Other Treatments for Brain Tumors

Targeted therapy may also be used for brain tumors that are spreading. It hinders the cancer cell's ability to grow and spread. The medicines may work when other methods fail.

These are picked based on the tumor type. They may be used alone or with other treatments:

  • Bevacizumab—Blocks the tumor from making the blood vessels it needs to grow.
  • Everolimus—Blocks a certain protein that helps a cell grow and divide. This may help shrink the tumor or slow its growth.

Side effects are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling tired
  • Low blood cell counts—can lead to anemia and neutropenia
  • Loss of hunger
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol

There are many ways to manage these problems. Common methods are medicines and lifestyle changes. Call your doctor as soon as you notice any problems. Doing so will better your chances of controlling them.

References:

Adult central nervous system tumors treatment (PDQ®)–health professional version. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/hp/adult-brain-treatment-pdq. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/astrocytoma-and-oligodendroglioma-in-adults. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Lukas RV, Boire A, et al. Targeted therapy in the treatment of malignant gliomas. Onco Targets Ther. 2009;2:115-133.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/meningioma. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Overview of intracranial tumors. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/intracranial-and-spinal-tumors/overview-of-intracranial-tumors. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Targeted drug therapy for adult brain and spinal cord tumors. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/treating/targeted-therapy.html. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 7/13/2021

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