Any brain tumor requires comprehensive therapy, in which surgical removal of the neoplasm plays the leading role. It requires special qualifications of the neurosurgeon, extensive clinical experience, and special equipment that allows the tumor to be removed without damaging the functionally significant areas of the brain. Germany is at the forefront of astrocytomas treatment, as it is the leading European country with excellently developed neurology and oncology field.
Treatment of astrocytoma in Germany: principles
As it is a radical method of treating astrocytomas, the possibility of conducting surgery is evaluated first. German cancer centers are equipped with the latest technology, which allows astrocytomas to be removed without damaging the surrounding tissues. The latest methods, such as neuronavigation and intraoperative fluorescence, are widely used.
Surgical treatment is usually complemented by radiation therapy. State-of-the-art equipment in Germany makes it possible to focus the beam of ionizing radiation within one-millimeter accuracy. This is especially important since damage to healthy tissues of the brain can lead to disability or even death of the patient.
In severe cases, radiation therapy is combined with other methods of conservative anti-tumor therapy (chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drugs, etc.). When indicated, radiosurgery (i.e. Cyberknife) can be used as an alternative to conventional surgery.
Malignant astrocytomas can rarely be removed radically; sometimes even benign tumors have to be excised partially in order not to damage the most important areas of the brain. In such cases, surgery is supplemented by radiotherapy with methods that ensure that the radiation is precisely focused on the tumor. This may include:
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
- Brachytherapy with the placement of the radiation source into the tumor tissue
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
In terms of chemotherapy, temozolomide is the most common drug prescribed. It penetrates the blood-brain barrier better than the others do. The introduction of the chemotherapeutic agent before the session of radiotherapy increases the sensitivity of tumor cells to radiation.
In Germany, the treatment of relapsed astrocytomas of high malignancy also includes immunotherapy, genetic therapy, and therapy with oncolytic viruses. The experience, knowledge, and unique surgical skills of internationally known neurosurgeons attract patients from different countries seeking treatment for such a serious pathology as astrocytoma here, in Germany.
How effective is astrocytoma treatment in Germany?
German oncology clinics save the lives of thousands of patients annually. The high level of development of medical research and technology makes it possible to perform complex procedures on the brain, while achievements of German rehabilitation medicine help even the most seemingly hopeless patients to return to a full life.
At the same time, the prognosis for astrocytoma depends on many factors, including:
- The patient’s neurological status, indicating the degree of involvement of brain structures
- The degree of tumor malignancy
- The size and localization of the lesion
- The sensitivity of tumor cells to conservative therapy
- Age and state of health of the patient
However, sometimes we can only talk about controlling aggressive tumor growth, prolonging the patient’s life, and improving its quality.
Can cancer treatment be postponed due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic?
Patients with cancer are indeed at risk for serious complications associated with COVID-19. According to some reports, patients with malignant neoplasms have a slightly higher risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to those without cancer. However, postponing cancer treatment because of lockdown restrictions may cost too much.
So, you shouldn’t hesitate to search for treatment options outside your place of residency, if local hospitals reject your treatment request. You can use the option of treatment in Germany instead, and Booking Health will help you organize the whole trip and treatment of astrocytoma in Germany. Booking Health will also help you to get a visa (if necessary), even if the embassy is closed or has denied your visa request.
For more information, contact Booking Health by clicking here.