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Department of Neurosurgery

The neuro-oncological treatment of brain tumors

To ensure optimal treatment, medical guidelines and recommendations on the basis of state-of-art treatment methods were developed by the Neuro Oncology Group of the German Cancer Society (DKG). We recommend the treatment of our patients with brain tumors on the basis of state-of-art treatment methods being accepted by this and other professional societies. If several therapeutic options are available, the most appropriate approach for the patient is discussed and agreed on in a multidisciplinary brain tumor board.

In order to establish better standards of therapy, clinical trials are essential. These trials imply special opportunities for our patients. Participating in such trials allows access to new therapies. On the other hand, such trials contribute to the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Surgical therapy

The purpose of surgery is the complete removal of the tumor as well as the diagnosis and the detailed histology of the tissue. Whether the tumor can be surgically removed completely depends on the kind, the localization and the size of the brain tumor - even more than in tumors of other organs. Numerous studies show the importance of complete removal of the tumor, if possible, regarding the progress and well being of the patient.

At the same time already existing neurological deficits can be resolved or reduced by the operation. The neurological deficits may arise due to the tumor exerting pressure on the surrounding tissue, which will regain function, if the pressure is relieved.

Another key target of the operation is to prevent further deficits. This applies particularly for the surgical treatment of tumors in or near functionally important brain areas. With the help of modern imaging techniques (CT, MRI, functional MRI, PET/SPECT) it is possible to exactly locate the tumor and functionally important areas. New techniques such as neuronavigation help the neurosurgeon to orientate precisely to remove difficult located tumors safely and completely. This includes newer techniques such as neuronavigation, 3D ultrasound and minimally invasive techniques. Of particular importance are electrophysiological techniques such as functional and topographic mapping and intraoperative monitoring. With these techniques it is possible to localize functionally important brain areas and to monitor them during the surgery.

Many benign tumors (such as meningiomas or neurinomas) can be cured by surgery. In highly-grade gliomas, this is not possible. However, even here, the operation with the complete removal of the visible tumor mass represents the most important pillar in the multimodular treatment. The operation can be repeated in case of tumor regrowth (recurrence).

Contact

Prof. Dr. Oliver Schnell, MHBA

Prof. Dr. Oliver Schnell, MHBA
Deputy Medical Director

Prof. Dr. Marcia Machein

Prof. Dr. Marcia Machein
Head consultation hours
for tumor patients