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Brain Tumors

The growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Brain Tumors

Adult Brain Tumors

An adult central nervous system tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain and/or spinal cord.

There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different parts of the brain or spinal cord. Together, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS).

The tumors may be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer):...Read more about Adult Brain Tumors

Childhood Brain Tumors

A childhood brain or spinal cord tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord.

There are many types of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different areas of the brain or spinal cord....Read more about Childhood Brain Tumors

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antiepileptic drugs for preventing seizures in people with brain tumors

Up to 60% of people with brain tumors may present with seizures, or may have a seizure for the first time after diagnosis or neurosurgery. The risk of a seizure varies with the tumor type and its location in the brain. Seizures are an added burden with a negative impact on quality of life, affecting activities of daily living, independence, work, and driving. Many doctors believe that antiepileptic drugs are effective and necessary to prevent seizures (seizure prophylaxis), but this practice has been put into question. Antiepileptic drugs can have adverse effects and they interact with steroids and chemotherapy.

Antiepileptic drugs for treating seizures in adults with brain tumours

Seizures are a common symptom of both primary and secondary brain tumours and can cause significant morbidity. The mainstay of treatment for seizures in adults with brain tumours is medical therapy with antiepileptic drugs. This review appraises the evidence for a range of commonly used antiepileptic drugs for the treatment of seizures in adults with brain tumours.

Drugs that target blood vessels in malignant brain tumours

The most common primary brain tumours of adults are gliomas, which account for about two‐fifths of all primary brain tumours. Gliomas span a spectrum from low to high grade and are graded pathologically on a scale of one to four according to a classification by the World Health Organization (WHO). High‐grade glioma (HGG), including glioblastoma, or GBM, is difficult to treat and carries a poor prognosis.

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Summaries for consumers

Antiepileptic drugs for preventing seizures in people with brain tumors

Up to 60% of people with brain tumors may present with seizures, or may have a seizure for the first time after diagnosis or neurosurgery. The risk of a seizure varies with the tumor type and its location in the brain. Seizures are an added burden with a negative impact on quality of life, affecting activities of daily living, independence, work, and driving. Many doctors believe that antiepileptic drugs are effective and necessary to prevent seizures (seizure prophylaxis), but this practice has been put into question. Antiepileptic drugs can have adverse effects and they interact with steroids and chemotherapy.

Antiepileptic drugs for treating seizures in adults with brain tumours

Seizures are a common symptom of both primary and secondary brain tumours and can cause significant morbidity. The mainstay of treatment for seizures in adults with brain tumours is medical therapy with antiepileptic drugs. This review appraises the evidence for a range of commonly used antiepileptic drugs for the treatment of seizures in adults with brain tumours.

Drugs that target blood vessels in malignant brain tumours

The most common primary brain tumours of adults are gliomas, which account for about two‐fifths of all primary brain tumours. Gliomas span a spectrum from low to high grade and are graded pathologically on a scale of one to four according to a classification by the World Health Organization (WHO). High‐grade glioma (HGG), including glioblastoma, or GBM, is difficult to treat and carries a poor prognosis.

See all (127)

Terms to know

Brain
The part of the central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium).
Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm)
A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
Neoplasm (Tumor)
An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Neoplasms may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Also called tumor.
Spinal Cord
A column of nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the back. It is surrounded by three protective membranes, and is enclosed within the vertebrae (back bones). The spinal cord and the brain make up the central nervous system, and spinal cord nerves carry most messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

More about Brain Tumors

Photo of an adult woman

Also called: Brain tumours, Tumours of the brain, Neoplasms of the brain, Tumors of the brain

See Also: Astrocytoma, Ependymoma, Glioblastoma, Glioma, Oligodendroglioma

Other terms to know: See all 4
Brain, Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm), Neoplasm (Tumor)

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