CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)
CNS tumors are quite rare and represent about 1.3% of all tumors. Tumors that form inside the brain but that originate from metastatic cells coming from other districts such as, for example, the breast, liver, or lung, are more frequent. The new cases of CNS cancer estimated in 2015 were 5,700 split between men and women (I numeri del cancro in Italia, 2015, AIOM).
A cancerous degeneration can strike anywhere in the central nervous system, and for this reason there are many types of cancer. The most frequent are gliomas, which represent about 40% of all primary brain tumors. Gliomas include subtypes that often take their name from the cell type affected (astrocytomas, glioblastomas, oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas). Meningiomas are very frequent (about 30% of cases), have a very slow growth, and are malignant in less than 55% of cases.
The manifestations of a brain tumor mainly depend from its location and size of its mass. Because each area is responsible for a specific function, the latter will be more or less affected with a great variety of symptoms. For purpose of diagnosis, in addition to neurology tests assessing cognitive and motor deficiencies, there are other tools available for brain visualization such as CT scan and MRI.
Surgery is the main therapeutic choice in brain cancer and allows for an exact histological characterization of the tumor, required to plan potential post-op treatments. Radiation therapy often follows surgery, but can also be used alone or combined with chemotherapy, whenever surgery is not possible. Modern radiosurgery techniques allow to treat primary tumors or brain metastases of very small dimensions, located in areas that cannot be reached by surgery, with millimeter precision. These treatments are performed at UPMC San Pietro FBF.
(Source: AIRTUM, 2016; AIRC, 2016)
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The UPMC San Pietro FBF Advanced Radiotherapy Center offers innovative radiotherapy treatments and stereotactic radiosurgery with advanced protocols of care for patients with oncology diseases.
The Italian division of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with facilities in Rome (UPMC San Pietro FBF, oncology radiotherapy and UPMC | Salvator Mundi International Hospital UPMC), Palermo (ISMETT IRCCS, organ transplants and highly specialized therapies and Ri.MED Foundation, research), Chianciano Terme (UPMC Institute for Health, preventive medicine and Medical Gym), Mirabella Eclano (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Villa Maria, oncology radiotherapy).
UPMC is an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. With its high clinical, management, research and training skills, UPMC is one of the leading health systems in the United States. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center UPMC's oncology network offering the latest advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment.