Brain cancer is said to be aggressive if the tumour associated with it grows very fast. It often requires immediate treatment to prevent its spread. Although there is no permanent cure for aggressive brain cancer, standard treatment for aggressive brain cancer involves surgery for removing tumour as far as possible. This is followed by radiation therapy of the brain as well as chemotherapy to kill off the cancer cells that have survived even after the surgery.
Unfortunately, the cancerous tumour often returns despite such extremely invasive treatment procedures. Of late some efforts are being made to develop effective treatment for aggressive brain cancer. The major ones among these are:
- Hyperbaric oxygen treatment – This treatment is based on the basic premise that cancerous cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. In fact some studies have shown that the ability of cancer cells to resist the effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy increases if the brain is in a low oxygen state. Thus, based on this principle, Jai Grewal, MD, co-director of The Long Island Brain Tumor Center has undertaken research to test whether keeping patients in an oxygenated state can help in improving the effectiveness of the standard cancer treatment procedures.
- Biologic drug and antibiotic – A treatment for aggressive brain cancer being developed by Henry Ford Hospital’s Hermelin Brain Tumor Center in the US involves the use of toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec), a biologic drug, with Toca FC, an a tablet that contains an called flucytosine. The trials conducted on mice with this treatment have shown promising results. It seeks to end the complication of aggressive brain cancers such as giloma in which they blend with healthy cancer cells and thus, making treatment difficult.
- Protein link for cancer treatment – University of Central Florida researchers have found a protein that can treat the most common of aggressive brain tumours affecting adults. According to the biomedical researchers, the protein that they have discovered, the TRPC6, is a mediator in the growth of brain cancer tumours. It can be gainfully utilised as a therapeutic target for the treatment of aggressive brain cancers such as Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This was stated by the assistant professor of neuroscience in the University, heading the research.
The standard treatment for aggressive brain cancer has not proven to be effective at all with more than 50 per cent of patients not surviving a year after diagnosis. With the advances in medical science and the various researches going on having different approaches to treatment, it can be expected that we will soon develop an effective cure for aggressive brain cancer.
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