At Mayo Clinic, your treatment team works with you to create a treatment plan appropriate for your needs. Mayo specialists can work with your primary care doctor to coordinate your care close to home. They pay particular attention to your quality of life as they treat glioma.
Treatment of gliomas involves a multispecialty team. A doctor who specializes in brain cancers (neuro-oncologist) usually leads the team. Your care is coordinated with specialists in neurosurgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, neuropathology, neuroradiology and brain rehabilitation if needed.
Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and experimental therapies.
Mayo Clinic neurosurgeons have experience in performing a wide range of tumor removal surgeries. You generally can be scheduled for surgery quickly at Mayo Clinic.
At Mayo Clinic, neuropathologists can analyze tissue samples removed by a surgeon and report the results while surgery is underway. This information can help the surgeon decide how much tissue to remove while preserving as much surrounding healthy brain tissue as possible.
Mayo Clinic offers the latest surgical technologies and techniques, including:
Radiation therapy can prolong survival for most people with glioma and provide a cure for some. Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists are experienced in the full spectrum of radiation treatments. The options include:
- External beam radiation, including techniques that can shape radiation beams to match the tumor's form (3-D conformal).
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife), which is used only for certain types of gliomas, such as small tumors confined to a limited area. Treatment typically is done in a single session.
- Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSR), a form of radiation therapy that delivers focused radiation in small doses (fractions).
Chemotherapy may be used at the same time as radiation, or by itself, depending on the tumor type and your specific condition. Mayo Clinic is a research leader in treating brain tumors with chemotherapy, and Mayo Clinic patients may be eligible to participate in chemotherapy clinical trials that are appropriate for their condition.
Some people receiving regular treatment for glioma at Mayo Clinic also may choose to receive experimental therapies. Your treatment team can help determine if you qualify to participate in a glioma clinical trial. Specific options may include:
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- Vaccine and viral therapies. These treatment approaches include altering the immune system to try to control the glioma with vaccines, infusion of immune cells into your body and the use of modified viruses to attack the tumor.
- Molecular targeted therapies. These new drugs can target certain molecules, blocking the growth and spread of tumors.