You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 28, Number 4, 2019. View our current issue, Volume 29, Number 2, 2020

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 4, 2019


Surgery May Add Months or Years of Survival for Adults with Rare and Deadly Brain Cancers

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For adult patients with brainstem high-grade gliomas — one of the rarest and deadliest forms of brain cancer — surgically removing the entire tumor may add many months or potentially years of survival beyond that offered by radiation and chemotherapy, according to results of a medical records study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The investigators point out that survival for these tumors has remained poor, with a median survival length of eight months after diagnosis in people who only receive a biopsy. However, if total surgical removal is an option for patients, the data in the records studied suggest it could boost this number to a median of 16 months or more.

 “Knowing what these surgeries can do could help neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists and patients have a better sense of what to expect so we can move forward toward better standardized care for these rare and critical tumors,” says study leader Debraj Mukherjee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

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