Commentary (Needle): Long-Term Survival of Children with Brain Tumors
May 01, 1996ByMichael N. Needle, MD
The diagnosis and treatment of children with brain tumors has changed radically over the last 50 years. Cross-sectional imaging, CT and MRI, has displaced angiography and pneumoencephalography. These newer imaging modalities have facilitated early diagnosis, preoperative planning, and surgical approach, resulting in an increased likelihood of achieving complete surgical extirpation. The operating microscope has improved the experienced surgeon's ability to discriminate between tumor and normal brain, making radical resection more frequent. Chemotherapy has been introduced into the arsenal of the neuro-oncologist, albeit with only modest success. The one nearly constant treatment modality has been external-beam irradiation.