Study Finds Brain Tumor Treatment Can Vary Greatly

By Carol Hyman, UCSF News Services | February 2, 2005

Primary malignant brain tumors are not very common -- about 9,000 patients diagnosed per year -- and are associated with a poor prognosis. Treatment of these patients varies greatly among academic and community centers and can be in conflict with accepted guidelines of care, according to a new study.

Findings are reported in the February 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in an article titled "Malignant Glioma Patterns of Care."

UCSF Medical Center neuro-oncologist Susan Chang, MD, lead author, says the information gathered from this study will be of substantial benefit to both patients and physicians. The study surveyed close to 800 patients over a two-and-a-half-year period at 52 clinical sites throughout the United States and Canada.

"Our goal in neuro-oncology is to improve the duration and quality of survival of our patients," Chang says. "Providing up-to-date information on the treatment of these patients is very important and a major challenge. Specialists in the neuro-oncology field communicate well with each other, but we need to partner with other healthcare providers, including emergency physicians, primary physicians, neurologists and oncologists in the community, so that the optimum care is provided."


Read more at Carol Hyman, UCSF News Services