Brain cancer is the abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. Brain cancer can either originate in the brain itself (primary brain tumor) or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain (metastatic or secondary tumor). Depending on the type of tumor, brain cancer may be classified as either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Brain cancer treatment depends on the patient's age and overall health, the extent of the disease, and the patient's tolerance for medications as well as personal preferences. Treatment options include:
Some newer approaches for brain cancer treatment include chemotherapy wafers, in which drug-filled wafers are inserted directly into the area of the brain tumor during surgery, and electric field treatments in which electrodes are placed along the scalp to deliver a mild electric current that may affect tumor cells more than normal brain cells. Gene therapy is an experimental treatment that is being evaluated as an option for brain cancer treatment.
The Brain Tumor Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital offers compassionate and state-of-the-art brain cancer treatment for patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors as well as neurologic complications of brain cancer.
At the Brain Tumor Center, our Boston neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, social workers, and nurse practitioners work closely together to ensure that every patient receives individualized brain cancer treatment for their specific type of brain cancer. The Center performs many complex surgeries, including skull base surgery for tumors affecting the cranial base, pituitary tumor surgery, and various minimally invasive procedures to treat patients with brain cancer.
Because Brigham and Women's Hospital is a major research institution, patients may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials where some of the most advanced forms of brain cancer treatment are being evaluated, including glioblastoma treatment. Our researchers are developing new, innovative techniques that optimize the use of technology, radiation, gene therapy and biological therapies to treat brain cancers.
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