Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to attack brain cancer cells. While it is not yet possible to cure high-grade gliomas, chemotherapy is helpful in controlling the growth and spread of brain cancer tumors.

The goals of chemotherapy treatment are to:

  1. Destroy as many brain cancer cells as possible.
  2. Keep remaining brain tumor cells "dormant" for as long as possible.
At The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment, your neuro-oncologists will tailor a treatment plan specifically for you.

Getting Chemotherapy Treatment at Swedish

With high-grade gliomas, the chemotherapy drug often used is temozolomide, which comes in the form of a pill. Because chemotherapy and radiation treatments are often given at the same time, a small dose of temozolomide is taken each day during the course of radiation. Once radiation is finished, patients take a higher dose five days in a row every four weeks.

However, a special plan is made for each patient and different types of chemotherapy drugs may be used. Patients who have chemotherapy by infusion (drugs delivered through an IV) receive their treatments at the Swedish Cancer Institute under the direction of the Ivy Center neuro-oncologists.

Biological Therapy for Treating Brain Cancer

Biological therapy is a type of treatment that works with your immune system to fight tumor cells. Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks the cancer cells directly, biological therapy helps your immune system fight the tumor cells.

There are different types of biotherapies including monoclonal antibodies, growth factors, vaccines, interferon and interleukin, and gene therapy. Depending on your individual situation, biological therapy may be part of your brain cancer treatment plan.