Substantial research on brain tumors is being performed to improve the understanding of the causes of the condition, diagnosis and treatment. The effort is being supported by the U.S. government and involves the collaboration of nonprofit groups, the pharmaceutical industry and private organizations such as the Florida Hospital Neuroscience Institute.
The National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute coordinate research on brain tumors to develop a comprehensive database that combines clinical, molecular and genetic facts.
Clinical trials on brain tumors study a wide spectrum of aspects of the condition. Among new treatment options being examined are drug therapies, biologic immuno-agents, gene therapy, radiation and surgical techniques. The largest study ever performed on brain tumors is collecting the analysis of samples from brain tumor patients so doctors may access a wide array of genetic and molecular data on all types of brain tumors.
Computer models that model the behavior of brain tumors may further speed the discovery of new treatment options. In addition, scientists are seeking ways to boost the immune system to help fight tumor cells, developing therapies to target tumors without damaging normal cells, using viruses to disable tumors, and experimenting electric field treatments.