After surgery and radiation therapy, Chemotherapy may be overseen by a neuro-oncologist ( Cancer doctor who specializes in the treatment of brain tumours) or medical oncologist. Chemotherapy works to destroy remaining tumour cells with drugs given either alone or in combinaÂtion with other treatments. Like radiation, chemotherapy is directed at rapidly dividing cells.
Chemotherapy is usually given by mouth or injected in a vein. It can also be administered directly to the tumour site through biodegradable polymer wafers saturated with chemotherapy that are placed directly inside the Tumor cavity at the time of surgery. An important conÂsideration to discuss with the treatment team is how the use of wafer implants may affect a patientâ€™s future eligibility for clinical trials.
Some common chemotherapy drugs include Temozolomide, BCNU (carmustine), and CCNU (lomusÂtine). Many new chemotherapeutic agents are being studied in clinical trials to investigate their efficacy and safety.
The neuro-oncologist or medical oncologist will work with the neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and the patient in order to plan an appropriate course of chemotherapy. Some patients may choose to discuss participation in clinical trials as a possible treatment strategy. Open dialogue with the treatment team about the goals of treatment, the potential risks and benefits, and Quality of life will help in choosing an appropriate treatment plan.
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More information about different types of chemotherapy used to treat brain tumours can be found in this section.This page was last updated 25th November 2011 at 02:01