The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute brings together transformative research and patient-centered care to improve the lives of patients today and those of generations to come.
Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute
Using the latest advancements in medical technology, experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center treat a large number of patients with all types of gliomas each year. Clinical outcomes for patients with gliomas are better at high-volume centers than at low-volume centers.
Our multidisciplinary approach to glioma treatment is led by our neurosurgeons, who work closely with colleagues in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. As the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in North Texas, UT Southwestern is a national leader in delivering state-of-the-art care.
About GliomasGliomas are tumors that arise from the substance of the brain. The term glioma includes a diverse group of tumors, most of which are malignant to some degree in adults. Some of the most common types of gliomas are oligodendroglioma, astrocytoma, ependymoma, and glioblastoma.
The evaluation of a patient with a glioma requires careful thought and is best done in a multidisciplinary manner. At UT Southwestern, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and neuro-oncologists work together to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
When possible, the first step in the management of a glioma is often the surgical removal of the tumor. When needed, we use brain-mapping techniques to identify the critical motor and speech areas of the brain in order to preserve them at the time of surgery. If the tumor is located in an area where it cannot be safely removed, precise, image-guided biopsies can be performed to obtain a small amount of tissue with minimal risk to the adjacent parts of the brain.
Following surgery, the glioma tissue is analyzed by our specialized team of neuropathologists. After a diagnosis is made, further treatments are based on the biological behavior of the tumor.
Chemotherapy and RadiationHigh-grade (fast-growing) gliomas are further treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Patients with high-grade gliomas are promptly evaluated by members of our neuro-oncology and radiation oncology teams.
MonitoringThe management of low-grade (slow-growing) gliomas might begin with a period of observation. Following the removal of a low-grade glioma, the tumor site might be observed and not treated further unless there is evidence of further growth.
Research and Clinical Trials
Because UT Southwestern is an academic medical center, our patients have access to our extensive research programs. Many patients will be asked to donate a portion of the tumor removed for research purposes, or offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new imaging technologies or treatment strategies.
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