Radiation Therapy and Brain Tumors
At City of Hope, the Department of Radiation Oncology's goal is to treat primary and metastatic brain tumors while protecting the normal brain, allowing patients to have optimal quality of life. We have multiple methods for treating brain tumors, and we work in collaboration with neurosurgeons, medical oncologists and other members of the care team to individually tailor a treatment regimen based on tumor size, its location, patient’s health and other factors.
Our goal is to treat the brain tumor while protecting the normal brain, preserving patients' quality of life. We have two methods for treating brain metastases, either radiosurgery using the Tomotherapy machine or RapidArc using the TrueBeam machine.
To help treat only the brain tumor and prevent unnecessary radiation of normal brain tissue, we have two methods to setup patient for treatment. One involves a head frame with two talon screws attached to the skull and positioned within 1mm accuracy of treatment.
The second involves a noninvasive head frame that looks similar to making a mold for dental retainers.
We determine which setup is best for each patient based on tumor type, size and location. We are able to treat both small and large brain tumors this way, thus reducing the likelihood or need for whole brain irradiation.
We also have advanced imaging technologies in our department, including MRI and PET/CT, allowing us to accurately target the brain tumor since imaging and treatment are provided within close intervals of each other. If a symptom or change occurs, a MRI brain during treatment can be easily obtained in our department, allowing us to adjust our radiation plans in a timely fashion.
Our active brain tumor research group here at City of Hope that meets at least twice a month to discuss brain treatment plans. Dr. Portnow and Dr. Badie lead the research efforts and have successfully implemented many Phase I brain tumor trials here. Our active and ongoing collaboration alows us to tailor our radiation treatment plans in line with surgery and chemotherapy, resulting in individualized treatment plans for each brain tumor patient.