Brain Cancer

Overview: A diagnosis of brain cancer can be devastating. An estimated 19,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with a malignant tumor that originates in the brain, and many thousands more develop secondary cancers that have spread to the brain from other parts of the body.

In this Medically Speaking podcast, Dr. William F. Regine, chief of radiation oncology and interim chair of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor and chairman of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says brain cancer patients have a better chance of survival when they are able to have surgery. Whether a tumor is operable depends on its location within the brain, he says.

In this interview with Karen Warmkessel, Dr. Regine says that most patients also receive chemotherapy and targeted radiation. An oral chemotherapy drug called Temodar has significantly improved survival, particularly when it is combined with radiation.