Treatment for Gliomas

Over the past several decades, emerging technologies and advancements in medical research have improved the safety profile and effectiveness of treatments for gliomas. This includes advancements in surgical technologies and chemotherapy drugs.

At UT Southwestern, we are fortunate to have access to the latest treatments for gliomas. Almost all patients with gliomas will need a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation at some point during their treatment course.

Surgery

For most patients with gliomas, the first step in treatment is surgical resection. At UT Southwestern, the goal of surgery is always to remove the entirety of the tumor that is visible on MRI when it is safe to do so.

If the tumor is located in an area where it cannot be safely removed, we perform precise, image-guided biopsies to obtain a small amount of tissue with minimal risk to the adjacent brain.

In addition, we use brain-mapping technologies to identify the critical motor and speech areas of the brain so that we can preserve them at the time of surgery.

Additional Treatments

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.

High-grade gliomas, which are fast growing, 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.

Conversely, treatment for slow-growing,low-grade gliomas is typically observation; depending on the particular glioma, immediate additional therapy is often not required.

Because UT Southwestern is an academic medical center, all of our patients have access to our extensive research programs. If you wish, a small portion of your tumor will be kept in our Brain Tumor Research Bank, and researchers will analyze your particular tumor for unique properties that may be amenable to novel treatments.