Specialists at the Brain Tumor Treatment Center are bringing new therapies to the region, from minimally invasive surgical techniques to chemotherapy that dissolves at the site over several weeks. These treatments complement standard cancer therapy and can include:
Image-guided neurosurgery and neuroendoscopy are the primary methods used for minimally invasive brain procedures. Using these technologies, our surgical team can pinpoint a lesion or tumor and, just as importantly, its relationship to vascular structures or veins. Removing the lesion or tumor while keeping vascular structures intact significantly reduces complications and speeds the recovery process. Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in Pennsylvania to use image-guided technology for brain surgery.
Our surgical team can also place tumor-fighting therapies at the tumor site during surgery. These therapies include:
- Gliadel Wafer®
The Gliadel Wafer® can be used to treat certain brain tumors. Up to eight dime-sized wafers are placed at the site after the surgeon removes the tumor. The wafers dissolve over time, sending essential chemotherapy right to the tumor site. Unlike many IV-based chemotherapies, the Gliadel Wafer can cross the blood-brain barrier to reach and treat the tumor. In addition, Gliadel does not have the side effects often associated with IV-based chemotherapy treatments.
- Gliasite Radiation Therapy System®
This internal radiation device is implanted at the tumor site during surgery, after the tumor has been removed. A balloon catheter is placed inside the space left by the tumor and later filled with liquid radiation. Through the catheter, the radiation reaches to the edges of the tumor cavity, targeting places where cancer cells may remain. It stays in the catheter for up to seven days until an appropriate dose of radiation is delivered to the site. Afterward, the liquid is removed from the catheter and then the catheter is removed during a brief procedure.
Comprehensive and patient-focused chemotherapy services are available through the Conemaugh Cancer Center on the campus of Memorial.
Radiation oncology services are available through the UPMC Cancer Center – John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center, located in downtown Johnstown.
For more information about the Brain Tumor Treatment Center or to schedule an appointment, please call (814)534-5724.