Clinical trials are studies designed to test the most promising new treatments. People participate in a clinical trial for a variety of reasons: to try a new and promising treatment method, to contribute to the development of future treatments, or to help find a cure. Most clinical trials require a patient to qualify with certain medical criteria. Some trials can be joined before your first surgery, others during radiation, others at the point of recurrence. You can ask your doctor if you are eligible for a trial, or get a second opinion at any time.
Radiation therapy attempts to destroy tumor cells by using high-energy radiation focused onto the tumor to destroy the tumor cells' ability to function and replicate. Radiosurgery is a nonsurgical procedure that delivers a single high dose of precisely targeted radiation using highly focused gamma-ray or X-ray beams that converge on the specific area or areas of the brain where the tumor or other abnormality is located, minimizing the amount of radiation to healthy brain tissue. Equipment used to do radiosurgery varies in its radiation source; a gamma knife uses focused gamma rays, and a linear accelerator uses photons, while heavy-charged particle radiosurgery uses a proton beam. Tomotherapy is a type of radiotherapy in which radiation is delivered in a highly precise and individualized manner that minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue; it has also been used to treat brain cancer.