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Medanta Institute of
Brain Tumour

Dr. Ajaya N Jha
Institute of Neurosciences

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Brain tumor treatment overview

Treatment for Brain Tumor is tailor made keeping the patient’s age, general health, the size, location and type of the tumor.

Treatment of Brain Tumor is usually complex. Most treatment plans involve several consulting doctors.

The treatment protocols vary widely according to the location of the tumor, its size and type, patient’s age and any additional medical problems that the patient may have.

  • The team of doctors includes neurosurgeons (specialists in the brain and nervous system), neuro oncologists, radiation oncologists (doctors who practice radiation therapy), and, of course, your primary health care provider. The patient’s team may also include a dietician, a physio therapist, speech therapist and occupational therapist.
  • Once a patient is admitted to Medanta, there is a complete counselling given to him/her the physiotherapist visits the patients 3 times a day, every day. The dietician follows a strict diet plan for the patient pre and post surgery. These diet plans are tailor made for the patient pot discharge too, so as to aid the speed and quality of recovery of the patients.
  • The most widely used treatments are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In most cases, more than one of these is used.

Brain tumor surgery

The purpose of surgery is to confirm that the abnormality seen during diagnostic test is indeed a tumor and to remove the tumor. If the tumor cannot be removed, the surgeon will take a sample of the tumor to identify its type.

In some cases, mostly in benign Tumors, symptoms can be completely cured by surgical removal of the tumor. The neurosurgeon will attempt to remove the entire tumor if possible.

The patient may undergo several treatments and procedures before surgery.


Radiation therapy for Brain Tumor

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to kill tumor cells, thereby stopping them from growing and multiplying.

  • Radiation therapy may be used for people who cannot undergo surgery. In other cases, it is used after surgery to kill any tumor cells that may remain or it may be given after Biopsy only.
  • In selected cases like Brainstem Gliomas, it can be given directly without any previous surgery or Biopsy.
  • Radiation therapy is a local therapy. It means that it affects only cells in its path. It does not harm healthy cells elsewhere in the body.

Chemotherapy for Brain Tumor

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or alter cancer cells. Chemotherapy is not an effective initial treatment for low-grade Brain Tumors, mostly because standard drugs have a hard time passing into the brain because of how the brain protects itself (the blood-brain barrier). In addition, not all types of Brain Tumors respond to chemotherapy. In general, chemotherapy for Brain Tumors is usually administered following surgery or radiation therapy.

Newer delivery methods to overcome some of these problems include:

  • Interstitial chemotherapy:- uses disc-shaped polymer wafers (known as Gliadel wafers) soaked with carmustine, the standard chemotherapeutic drug for brain cancer. The surgeon implants the wafer directly into the surgical cavity after a tumor is removed.
  • Intrathecal chemotherapy:-delivers chemotherapeutic drugs directly into the spinal fluid.
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy:- delivers high-dose chemotherapy into arteries in the brain using tiny catheters.
  • Convection-enhanced delivery (CED):- involves placing catheters into the Brain Tumor or nearby brain tissue to deliver slowly and continuously a cancer drug over several days.


  • The side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite & loss of hair among others; however some of these side effects can be relieved or subsided by medication.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery Stereotactic radiosurgery is as non-invasive, non-surgical treatment in which high doses of focused radiation beams are delivered from multiple locations outside of the body to destroy a tumor or lesion within the body. The procedure has been used for more than 30 years, and over 200,000 patients have been treated worldwide. Radiosurgery does not remove the tumor or lesions. The radiation destroys tumor cells and stops the growth of active cells
  • The advantage of Stereotactic Radiosurgery is that it has fewer complications and involves shorter recovery time. Medanta has the latest stereotactic surgery technology Cyberknife. CyberKnife uses the combination of a robotic arm and Linac image guidance. Because of the flexibility of the robotic arm, the system is able to reach areas of the body that are unreachable by other radiosurgery systems.
    Second, unlike other stereotactic radiosurgery treatments, CyberKnife is able to locate the position of the tumor within the body without the use of an invasive stereotactic head frame. This means there are no pins screwed into your forehead.
    Third, the CyberKnife system compensates for patient movement during treatment, constantly ensuring accurate targeting.
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