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Combined Treatment Appears Useful for Cancerous Brain Tumor

Researchers have discovered an exciting new possibility for treating a type of cancerous brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).  GBM is very aggressive and deadly.  Because the tumor lacks clear boundaries, it is difficult for surgeons to remove it completely.  In the past, treatments have included implanting radioactive seeds or chemotherapy wafers in the brain following neurosurgery.  The radioactive seeds deliver radiation and the chemotherapy wafers deliver chemicals for a period of time to help destroy remaining cancer cells.  This is the first study to show the effectiveness of using both treatments at the same time.

In the small study conducted at the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital, the dual implantation of radioactive seeds and chemotherapy wafers following neurosurgery extended the survival of the participants by an average of 69 weeks.  Twenty five percent of the participants survived 2 years.  Conventional treatments are associated with an extended survival of only 26 weeks.  More research is needed, but the dual treatments certainly appear hopeful.

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