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27, September 2023

Treatments Available for Skull Base Tumors

A skull base tumor is an abnormal growth that develops within the intricate network of bones at the bottom of the skull, often requiring specialized treatment as these are closely surrounded by delicate structures like the brainstem, cranial nerves, and major blood vessels. Skull base tumors can be primary, i.e. they originate within the skull, or secondary, i.e. the result of metastasis. Common skull base tumors include meningiomas, schwannomas, chordomas, and chondrosarcomas, each arising from different tissues within the skull base. Fortunately, are a wide range of treatments available for skull base tumors in Delhi, with surgical interventions being the most commonly preferred modality. In this blog, we have elaborated on some of the highly recommended treatments for skull base tumors with the help of the best skull base surgery doctors.

Role of Surgical Interventions:

Surgery is a primary treatment option for many skull-base tumors, and it aims at removing the complete tumor or a part of it while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues and structures. The choice of surgical approach depends on factors such as tumor size, location, type, and the patient's overall health. Some of the surgical procedures recommended by skull base surgery doctors in Delhi, include:

  • Craniotomy: It is a surgical intervention in which doctors create a bone flap to make an opening in the skull for accessing & removing challenging tumors. This is done by removing a bone flap, which can be reattached after the tumor is extracted. The surgery has remarkably evolved over the years, especially with the advent of minimally invasive options like retro-sigmoid craniotomy and supraorbital craniotomy.
  • Endoscopic Approaches: Endoscopic techniques have revolutionized skull base surgery. These minimally invasive procedures involve the use of small, specialized instruments and a camera (endoscope) to access the tumor through natural openings like the nasal passages. Endoscopic surgery offers several advantages, including reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, shorter recovery time, and less scarring.
  • Transsphenoidal Surgery: This approach is commonly used for tumors located near the pituitary gland at the base of the skull. Through the nasal passages, surgeons access the tumor and remove it using specialized instruments. This technique is especially effective for smaller tumors.
  • Endonasal Endoscopic Surgery: Endonasal endoscopic surgery involves accessing the tumor through the nose and sinuses, reaching the skull base without making external incisions. This approach is particularly valuable for tumors situated in the front and middle cranial fossae. The endoscope provides a clear view of the surgical site, allowing for precise tumor removal while sparing surrounding structures.

Treatments Beyond Surgery

  • Targeted Therapy - It is a relatively newer approach that specifically targets the faulty DNA and proteins that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This can be used in combination with other treatments to improve the outcomes and alleviate the chances of recurrence. 
  • Radiation Therapy - It can be recommended as the primary approach or complementary treatment alongside skull base surgery. Advanced techniques like intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and proton therapy are preferred nowadays as these enhance accuracy while safeguarding healthy tissues.
  • Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy involves the use of powerful drugs to target and kill cancer cells. In the majority of cases, doctors recommend a combination of drugs, usually given intravenously.

The management of skull-base tumors has evolved significantly, offering patients a wide range of options to choose from. Treatments can be tailored with a personalized touch to ensure the best outcomes for the patients. The treatments have become more safe and more effective, paving the way for new possibilities. To know more about all these treatment options, consult India’s top skull base surgery doctors at IBS Hospital.

Dr Aaksha Shukla By -Dr Aaksha Shukla | September 27, 2023 | 9 Min Read

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