05 April 2019

Intraoperative radiation therapy of glioma

An innovative method for the treatment of relapses of malignant brain tumors has been patented in Russia


The treatment of malignant gliomas is one of the most difficult tasks of modern medicine, said Alexey Krivoshapkin, head of the Neurosurgery Clinic of the European Medical Center, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to him, a relapse often occurs within 8-10 months after the first operation. After repeated surgery, relapse develops even faster, usually after 4-5 months. 

"External radiation and chemotherapy do not significantly affect the life expectancy of patients. Since in most cases, tumor recurrence occurs at the site of its primary origin, the idea arose to use brachytherapy – a method of interstitial radiation therapy – to destroy residual microscopic fragments of malignant neoplasm responsible for rapid recurrence. Together with the head of the Radiotherapy Center Salim Nidal and his team of medical physicists, we implemented this technique as part of a clinical trial and obtained amazing results that give hope to patients for a significant prolongation of life after surgery," explained Krivoshapkin.

"Intraoperative radiation therapy is a special method of radiation treatment, the essence of which is to bring a single high dose of ionizing radiation to the pathological focus directly during the operation. Our goal is to get rid of residual tumor cells after removal of the neoplasm and thereby increase control over the disease. Irradiation is carried out within 5-30 minutes in the operating unit immediately after removal of the tumor. At the same time, the surrounding tissues remain intact," explains the head of the EMC Radiotherapy Center, Nidal Salim. – Intraoperative irradiation has proven itself well during organ-preserving operations for breast and prostate cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and tumors of other localizations. We were the first in the world to decide to use this technique for the treatment of relapses of malignant brain tumors, and the results we obtained allow us to speak about its high efficiency."

The technology developed at EMC was presented at international neurosurgical congresses, where it aroused great interest among foreign specialists.

"Over the past few years, the European Medical Center has introduced more than a dozen innovative technologies and methods of treatment, including in the field of oncology, most of them are unique to Russia," says EMC CEO Andrey Yanovsky. – This allows us not only to remain leaders in providing high-quality and safe medical care, but also to count on the fact that the developments of our specialists will be able to complement the latest international medical protocols."

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