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New Treatment Approach Against Deadly Brain Tumors Published in JNS: Pediatrics

Dr.Richard Anderson
Dr. Richard Anderson

Dr. Richard Anderson from the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center and Dr. Jeffrey Bruce from the Brain Tumor Center have joined forces with a multidisciplinary team* here at Columbia on a novel procedure to treat one of the most deadly brain tumors, diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (DIPG).

This type of tumor is fast growing and now accounts for the majority of brain-tumor-related deaths in children. DIPG is particularly difficult to treat because of its location deep among the most vital structures of the brain. Further, the dosage of chemotherapy necessary to kill these cancer cells is too toxic for the body.

Using a minimally invasive procedure and convection enhanced delivery (CED), the authors have come up with a unique way to deliver the chemotherapy drug topotecan directly into the tumor itself. This method allows for a much more concentrated and targeted approach with fewer side-effects.

The authors concluded that,”Topotecan delivered by prolonged CED into the brainstem in children with DIPG is technically feasible.” They urged, however, that, “More studies are needed to improve patient selection and determine the optimal flow rates for CED of chemotherapeutic agents into DIPG to maximize safety and efficacy.”

The research, Convection-enhanced delivery of topotecan into diffuse intrinsic brainstem tumors in children: Report of 2 cases*, was published earlier this month in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. You can read their abstract here.

Dr.Jeffrey Bruce
Dr. Jeffrey Bruce

*Co-authors at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons include: Richard C. E. Anderson, M.D., Benjamin Kennedy, M.D., Candix L. Yanes, R.N., Neil A. Feldstein, M.D., and Jeffrey N. Bruce, M.D. from the Department of Neurosurgery; James Garvin, M.D., Ph.D. and Michael Needle, M.D. from the Department of Oncology; and  Peter Canoll, M.D., Ph.D. from the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology.

patient journey

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