How are gliomas treated?
Treatment options for gliomas include:
- Surgery - Surgery is often the best treatment for gliomas. Neuro-oncology surgeons at the Institute are skilled in the most sophisticated brain surgery techniques to safely and effectively remove tumors. Your care team may use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record and assess your brain activity before surgery. This helps them create a detailed plan and remove as much tumor tissue as possible. Surgical navigation (computer-assisted surgery) is used during your procedure to navigate tools more precisely. Sometimes, your surgeon uses MRI during the procedure to ensure all tumor tissue has been removed. In some cases, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive brain surgery through neuroendoscopy or awake craniotomy (open brain surgery in which you are awake but sedated).
- Radiation therapy - This treatment uses ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Your care team could recommend radiation therapy as your first-line treatment or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. Intensity modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy are the types used most to treat gliomas though you may be a candidate for proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation therapy that is more precise than traditional forms of radiation therapy. The Institute is the first cancer center in South Florida to offer this highly effective form of radiation therapy. In rare cases, stereotactic radiosurgery may be used.
- Chemotherapy - This is a cancer drug that kills cancer cells. Your care team could recommend chemotherapy if surgery isn’t possible. In some cases, chemotherapy is used along with surgery.
- Medicines - Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid to relieve swelling in the brain or anti-seizure medicines if you are having seizures.
Dr. Kotecha is very thorough in his explanations. He went over our options, listened to our concerns and questions, and gave us good responses and advice.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
South Florida's First Proton Therapy Center
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment that directs proton particles toward tumors to destroy cancer cells while largely sparing healthy tissue and decreasing the risk of side effects. This sophisticated treatment is used only for certain types of cancers and in a limited number of individuals.