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Malignant Brain Tumors & Neuro-Oncology Resources

MGH BTC | Referrals | BTC Guestbook | Links | or see Benign Brain Tumors

[BTC at MGH]MGH Brain Tumor Center
Adult Brain and Spine Tumors

Information on the MGH
Brain Tumor Center
Adult Brain and Spine Tumors

[Neurooncology Resources] Malignant Tumors: Information regarding the treatment of malignant brain, spine, and peripheral nerve tumors at Massachusetts General Hospital and links to other nervous system tumor resources.

Therapy for primary and metastatic tumors of the brain, spine, and of peripheral nerves is determined on an individual basis by informed agreement of patient, family, and the members of the Brain Tumor Center.

The MGH BTC medical staff specializes in using modern neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET scanning) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to ensure the most accurate diagnostic biopsies and maximal resection of benign and malignant primary and metastatic tumors of brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. Both PET and many advaneces in MRI were initiated at MGH and are under current development here. In addition, these techniques are supplemented by intraoperative functional mapping and physiologic monitoring when these techniques are appropriate to ensure maximal tumor removal. Active surgical research protocols include interstitial photon irradiation technology developed as MGH and clinical trials of the implantation of chemotherapy releasing biopolymers at the time of surgical tumor resection.

Therapy for primary and metastatic tumors of the brain, spine, and of peripheral nerves is determined on an individual basis by informed agreement of patient, family, and the members of the Brain Tumor Center.

The MGH BTC medical staff specializes in using modern neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET scanning) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to ensure the most accurate diagnostic biopsies and maximal resection of benign and malignant primary and metastatic tumors of brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. Both PET and many advaneces in MRI were initiated at MGH and are under current development here. In addition, these techniques are supplemented by intraoperative functional mapping and physiologic monitoring when these techniques are appropriate to ensure maximal tumor removal. Active surgical research protocols include interstitial photon irradiation technology developed as MGH and clinical trials of the implantation of chemotherapy releasing biopolymers at the time of surgical tumor resection.

Active state of the art therapies are available for range of adult brain and spine tumor histologies.

Pediatric Brain, Spine, and Peripheral Neuroblast Tumors

Pediatric brain tumors are treated by a multidisciplinary group including pediatric oncologists, pediatric neurologists, radiation oncologists, and pediatric neurosurgeons . See the MGH Pediatric Neurosurgery Homepage for a listing of MGH neurosurgeons with special expertise in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. Proton beam stereotactic radiosurgery is also available for the treatment of pediatric brain, and spine tumors.

Appointments may be coordinated through the MGH Pediatric Neurology Service:

Elizabeth Dooling, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Neurology
Vincent-Burnham Kennedy-7
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114
phone: (617) 726-3877

Investigational treatment protocols for children including chemotherapy are coordinated through the pediatric oncology service.

For more information or to make an appointment contact MGH Pediatric Oncology:

David Ebb, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Oncology
Blake Building, Second Floor
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114
phone: (617) 726-2737

Protocols therapy is currently available for the following tumor types. Data collection for the majority of these protocols is coordinated by the pediatric oncology group. Non-protocol therapies are available for tumors of any type.

  • Low-grade astrocytoma
    • primary: POG Intergroup protocol
    • recurrent: idarubicin-based therapy and topotecan -based therapy)
  • Optic pathway tumors
  • Ependymomas
  • Brain stem gliomas
    • topotecan -based therapy
    • taxol-based therapy
  • Craniopharyngioma (see above )
  • Supratentorial neoplasms (1. malignant gliomas: anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme, malignant gliosarcoma, and malignant oligodendrogiomas; malignant small cell neoplasms with glial differentiation are also eligible. 2. Poorly-differentiated embryonal cell tumors (PDETs): undifferentiatied malignant small cell neoplasm, as well as those with pineal (pineoblastomas), ependymal (ependymoblastomas), or neuronal (primary cerebral neuroblastoma) differentiation, including cases diagosed as PNET.)
    • Topotectan-based therapy
  • Medulloblastoma (infratentorial PNET)
    • POG low stage protocol
    • POG high stage protocol
    • recurrent: taxol
    • subquent recurrence: POG salvage protocol

Special protocols are also available for children under 3 years of age with tumors of various histologies.

MGH Neuropathology and the Neuropathology Consultation Service Patholgic consultations regarding central and peripheral nervous system tumors are available from the Neuropathology Service. Prior to sending the original pathology report as well as slides (and tissue blocks if available) either of the following should be contacted:

E. Tessa Hedley-Whyte, M.D.
Department of Pathology (Neuropathology)
Warren-3
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boton, MA 02114
phone (617) 726-5156

or

David N. Louis, M.D.
phone (617) 726-5510
fax (617) 726-5079


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