“Personalized brain tumor treatment has been made possible by the capability to identify specific cancer genetic signatures, which allows neuro-oncologists to choose one chemotherapeutic drug over another, a dramatic change in the way we treat primary and metastatic brain tumors,” says fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist Sigmund Hsu, M.D., an assistant professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth Medical School.
“Before the discovery of these signatures, we made decisions about treatment based on the location of the tumor in the body and how it looked under the microscope during pathological examination. Advancements made through cancer research have allowed us to move away from the shotgun approach to treatment and moved us a step closer to finding the silver bullet.”
Advancements in Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment
In the pediatric arena, the promising results of translational studies conducted by David Sandberg, M.D., FAANS, FACS, FAAP, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, have demonstrated the safety of infusing chemotherapeutic agents directly into the fourth ventricle of the brain. This radically new approach to chemotherapy allows Dr. Sandberg and team members to circumvent the blood-brain barrier and deliver agents directly to the site of disease, minimizing side effects by decreasing systemic drug exposure. Read more...