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Radiation Therapy Associated With Worse Outcomes in One Type of Brain Tumor

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In a research study published online June 24 in the journal Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, the research team found that routine radiation treatment after surgery for a rare and slow-growing type of brain tumor called pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, or PXAs, was associated with markedly worse overall survival. The researchers reviewed 550 PXA patients from the National Cancer Database, one of the largest brain tumor data sets in the world. Average survival for patients who did not receive radiation surgery was 10 years or more, compared to an average of 1.5 years for those who received radiation treatment after surgery. “Our findings highlight the need to be cautious regarding the routine use of radiation in the post-operative period for patients with low-grade brain tumors,” says Debraj Mukherjee, M.D., M.P.H., senior investigator and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. “High-volume centers of excellence like Johns Hopkins provide patients an opportunity to receive holistic, coordinated care between neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, and primary care physicians. This multidisciplinary approach allows patients to feel confident they are receiving comprehensive advice from a truly integrated, expert team.” Mukherjee says additional factors could contribute to these survival differences, and additional studies are planned.

Read the paper here