Friday, August 17, 2007
Medical Reports: Healthcast: Better Brain Tumor Help
Being treated for a brain tumor is scary enough. Once the patients undergo surgery, radiation and chemo, they often take daily steroids to reduce the swelling in their brains, but it's those same drugs that can cause unwanted side effects. In tonight's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz tells us about a new option that may be easier and safer.
WSVN -- When Paul Glover was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he never thought he'd still be alive 10 years later and doing so much.
Paul Glover: "What everybody told me is, 'Yeah, life is over, pretty much.'"
After surgery and chemo, Paul's outlook was good, but the swelling in his brain took a toll on his body, and he had to take steroids to fight permanent damage, but the side effects were harsh.
Paul Glover: "It was. I didn't even feel like living. I couldn't walk, and half the time I would fall."
The steroids caused him to gain nearly 80 pounds and forced this once avid hunter into a wheelchair, so Paul was thrilled when he heard about a new trial therapy, known as HCRF, that would replace steroids.
Dr. Nicholas Avgeropoulos, Neuro-Oncologist: "We are getting good, good results with some astonishing results in certain patients."
Once it's injected, HCRF works by stopping fluids in the brain tissue and reducing pressure in the skull. It even helps the body naturally produce its own steroids to reduce the swelling without the side effects.
Dr. Nicholas Avgeropoulos, Neuro-Oncologist: "The quality of life is such an important and understated factor in patients going through cancer treatment."
Something Paul knows all too well, now that he's off steroids and on the new drug.
Paul Glover: "Getting off the steroids was wonderful. I cannot describe it. It's a big deal."
A big deal for someone who has a lot of living left to do.
Christine Cruz: "The therapy is still in the trial stages, and patients enrolled in the treatment receive injections of the drug twice a day. Side effects may include redness around the injection site."
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