Glioma

Gliomas start in glial cells—which provide important structural support in the brain—and may have very different characteristics in terms of their location, behavior, and response to treatment. Examples include astrocytomas, glioblastomas, oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas, and gangliogliomas. At NewYork-Presbyterian, we develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to the specific features of your glioma.

Customized Treatment from a Team of Specialists

We'll assemble the team of experts you need for your care. To determine the best course of therapy for you, we may analyze the genetic profile of your tumor through our unique precision medicine program to match you with the therapies that are likely to be most effective. Together your team members will explore your options and reach a consensus about the best course of care for you.

Safe, Personalized Brain Surgery

If your glioma can be surgically removed, our highly skilled neurosurgeons use minimally invasive procedures whenever appropriate including endoscopy.

  • We plan your surgery using the latest mapping techniques and imaging methods to maximize tumor removal and surgical safety.
  • Our neurosurgeons are working with a fluorescent dye that is injected at the beginning of surgery and is absorbed only by tumor tissue. They can view the tumor under a microscopy using a special filter and distinguish tumor tissue from normal tissue, allowing for more precise brain tumor surgery.

Precise Radiation Therapy

Many people with gliomas have radiation therapy as part of their treatment. We may use precisely targeted beams of radiation as your primary treatment, or give it after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Our neurosurgeons work closely with our radiation oncologists to explore all of your treatment options, including combining focused radiation therapy with other therapies such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

The Latest Chemotherapy Drugs

Your doctor will let you know if you may benefit from chemotherapy. Some are given intravenously in our modern infusion center, while others (such as temozolomide) can be taken orally (by mouth) at home.

We pioneered "convection-enhanced delivery," which we use to give highly concentrated anticancer drugs slowly through a catheter (flexible tube) directly to gliomas. Using this approach, we can deliver anticancer drugs at concentrations hundreds or thousands of times greater than what we can safely give through the traditional intravenous route.

Clinical Trials

We are leading and participating in clinical trials of new therapies and developing new ways to deliver anticancer drugs to gliomas more directly and effectively. You may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of a promising new therapy.

Our researchers are assessing other investigational treatments, including immunotherapies found to be effective against other cancers as well as novel targeted therapies.

Understanding Brain Tumors in the Lab

A key to achieving success in the treatment of gliomas is a better understanding of their development. Our investigators can create laboratory models of individual patients' tumors, called "cerebral organoids," using stem cells derived from patients who undergo surgery. With genetic testing tools and computer analysis, our scientists can potentially screen up to 1,000 drugs or drug combinations against each patient's own tumor model to try to find out which drugs are most effective. This innovative process takes just five weeks.

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