Advancements in Multidisciplinary Treatment for Brain Tumors: Improving Quality of Life and Treatment Outcomes

New Advances in Multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Treatment

Brain tumors, both benign and malignant, have seen a significant increase in patients in recent years. The number of cases for benign brain tumors rose by approximately 37%, from 37,815 in 2017 to 51,842 in 2021. Malignant brain tumors also experienced a 7% increase, from 10,186 to 11,945 during the same period. However, there is hope for patients as medical technology continues to advance.

Different treatment methods are available for brain tumors based on their location and nature. To determine the most appropriate treatment, various departments collaborate to provide a multidisciplinary approach. It is crucial for patients to actively communicate with specialists and engage in their treatment process.

Cancer treatment, including brain tumors, often requires a combination of treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. However, visiting multiple departments and navigating differing opinions can be challenging for patients. To address this issue, multidisciplinary meetings are conducted, bringing together specialists from various departments to discuss patient cases and decide on the best course of treatment. This collaborative approach has significantly improved the quality of life for brain tumor patients.

Professor Kim Se-hyuk from Ajou University Hospital’s Department of Neurology emphasizes the necessity of multidisciplinary treatment. Depending on the patient’s age, as well as the location and nature of the tumor, surgery, radiosurgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy may all be considered. The involvement of multiple departments ensures a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

In the multidisciplinary treatment of brain tumors, various departments play significant roles. Radiology and nuclear medicine assess brain imaging, diagnose tumors, and evaluate treatment responses. The Department of Pathology conducts microscopic analysis to provide tailored treatment options. Neurosurgery performs surgical resection or gamma knife radiosurgery, a non-invasive method utilizing short wave gamma rays to halt tumor growth. Radiation oncology administers radiation therapy as an adjuvant treatment after surgery for patients with large or difficult-to-remove malignant brain tumors. Lastly, oncology and hematology provide specialized chemotherapy to patients in need.

Collaboration between departments is especially vital for tumors affecting nerve connections to the ear, such as acoustic schwannoma. Cooperation with otolaryngologists ensures a comprehensive approach. Hearing tests, vestibular function tests, and mastoid fracture surgery are performed in conjunction with neurosurgery to safely remove the tumor.

Multidisciplinary treatment remains essential even after brain tumor treatment. This includes additional radiotherapy or chemotherapy if necessary, management of symptoms such as seizures, and ongoing assessment of treatment response. The decision-making process involves not only medical experts but also the patient and their family, taking into account economic circumstances and overall physical condition.

To achieve optimal treatment outcomes, open communication among all medical staff members is crucial. Multidisciplinary care is most effective when patients actively participate in their treatment and demonstrate a willingness to explore different options. It is essential to dispel the misconception that brain tumors are incurable, as surgery and radiosurgery can control tumor growth and improve quality of life. By embracing multidisciplinary treatment, patients have a chance to maintain a good quality of life and extended survival periods.

In conclusion, multidisciplinary treatment approaches offer hope for patients with brain tumors. As medical technology continues to advance and various departments collaborate, patients can expect improved outcomes and a better quality of life. It is essential for individuals to actively engage with specialists, explore different treatment options, and remain optimistic about the possibilities for successful treatment.

For brain tumours, different treatment methods can be tried depending on the location and nature of the tumour. To this end, various departments come together to consider the most appropriate treatment direction for patients, so it is important to communicate with specialists and receive treatment actively (Photo = Clip Art Korea).

A brain tumor is any tumor that develops within the bones of the head. It is divided into two types: benign and malignant, and the number of patients with both types is increasing recently. According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, the number of patients with benign brain tumors increased by around 37% in five years from 37,815 in 2017 to 51,842 in 2021, and the number of malignant brain tumors also increased by around 7 from 10,186 to 11,945 during the same period % increased.

But it is too early to despair. With the development of medical technology, Brain tumors are treated in different ways depending on the location and nature of the tumor.Because you can. Furthermore, in order to find the most suitable treatment method for the patient, The quality of life of brain tumor patients has improved significantly as a multidisciplinary approach has been implemented from the start, with multiple departments working together.It becomes.

Professor Kim Se-hyuk from the Department of Neurology at Ajou University Hospital said, “Cancer is difficult to cure with just one treatment method, and in most cases, Various treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are needed“However, it is not easy for patients to visit each department individually, and even if opinions vary from department to department, it is not easy to decide on a treatment method,” he said.

He continued, “In this regard, In cancer treatment, multidisciplinary treatment is actively implemented from the beginning through multidisciplinary meetings where various departments gather to discuss patient cases, decide on the best possible treatment method, and explain this to patients and guardians.“It happens,” he said. “There are brain tumors too Depending on the patient’s age as well as the location and nature of the tumor, surgery, radiosurgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy may be tried, so multidisciplinary treatment is essential.“Do it,” he emphasized.

Multidisciplinary treatment of brain tumors usually includes radiology, nuclear medicine, pathology, neurosurgery, radiation oncology, and oncology and hematology.

▲Radiology/Nuclear Medicine=Brain imaging, diagnosis, and response to treatment are assessed. Brain tumors are generally diagnosed through CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tests. Cerebral angiography may be performed to determine the distribution of blood vessels around or within the tumor, or PET (proton emission tomography) tests may be performed to check metabolic activity in the suspected area.

▲Department of Pathology=After pathologically diagnosing a tumor through a microscope, research is carried out to enable tailored treatment.

▲ Neurosurgery =Surgery or gamma knife radiosurgery is performed to remove the tumor. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is the latest radiation treatment for brain diseases which stops tumor growth using non-invasive short wave gamma rays. However, if the tumor is large, it is difficult to treat with radiosurgery, and if there are symptoms due to direct pressure on the tumor, surgical resection should be considered first.

▲Radiation Oncology=Radiation therapy is performed as adjuvant treatment after surgery for patients with malignant brain tumors that are difficult to remove surgically because the extent of tumor invasion is large, or for patients who are difficult to remove the entire tumor by surgery.

▲Oncology and Hematology=More specialized chemotherapy is provided to patients who need chemotherapy.

On the other hand, if a tumor occurs on the nerve that connects to the ear, such as an acoustic schwannoma, it is necessary to cooperate with an otolaryngologist.

Professor Jeong Yeon-hoon from the Department of Otolaryngology at Ajou University Hospital said, “Before surgery, hearing tests and vestibular function tests are performed, and during surgery, a mastoid fracture (surgery to crush the mastoid and labyrinth, which are the bones that protruding behind the ear) is performed so that the tumor can be safely removed by neurosurgery. “It plays a role in securing the surgical route,” he explained.

There is a great need for multidisciplinary treatment even after brain tumor treatment. This is because additional radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be required after surgery, and symptoms such as seizures must be managed and response to treatment assessed. Professor Kim Se-hyuk said, “Especially for patients who relapse, the choice of the patient and his family is very important when choosing a treatment,” and added, “Experts should suggest the best possible treatment by considering economic circumstances as well. to physical condition.”

To achieve the best treatment results All medical staff recognize the need for multidisciplinary care and communicate with an open mindIt is important to do. The patient’s willingness to receive active treatment is also supported.It has to be.

Professor Kim Se-hyuk said, “There are still many prejudices that brain tumors are an incurable disease that only suffer after treatment, but can be completely cured by surgery . There are also benign brain tumors, and even if they cannot be completely cured, the tumor can be controlled to prevent further growth through radiosurgery.“You can do it,” he said. Following “Even high-difficulty brain tumors, such as malignant brain tumors, can be actively treated when communicating with specialists, so do not give up in advance because the quality of life and survival period can be maintained through multidisciplinary treatment.“I hope you will participate in it,” he said.

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