Non-Invasive or Non-Surgical Treatment Alternatives for Brain Tumour
The uncontrollable growth of the abnormal cells in the brain is called brain tumour. Some brain tumours can be cancerous (malignant) while others are non-cancerous (benign). Brain tumours can be life threatening, whether benign or malignant, if they grow inside the skull by creating a pressure on the brain and thereby cause damage to the Central Nervous System (CNS).
There are two types of brain tumours based on the origin:
- Primary brain tumour: It originates in the brain and can arise from glands, brain cells, nerve cells and meninges or the membrane around the brain.
- Secondary brain tumour: It is a type of brain tumour that originates in other organs of the body such as lungs, kidney, breasts, etc. and spreads the cancer cells to the brain. These types of tumours are generally malignant and occur due to other cancers like kidney cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer.
Is brain tumour treatable?
Grade one brain tumour is treatable if it is benign. The treatment of grade two brain tumour will depend upon the age and the therapeutic methods used to treat the patient. Grade three brain tumours are generally malignant and surgery might not always result in complete cure of the disease. In grade four brain tumours, the tumour cells divide actively and can spread over a large area very quickly. These tumours, because of their nature, are generally considered as life threatening. The brain tumours may recur even after the brain tumour surgery.
Non surgical or non-invasive treatment methods for brain tumour
In the age of innovative modern technology, many new methods are being invented to treat the brain tumour patients without undergoing any surgical procedures. Some of the non invasive surgical procedures used to treat brain tumour are as follows:
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a widely used method for treating various types of cancers except brain tumour. The blood-brain barrier separates the brain and other organs and system thus making it less effective against brain tumour. When chemotherapeutic drugs are administered in the vein in the form of injections or taken orally, the drugs may not reach the tumour cells in the brain thus reducing its effectiveness.
Nevertheless, here are some conditions in which chemotherapy can be effectively used to treat a brain tumour:
- When the tumour grows rapidly
- When surgery is performed and chemotherapeutic drug is administered in the ventricle of the brain through a catheter
- When chemotherapy is used along with radiation and no surgery has been performed.
- When the patient is diagnosed with medulloblastoma or lymphoma
- Radiation therapy: It is used as combination of radiation and radio-surgical methods. The radiation method involves the use of radiation beams from outside while a radioactive element is introduced into the body under the radio-surgical method.
- When no surgery is performed, this is used as an independent method to treat brain tumour.
- To reduce the size of the tumour, it may be used as a palliative treatment.
- It is also used to reduce the risk of recurrence of brain tumours post-surgery.
** Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT), Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS), Remote Radiation Therapy, etc. are some of the common types of radiation therapy used to treat brain tumours.
- Electro field therapy: It is one of the non-invasive treatment methods used to suppress the growth of tumour cells without damaging other healthy tissues of the body. In electro field therapy, batteries are attached at the back of a patient with four electrodes fixed at the head. It has been seen that chemotherapy along with electro field therapy works wonders in treating brain tumours and increases the life expectancy of the patient.
- Targeted therapy: There are two types of targeted therapy to treat brain tumour:
- Angiogenesis inhibitors: This therapy involves the use of monoclonal antibodies to block the vascular endothelial growth factor. The growth of the cancer can be reduced by blocking the growth factor which helps the tumour to grow by deriving nutrients from the blood vessel. Thus, it is an effective method to treat Glioblastomas (a malignant brain tumour).
- Protein inhibitors mTOR: It is a protein which helps the tumour to grow. Various drugs are used to block the synthesis of this protein and increase the life expectancy of the patient.
- Symptomatic treatment: This non-invasive treatment is used to eliminate the symptoms caused by brain tumour. Anticonvulsants, corticosteroids and hormonal treatments are some of the types of medicines and treatments used to provide relief for a better quality of life.
While we cannot cure every type of brain tumour but early screening and diagnosis of the disease can definitely aid the patient to live a healthy life to a great extent. Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad and Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute, Sanjay Nagar, Ghaziabad is one of the best Superspeciality hospitals in Delhi NCR for providing a successful invasive and non-invasive treatment of brain tumours. Yashoda Hospital has the best team of doctors and neurosurgeons to treat this disease effectively. Some of the top neurosurgeons in Delhi NCR working at Yashoda include:
Dr. Neeraj Agarwal is a neurologist with over 20 years of medical experience, having worked as a neurosurgeon for more than 12 years.
Dr. Atul Gupta is one of the top experts with 29 years of experience in performing various surgeries such as spine surgery and various types of brain tumour surgeries. With over 2000+ surgeries, he is one of the best experts in this field.
Dr. Vimal Kumar Agarwal is one of the best neurosurgeons in Delhi NCR and has experience of 16 years in the field of neurosurgery in treating various diseases like vascular disorders and tumours.
Dr. Puneet Malik has an experience of more than 10 years in the field of neurosurgery, having performed a large number of complex brain and spinal cord surgeries.
Our top oncologists for treating brain tumour via non-invasive methods include Dr. (Maj. Gen.) B.N. Kapur- The director of Medical Oncology at Yashoda Superspeciality Hospital & Cancer Institute, he is the best chemotherapy expert in entire Delhi NCR and one of the best in the country. With experience spanning over 3 decades, he has served in the Indian army as well. Our radiation expert is Dr. (Col.) N. Chakravarty, the director of Radiation Oncology. With experience lasting more than 30 years and having worked at Army (R&R) Hospital in the capacity of Director, he is one of the best radiation oncologists in the country.