slow down the growth of cancer cells or kill them entirely. This therapy is suggested mostly when surgery or radiation therapy is not enough to remove the tumour, specifically a malignant tumour.

Patients diagnosed with a brain tumor might be given chemo in three ways:

  • Oral chemo with the use of medicines

Here is the former prescription drug suggested as a part of chemotherapy.

Lomustine: It is a chemotherapy medicine, basically treating brain cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This drug is available in capsule form used orally with a glass of water. It is important to use gloves while handling this medication.

  • IV Chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy Wafers

Numerous types of Chemotherapy are approved for managing brain tumors and a few of them are listed below:

  • Temador
  • Nitrosourea
  • Irinotecan

3.    Radiation Therapy

Also known as ‘radiotherapy’, ‘irradiation’, and ‘radiation’, this therapy is a standard treatment after surgery. It includes using gamma rays, X-rays, protons, neutrons, and similar sources to kill cancer cells. This therapy targets the shrinking of tumour cells by defecting their DNA.

4.    Precision Medicine (Targeted Therapy Approach)

This treatment option is based on oral medicines precisely targeting the alterations and molecular changes in tumours driving the growth of brain cancer. Most of the medicines aim at blocking the actions of several enzymes and proteins that allow the growth of cancer cells. The prescription medicine is suggested according to the type and location of the tumor in the brain. As they target specific cancer cells, the therapy is very tailored and attacks the tumour cells closely. This helps in keeping other healthy brain cells free from harm.

Let us share the common precision medicines used in the targeted therapy approach:

  • TemonatTemonat anti-cancer medicine is a targeted approach for treating tumours when they make a comeback after successful treatment. It can also be prescribed if the tumour gets worse after standard treatment.
  • Temoside: Being an anti-cancer medicine, this 100mg capsule relieves symptoms of specific types of brain tumours. It enters the brain cells and becomes effective by damaging the RNA and DNA of tumour cells. This medicine might be prescribed for treating other medical conditions too.

Note: These are not the only options when it comes to precision medicine, but the former ones. A lot of treatment options are available and yours will be suggested according to your tumour type, location, severity, etc.

5.    Tumor-treating Fields

You can call it a more targeted and specific approach for discarding tumour cells from the brain. With this treatment approach, a medical device called ‘Optune’ (like a wearable cap) is applied on the patient’s scalp with electrodes. It helps in disrupting tumour growth in the brain by delivering alternating electric fields. This is the best possible treatment specifically for glioblastoma patients.

Treatment Follow-ups

Practice regular monitoring with follow-ups once you have had successful treatment for a brain tumour. It helps in detecting the return of tumors and prevents other health problems concerning the same. Your healthcare provider may suggest regular physical and neurological tests, blood tests, MRI, perfusion or diffusion MRI, or CT exam. These tests help in:

  • Spotting signs of tumour returning
  • Monitoring the brain health
  • Identifying & treating the adverse effects of chemo or radiation therapy
  • Detecting the presence of other types of cancer at early stage

New Developments & Research on Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment

While we’ve discussed the most preferred treatment options for brain tumors, let us also discuss the new developments showing promising clinical trials.

  • Re-irradiation
  • Convection-enhanced delivery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors

What if your brain tumour makes a comeback?

A lot of cases have been reported where patients have successfully recovered from the brain tumour but it comes back. In such cases, doctors may suggest surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy after examining the symptoms. Schedule a consultation with your doctor for help.

FAQs regarding Brain Tumor Treatments

What is the best treatment for brain tumors?

Generally, brain tumour is treated in three ways – chemotherapy, surgery & radiation therapy. Research is under progress for finding a reliable treatment for recurrent cancer of the CNS, primarily occurring in the brain & called glioma. Your treatment plan will be based on the severity levels of the tumor and overall medical conditions.

What is the success rate of brain tumour treatments?

The success rate varies according to the age and stage of the brain tumour the patient is suffering from. It is measured according to the 5-year survival rate bar. Patients aged up to 15 years have a relative survival rate of around 75% while 15 to 39 years is 72%. 39 years to elderly patients have a 21% survival rate. Needless to say, the success rate varies among individuals based on the treatment plan & bodily response.

Can you treat a brain tumour without surgery?

If the patient has serious or progressive symptoms of a brain tumour, surgery is mostly required. However, some patients may witness improvements with non-surgical treatment options too. Consult your medical expert for more information regarding this.

Can you cure a brain tumour?

In most cases, brain tumour is non-curable when it grows at a slow pace. The treatment is based on the age at which it is diagnosed. When it is diagnosed early, the chances for effectiveness of treatment and survival rate are high. As compared to this, it may cause death when diagnosed at the last stage. Other factors like tumour type and the location of the tumor in the brain also play a major role in response to the treatment.

Category: Brain Tumor