Surgical Considerations in the Optimal Management of Patients with Malignant Brain Tumors

Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2017 Aug;18(8):46. doi: 10.1007/s11864-017-0487-8.


Advances in technology are revolutionizing medicine and the limits of what we can offer to our patients. In neurosurgery, technology continues to reduce morbidity, increase surgical accuracy, facilitate tissue acquisition, and promote novel techniques for prolonging survival in patients with neuro-oncologic disease. Surgery has been the backbone of glioma diagnosis and treatment by providing adequate, high quality material for precise histologic diagnosis, and genomic characterization in the setting of significant intratumoral heterogeneity, thus allowing personalized treatment selection in the clinic. The ability to obtain and accurately measure the maximal extent of resection in glioma surgery also remains a central role of the neurosurgeon in managing this cancer. To meet these goals, today's operating room has transformed from the traditional operating table and anesthesia machine to include neuronavigation instrumentation, intraoperative computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging scanners, advanced surgical microscopes fitted with fluorescent light filters, and electrocorticography machines. While surgeons, oncologists, and radiation oncologists all play unique critical roles in the care of patients with malignant gliomas, familiarity with developing techniques in complimentary subspecialties can enhance coordination of patient care, research productivity, professional interactions, and patient confidence and comfort with the physician team. Herein, we provide a summary of the advances in the field of neurosurgical oncology which allow more precise and optimal surgical resection for patients with malignant gliomas.

Keywords: Extent of resection; Glioma; Neuro-oncology; Neurosurgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques
  • Biopsy
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Craniotomy / adverse effects
  • Craniotomy / methods
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Neuronavigation / methods
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted
  • Treatment Outcome