Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study: Repeated surgeries appear to extend life of patients with deadliest of brain cancers

01.11.2012
People who undergo repeated surgeries to remove glioblastomas — the most aggressive and deadliest type of brain tumors — may survive longer than those who have just a one-time operation, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Glioblastoma, the brain cancer that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy, inevitably returns after tumor-removal surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. The median survival time after diagnosis is only 14 months.

With recurrence a near certainty, experts say, many have questioned the value of performing second, third or even fourth operations, especially given the dangers of brain surgery, including the risk of neurological injury or death.

"We are reluctant to operate on patients with brain cancer multiple times as we are afraid to incur new neurological deficits or poor wound healing, and many times we are pessimistic about the survival chances of these patients," says Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D., a professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery. "But this study tells us that the more we operate, the longer they may survive. We should not give up on these patients."

For the study, Quinones-Hinojosa and his team reviewed the records of 578 patients who underwent surgery to remove a glioblastoma between 1997 and 2007 at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the last follow-up, 354 patients had one surgery, 168 had two resections, and 41 and 15 patients had three and four operations, respectively. The median survival for patients who underwent one, two, three and four operations was 6.8 months, 15.5 months, 22.4 months and 26.6 months, respectively.

Quinones-Hinojosa cautions that his analysis may overestimate the value of multiple surgeries based on patient selection, and that it's possible that the patients who did better had tumors with a biology that predisposed them to live longer. Further research will need to confirm his more positive conclusion.

Glioblastomas are cancerous tumors that become deeply intertwined with healthy brain tissue and, as a result, are difficult to remove. They are notoriously difficult to eradicate with surgery alone. "The only thing that has been proven to work for glioblastoma throughout history is surgery," Quinones-Hinojosa says. "Without surgery, these patients don't have much of a chance."

Along with reducing the size of tumors, repeated surgeries may also increase the efficacy of radiation and chemotherapy.

Quinones-Hinojosa says with each successive surgery, the procedure itself becomes more technically challenging as the anatomy changes, blood vessels are damaged and tissues become frail.

Patients, their families and their doctors must determine whether repeated surgery is the best course of action, weighing the potential risks against the potential benefits, Quinones-Hinojosa says. The procedure should only be done if it can be done relatively safely and patients can tolerate anesthesia and the long recovery period.

Other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in the study include Kaisorn L. Chaichana, M.D.; Patricia Zadnik, B.A.; Jon D. Weingart, M.D.; Alessandro Olivi, M.D.; Gary L. Gallia, M.D., Ph.D.; Jaishri Blakeley, M.D.; Michael Lim, M.D.; and Henry Brem, M.D.

For more information:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/experts/profiles/
team_member_profile/36A35BDE9B71CB08318C8F419FD7ACB4/Alfredo_Quinones-Hinojosa
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/specialty_areas/
brain_tumor/

Stephanie Desmon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Indications of Psychosis Appear in Cortical Folding
26.04.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>