Treatment for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors often involves:
Sept. 03, 2014
Surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove the entire tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue that surrounds it. When that isn't possible, surgeons remove as much of the tumor as they can.
Depending on the location and size of your malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, surgery can cause nerve damage and disability. In the case of tumors that occur in the arms and legs, limb amputation may be necessary.
In some cases your doctor may recommend radiation before surgery to shrink a tumor. That may make it more likely that the tumor can be removed completely.
Mayo Clinic surgeons are highly trained and experienced at removing nerve tumors. Surgeons work to maximize function, while removing as much of the cancer as possible.
Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses powerful beams of energy to kill cancer cells. Radiation may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor and make successful surgery more likely. After surgery, radiation therapy may be used to kill any cancer cells that might remain.
Mayo Clinic radiation oncologists create precise treatment plans that use advanced technology to carefully focus radiation and minimize harm to nearby healthy tissue.
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. If your malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor has spread to other parts of the body, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to control your symptoms and slow the growth of the cancer.
- Rehabilitation. After surgery, experienced physical and occupational therapists can help you recover function and mobility lost due to nerve damage or limb amputation.
- Gilchrist JM, et al. Peripheral nerve tumors. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 15, 2014.
- Winn HR. Youmans Neurological Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 15, 2014.
- Stucky CCH, et al. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST): The Mayo Clinic experience. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2012;19:878.