The main focus of the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center, translating laboratory findings to the bedside, is being put into place in the area of chemotherapy treatments. Innovative treatments for brain tumors not only include more effective new drugs, but more effective ways of administering these drugs.
In addition, Clinic brain tumor patients benefit from investigational chemotherapeutic drugs not widely available.
Intra-arterial infusion is an injection of chemotherapy into an artery that may supply a tumor.
Intra-arterial infusion is beneficial for certain patients with brain metastases, particularly if systemic disease is controlled. These treatments can enhance the quality and length of life for patients at a later stage of cancer.
Convection Enhanced Delivery
One treatment approach that shows much promise is called convection enhanced delivery.
In this method, drugs are infused directly into the brain tumor using one or more special catheters implanted in or near the tumor. The catheters deliver drug under pressure (convection) over 48-72 hours as if on a wave. This technique allows the delivery of large molecules such as antibodies or immunotoxins over a predetermined volume of distribution.
Another way to administer chemotherapy is through intratumoral therapy.
This involves as injection directly into a tumor or placement of biodegradable wafers after tumor resection. The drugs are delivered in a concentrated manner, reducing risk to healthy brain tissue while maximizing diffusion of the agents.