Brain and Spinal Cord(Brain tumor)

What is a brain tumor?


Malignant brain tumors are tumors formed by the abnormal growth and proliferation of cells within brain tissue. These tumors are often invasive and can spread to surrounding normal tissue.

Malignant brain tumors include the following types:

・Glioma: Tumors arising from glial cells, the supporting tissue of the brain and spinal cord. These include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and glioblastomas.

・Meningiomas: Tumors that arise from the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

・Medulloblastoma: Tumor arising from the cerebellum.

・Pineoblastoma: Tumor arising from the pineal gland.

Typical symptoms include headaches, nausea and vomiting, visual and hearing changes, memory problems, numbness and paralysis, personality and behavioral changes, and seizures. Diagnostic methods include MRI scans (providing detailed images of the brain to determine the location and size of the tumor), CT scans (providing cross-sectional images of the brain), and biopsy (taking samples of tumor tissue to confirm its properties).

An example of a proposed treatment for a brain tumor

Typical techniques and approaches include the following surgical procedures

Surgical Procedures

Craniectomy (craniotomy): surgery to open the skull, most commonly performed to directly remove tumors.

Stereotactic biopsy: a procedure in which a needle is inserted in a specific location to take a sample of tissue.

Endoscopic surgery: a procedure in which an endoscope is inserted through a small opening to remove a tumor.

Radiation therapy

External-beam radiation therapy (EBRT): A basic method of delivering radiation from outside the body.

Three-dimensional treatment planning radiation therapy (3D-CRT): A method that uses three-dimensional images to deliver radiation precisely.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): A more advanced method that delivers radiation at varying intensities.

Gamma Knife: A method of delivering a large number of beams of radiation to a tumor in a concentrated manner.

Heavy particle therapy・Proton therapy may also be indicated.


Oral: Drugs, such as temozolomide, are taken by mouth.

Intravenous: Drugs are injected directly into a vein.

Radiosensitizers: Drugs used in combination with radiotherapy to increase the effects of radiation.

Targeted therapy

Molecularly targeted drugs: drugs that target specific molecules or pathways involved in tumor growth and spread.