Other Treatments for Brain Tumors
- Targeted therapy
- Enzyme inhibitors—interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide
- Apoptosis inducers—target cancer cell 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 (eg, bevacizumab [Avastin]), as well as various investigational agents.
- Monoclonal antibodies—Large quantities of lab-produced antibodies are given to the patient. These antibodies interfere with basic cell processes, thus stopping the cancer cell’s 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 alter the patient’s own genes in order to make them more successful at battling cancer cells. Or, this form of therapy may alter the cancer cells' genes in order 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.
Lukas RV, Boire A, Nicholas MK. 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 August 18, 2009.
Treatment therapy research. Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation website. Available at: http://www.childhoodbraintumor.org/index.php/treatments.html . Accessed August 18, 2009.
Tumor and treatment info. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at: http://www.abta.org/Tumor%5FAnd%5FTreatment%5FInfo/12 . Accessed August 18, 2009.
Understanding brain tumors. International Radiosurgery Support Association website. Available at: http://www.irsa.org/brain%5Ftumors.html . Accessed August 18, 2009.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -