Brain surgery is usually the primary form of treatment for cancerous and benign brain tumors that can be safely removed. Some surgical procedures that are commonly performed for this purpose include craniotomies, endoscopies and shunt placements. A patient’s overall treatment plan may incorporate other therapies as well, depending on several unique factors. In addition to the type, size, location and grade of a tumor, a neurosurgeon will typically consider a patient’s age, general health, medical history and preferences when making treatment recommendations. Based on the results of a comprehensive analysis, a patient may also be advised to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy before or after brain surgery to destroy cancerous cells or help prevent a cancer recurrence.
Brain surgery can have several goals. For instance, a surgical procedure may be performed to:
- Confirm a diagnosis by obtaining a tissue sample that can be examined under a microscope for evidence of cancer
- Remove all or part of a tumor
- Alleviate symptoms by reducing intracranial pressure caused by a tumor
- Provide access for the implantation of internal chemotherapy or radiation delivery devices
- Provide access for the delivery of interstitial treatments (which are placed directly into a tumor), such as hyperthermia therapy (the use of heat to destroy cancerous cells)
To achieve these goals, the Neuro-Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center offers the latest advances in brain surgery and other brain tumor treatments. Moffitt is also well known for groundbreaking cancer research and a robust clinical trials program. With a unique bench-to-bedside approach, we strive to make the benefits of our laboratory discoveries available to our patients as quickly as possible. As a result, our patients are often among the first in the nation to receive and benefit from promising new brain cancer surgery techniques, chemotherapy drugs and radiation delivery methods.