Advancements in Brain Tumor Treatment

Diagnosed in approximately 25,000 adults in the United States each year, the words “brain tumor” can be frightening for many patients to hear. A brain tumor is a mass of tissue formed by abnormal cells and symptoms can vary depending on its size, type and location.

“It could be inside the brain tissue, it could be on the surface of the brain or sometimes it even could be coming from somewhere else in the body to the brain,” said Dr. Ali Krisht, director of the CHI St. Vincent Arkansas Neuroscience Institute.

Brain tumors are often classified as benign or malignant, but even a benign tumor can lead to serious issues depending on its location and how it affects other areas of the body. Although brain tumors can still be life-threatening, advanced treatments have allowed Dr. Krisht and other neurosurgeons to be more aggressive in their approach.

“Nowadays, compared to 40 or 50 years ago, we’re way advanced,” Dr. Krisht said. “We can, in detail, know exactly where the tumor is and we can map it.”

Surgery is the most common treatment for brain tumors, while chemotherapy and radiation may also be used to shrink or kill the tumor or any remaining cancer cells. Dr. Krisht and the team at the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute believe that no brain tumor is inoperable.

“There is no tumor, at least in our clinic and our program, that goes untreated,” he said. “We never give up on a patient. If there is a way, we can safely remove it and we’re going to chase it.”

Led by Dr. Krisht, the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute is a comprehensive program incorporating all aspects of neurosurgery and the spectrum of neurological disorders. The team of experts are specialists in skull-base surgery, vascular neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, spine and spinal cord surgery, epilepsy surgery and surgery for movement disorders.