Better Brain Tumor Help

January 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Being treated for a brain tumor can be a truly harrowing experience. After surviving surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, many patients are administered steroids that can cause a host of unwanted side effects.Now, researchers say there is a new option for treating brain tumors that's safer, easier and better than before. When Paul Glover was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he never thought he'd still be alive and active 10 years later.

"What everybody told me is, life is pretty much over," Glover says.

Glover's prognosis was good following surgery and chemotherapy, but the swelling in his brain took a toll on his body and caused neurological damage. Glover took steroids to fight the brain swelling, but the side effects were harsh.

"I didn't even feel like living," he says. "I couldn't walk, and if I could, it would be about five feet, and half the time I would fall."

The steroids caused Glover to gain 80 pounds, and he was soon forced into a wheelchair which prevented him from engaging in his favorite activities, like hunting. Experts say these drugs are also associated with bone loss, muscle weakness, and anxiety.

Glover believed he was destined for a life of agony, until he heard about a clinical trial for a therapy designed to replace steroids. h-CRF is the first agent in 40 years that was developed to treat brain tumor swelling. h-CRF works by stopping fluids in the brain tissue and decreasing pressure in the skull. It even helps the body naturally produce its own steroids to reduce the swelling without the side effects.

"We are getting good results with some astonishing results in certain patients," says Nicholas Avgeropoulos, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in Orlando. "The quality of life is such an important and understated factor in patients going through cancer treatment."

After taking part in the trial, Glover is happy to be off steroids and on the newer, gentler drug. "Getting off the steroids was wonderful," he says. "I cannot describe it. It's a big deal."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Jacqueline Lorenzetti
Media Relations Specialist
Corporate Communications
Florida Hospital
jacqueline.lorenzetti@flhosp.org


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