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by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors

Radiation therapy is a method used to kill tumor cells. It is often used with other methods such as surgery and chemotherapy . It may be used after surgery to kill tumor cells left behind. Sometimes, it is used to ease problems caused by the tumor.
The types used are:

Fractionated Radiation

This type is made by a machine outside of the body. Small doses are given to the tumor over a number of sessions. This can be given to a specific area or a wider area, including the central nervous system.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

This method aims beams to a very focused place. As a result, higher doses can be used over less time. This is not a surgical procedure.
It is often used when cancer has spread from other sites in the body. There are different types of machines that can be used to deliver SRS.

Internal Radiation

Radioactive material is placed in or near the tumor. This is not used often.

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.
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.
Radiation 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/radiation-therapy.html. Accessed July 13, 2021.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 07/2021
  • Update Date: 07/13/2021