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Your recommended treatment is based on your exact case and test results. Our multidisciplinary experts will work as a team to offer a personalized approach leading to the best potential outcomes. Treatments for skull based tumors include:

  • Surgery

    Surgery removes tumor tissue to decrease pressure on nearby parts of your brain. Your surgeon will try to remove all cancer seen at the time of the surgery. Remaining cancer cells following surgery are treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

  • Radiation therapy

    Radiation therapy kills cancer cells or stops them from growing. High energy X-rays, gamma rays, or proton beams shrink a tumor before surgery. Or it may be done to kill any cancer cells left after surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used as the main treatment if surgery is not an option. It can also help relieve symptoms caused by a tumor. There are two main types of standard radiation therapy:

    • 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3-D CRT): A computer creates a 3-dimensional (3-D) picture of the brain or spinal cord tumor. These images help us to focus higher doses of radiation at the tumor.

    • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): This is also a type of 3-D radiation therapy. It uses thin beams of radiation of different intensities (strengths). The beams hit the tumor from many angles.

    • Stereotactic radiosurgery: Therapy that aims a single large dose of radiation directly at a brain tumor. Also called stereotactic radiosurgery and radiosurgery. It is not technically a surgical procedure.

    • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Focuses one large dose of radiation to small tumors (less than 3 centimeters) with pinpoint accuracy.

  • Chemotherapy

    Drugs kill the cancer cells or stop them from growing and spreading. Chemotherapy after surgery or biopsy is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be injected as a liquid into a vein or muscle using an IV (short for intravenous); taken orally by mouth, as pills; or delivered right into the fluid-filled space around the brain.

    • Intrathecal chemotherapy: A wafer that dissolves delivers an anticancer drug directly to the brain tumor site post-surgery.

  • Targeted Therapy

    Targeted therapies use newer drugs that can identify and attack very specific cancer cells. They may also be used to treat blood vessels near the tumor. Target therapy is sometimes chosen as a therapy when surgery is not an option. Examples of targeted therapies are monoclonal antibody therapies such as Bevacizumab. This therapy may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Bevacizumab treats recurrent glioblastoma.

  • Supportive Therapies

    Supportive therapies are often provided to lessen problems or side effects caused by the disease or its treatment. They may also be given to help improve the patient’s quality of life. For brain tumors, supportive care includes drugs to control seizures, fluid buildup or swelling in the brain.

  • Clinical Trials

    Clinical trials focus on finding improved ways to treat brain and neurological cancers. If you are eligible, your doctor at the Sylvester Cancer Center will explain options for you to consider.