Cancerous tumors of the brain can be of primary nature, which means they start to grow in the brain, or can be characterized as secondary tumors, which have spread from elsewhere, also called brain metastases.
Signs and symptoms of the disease are wide and depending on the part of the brain involved. Classical symptoms for brain tumors include headaches, seizures, vision issues and mental changes, as well as vomiting or poor balance.
These tumors can grow in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, cerebellum and brain stem. Some of the brain tumors can be surgically removed, if they found to be operable. In other cases, a chemotherapy and/or a radiotherapy are recommended beforehand or even instead of the surgical intervention. As part of a university hospital network, our brain surgery team has shown to enable brain surgeries successfully in patients that were considered inoperable in their home countries. Therefore, we advise for a second opinion. Furthermore, the most modern method nowadays is the usage of immunotherapies in brain cancer patients that are mainly used within a so called umbrella concept.
An umbrella concept considers all aspects of the patient’s medical history, other diagnosis, and general well-being, as well as the available diagnostic constellations and ongoing treatments. An umbrella concept does not rely on one therapeutic option or the other, it is highly considering a precision-based combination of therapies that are evaluated for each individual case.
The first diagnosis is usually made by diagnostic imaging. In case of a suspicion of a brain carcinoma, usually a CT-scan and/or MRI-scan takes place. If a mass has been confirmed, it should be biopsied in order to determine the dignity of the tumor. A histopathological analysis can determine the exact (cell) type of the tumor. There are different types of brain tumors, and each of them presents unique genetic characteristics.
What most patients do not know is, that when the first examination on the biopsy has been performed (to determine the tumor type), the tissue is kept and stored at the histopathology department of the hospital, where the biopsy has been performed. This stored tissue material can be used for thorough (genetic) tissue analyses and in-depth sequencing. It is known that tumors show the accumulation of several genetic modifications, thus providing cancer cells with the selective growth advantage to initiate expansion. Now, sophisticated high-throughput technologies enable the identification of these mutated genes in cancers that can lead to a potent targeted therapy.
It is crucial to perform a thorough broad-spectrum screening so that every patient has a chance to explore all possibilities of a targeted treatment, may it be in a private setting or a clinical trial elsewhere. So it is most important to first find a laboratory that looks for all markers and mutations, and second, to find an oncologist who is willing to work with you in the best (and targeted) way possible.
Step 1 : Contact us
Important: Our oncological team is happy to talk to you by phone to get a deeper understanding about your specific case, enabling to provide you with a provisional treatment plan and cost estimate. Our oncologists will provide you all the details on medications, therapeutics and treatments including underlying mechanism and side effects. After a physical examination and an in-depth discussion with you on-site, the definite treatment plan will be discussed. Please understand that complex medical processes as mentioned above can only be explained through a thorough consultation on-site.