Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:04

Brain stem and spinal cord tumors

sistema nervoso centrale
The brain is the most complex and important organ within the human body, and it coordinates all vital functions such as breathing and heart. It is the "source of our thoughts, feelings and senses".

Irradiate the brain tissue when it ist he seat of a complicated tumour, as there is high risk of damaging sensitive structures such as the brain tissue itself, eyes, optic nerves, the acoustic centers that are located close to the tumour.

Radiation doses administered to the tumour may cause permanent health complications after the treatment has been completed since they may also affect close healthy tissues, and this can significantly reduce the quality of patients life which, even if cured from brain tumour, suffer of the damages resulting from it.

Hadrontherapy reduces the exposure to radiation of the surrounding tumour tissue compared to conventional radiotherapy, thus preserving vision, hearing, intellectual capacity, and endocrine functions.

This is due the physical characteristics of the particles that allow the delivery of high doses to the tumour while minimizing the dose to the surrounding organs, travelling through the healthy tissue without disturbing it and then gradually slow down and transferring energy to the tissues, resulting in a great transfer of energy to the ill tissues, called the Bragg peak, abruptly falling to zero beyond it, resulting in no damage around.

What tumours we treat:
  • Low-degree gliomas. For these tumours with low growth rate, the most interesting aspect of the use of protons is the substantial reduction of the dose to healthy tissues surrounding the target and a halving of the risk of induction of secondary tumours

The major experiences concern chordomas and chondrosarcomas, rare tumours characterized by slow growth. Also some mainly malignant or atypical meningiomas of this region have been subjected to treatments with hadrontherapy, as well as some benign pathologies.

Chordomas and chondrosarcomas of the skull base (and the cervical column) repreent a consolidated indication for hadrontherapy. High healing rates are reported for these diseases, thanks to the curing action of hadron particles capable to win the radioresistance of these tumours.
Also this type of benign tumour may benefit from treatment with hadrontherapy being well differentiated neoplasias.
What advantages:
  • Reducing exposure to radiation of healthy brain tissue
  • Reducing exposure to radiation of the brainstem and other sensitive brain structures
  • Reducing the risk of neurological and neurocognitive damage
  • Reducing to a minimum the negative effects
  • Return to life immediately after the treatment
  • Individualized Care with regular medical check-ups during treatment and post-therapy
skull base chordoma
Last modified on Thursday, 18 October 2018 17:21
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The National Centre for Oncological Hadrontherapy organizes guided tours for students from high schools, universities, research institutes and scientific organizations. Among CNAO missions, besides patients' cure, there is also education to research and innovation, as an effective tool to raise young persons' interest in their future professions.


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