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Other Treatments for Brain Tumors
- Targeted therapy
- Enzyme inhibitors—interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide
- Apoptosis inducers—target cancer cells to cause their death
Angiogenesis inhibitors—interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to create new blood vessels, which they need in order to continue growing
- There are a number of anti-angiogenic agents being used. They include antibodies against the factors secreted by cells to promote new blood vessel growth, such as bevacizumab (Avastin).
- Monoclonal antibodies—Large quantities of lab-produced antibodies are given to the patient. These antibodies interfere with basic cell processes and stop the cancer cells from growing, dividing, and interacting with other cancer cells. The antibodies' role is limited by their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier or blood-tumor barrier.
- Cancer vaccines—Pieces of cancer cells or proteins modeled from cancer cells are given to the patient. This is done to activate the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.
- Gene therapy—Gene therapy may attempt to change the patient’s own genes to make them more successful at battling cancer cells. Or, this form of therapy may change the cancer cells' genes to make the cancer more vulnerable to destruction by other forms of treatment.
- Cytokines—These immune system substances may boost the effectiveness of other types of treatments, decrease treatment side effects, and improve the immune system’s ability to fight against cancer.
Brain tumor treatments. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at: http://www.abta.org/care-treatment/treatments. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Lukas RV, Boire A, et al. Targeted therapy in the treatment of malignant gliomas. OncoTargets and Therapy. 2009;2:1-19.
Treatment information. National Brain Tumor Society website. Available at: http://www.braintumor.org/TreatmentInformation. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Understanding brain tumors. International Radiosurgery Support Association website. Available at: http://www.irsa.org/brain%5Ftumors.html. Accessed June 4, 2013.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 05/28/2014