Treating brain cancer with steroids

Author: Charles Davis, MD, PhD, Research Director, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Coauthor(s): Nitin Tandon, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Editors: Brian F Chinnock, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Jerry Balentine, DO, Professor of Emergency Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; Medical Director, Saint Barnabas Hospital.
 

As if having brain cancer isn’t devastating enough for a child and their family, about one in four children with brain cancer of the cerebellum also develop a condition known as posterior fossa syndrome. This syndrome involves problems with speech and movement, similar to the symptoms a stroke victim might experience. The cause of posterior fossa syndrome, however, is unknown. Working alongside doctors at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Aaron Boes plans to study why these problems occur, so that children already suffering from brain cancer, may not also have to deal with these complications.

The Duke team’s best-known patient is Stephanie Lipscomb, who was featured in a “60 Minutes” segment on the polio virus treatment. Lipscomb was diagnosed in 2010 at age 20 with a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball bulging behind her right eye. The tumor was surgically removed, but then later started growing back, and she agreed to be the first person injected with the polio virus formula. Subsequent tests showed her tumor shrank from the size of a lime to no larger than a green pea, allowing her to finish school and get a degree in nursing. She is healthy and doing well, Gromeier said.

Treating brain cancer with steroids

treating brain cancer with steroids

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