Treatments For Glioma
At Sheba, we offer advanced and up-to-date treatment options for children with gliomas. Our experienced, highly qualified brain tumor specialists will personalize your child’s cancer therapies to optimize the outcome. We strive to cure gliomas without causing other long-term health problems, and we custom-tailor every treatment program based on the child’s age, overall health, medical history, and type, stage, and location of the tumor.
Treatment options at Sheba for pediatric glioma include:
The primary treatment for both high- and low-grade gliomas is surgery, with the goal being to safely resect (remove) as much of the tumor as possible. Usually, surgery is not performed when pediatric gliomas are located in parts of the brain where surgery would cause too much damage, such as optic gliomas and brainstem gliomas. Because scientific studies have demonstrated that it is not generally enough to just resect the tumor, most patients also require chemotherapy and/or radiation as part of their treatment program.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. After surgery or when surgery is not a viable treatment option, it can be a part of the treatment program for children with gliomas. In general, radiation therapy is delayed as long as possible in very young children in order to allow them a chance to grow and develop more. In addition, certain ways of administering radiation therapy can help prevent it from damaging nearby healthy tissues. Our radiation oncologists at Sheba have specialized techniques to determine the dose and volume of radiation so that it provides maximum benefits with minimal long-term effects to your child’s overall health.
Chemotherapy is medicine that can be used to destroy remaining cancer cells after surgery for gliomas, especially for high-grade childhood gliomas. In addition, chemo will sometimes be administered before surgery in order to shrink the tumor. Or – chemotherapy may be used for children with low-grade gliomas that cannot be surgically resected, such as optic pathway gliomas.
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Stem cell/bone marrow transplant with high-dose chemotherapy
To kill cancer cells, high doses of chemo drugs are given. As a consequence of this powerful treatment, many healthy cells are also destroyed. In order to replace the blood-forming cells that have been destroyed, stem cells can be transplanted into the patient. The infused stem cells develop into healthy blood cells and restore the normal cells that were destroyed.
Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to identify and destroy cancer cells without damaging normal healthy cells. The molecular profile of your child’s tumor will largely determine whether or not targeted therapy is an option.
Our holistic approach to healing
When we custom-design your child’s treatment program at Sheba, we focus on much more than just treating the cancer. Our medical experts consider your child’s overall quality of life, striving constantly to provide a comfortable, pain-free, and efficient experience. We offer a range of supportive services for children and their families, including social workers, psychologists, alternative therapies, and nutrition counseling. Our compassionate team is constantly available to help you and your child throughout every step of your fight against cancer.