Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients

Date:
July 15, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Researchers have created a novel combined technique to treat cancer patients by bathing the brain in chemotherapy and relieving pressure from spinal fluid build-up (hydrocephalus).

Approximately five to ten percent of patients with primary or metastatic cancer suffer from devastating neurological complications such as headaches, seizures, confusion, difficulty swallowing and visual disturbances. These deficits are caused by a life-threatening form of brain invasion from cancer called neoplastic meningitis. Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have utilized a novel combined technique to treat cancer patients by bathing the brain in chemotherapy and relieving pressure from spinal fluid build-up (hydrocephalus).

The results of this multicenter study are described in Journal of Neurosurgery, now available online.

"What we have developed is a single intervention to treat both neoplastic meningitis and hydrocephalus," said Kesari, chief of neuro-oncology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and associate professor of neurosciences at the UCSD School of Medicine. "Cancer should be fought by every method available, and this is an aggressive option that can dramatically improve function and survival for select patients."

When cancer cells infiltrate the spaces within the brain, the cells prevent the flow and absorption of spinal fluid. This blockage causes increased pressure and fluid accumulation. By inserting an externally operated "off-on" valve along with an Ommaya reservoir -- a small plastic device used to carry medicine to fluid in the brain and spinal cord -- and shunt, doctors can both deliver chemotherapy directly to the brain's surfaces and drain excess fluids to the abdomen via a thin internal catheter.

"This dual-purpose technique allows for both diversion of excess spinal fluid and treatment of the underlying cancer," said Bob Carter, MD, PhD, UCSD chief of neurosurgery who performs the technique for patients at Moores Cancer Center. "When brain tumor care is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team such as ours, the results can significantly improve quality of life."

Kesari, who performed the original research on this technique at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said that further studies need to be done to better understand and optimize this combined approach. Kesari and Carter are planning larger, prospective clinical studies to further optimize outcomes in metastatic brain cancer patients.

Researchers for this paper also included Ning Lin, MD, Ian F. Dunn, MD, Mark Johnson, MD, PhD, and Robert Friedlander, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Michael Glantz, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine; and Dana Allison, BA, and Randy Jensen, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ning Lin, Ian F. Dunn, Michael Glantz, Dana L. Allison, Randy Jensen, Mark D. Johnson, Robert M. Friedlander, Santosh Kesari. Benefit of ventriculoperitoneal cerebrospinal fluid shunting and intrathecal chemotherapy in neoplastic meningitis: a retrospective, case-controlled study. Journal of Neurosurgery, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.5.JNS101768

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150939.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2011, July 15). Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150939.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Novel combined therapy extends life, diminishes pain in brain cancer patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714150939.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins