Brachytherapy for brain tumors


– Approximately 400,000
Americans are newly diagnosed with a brain tumor each year. Unfortunately, the tumors often come back, even after successful
surgery and treatments. KCTV5’s Carolyn Long takes
a look at a new treatment that’s a real game changer. – It’s just frustrating to hear, “Oh boy, here we go again.” – [Carolyn] Shannan Achens
was only 30 years old when she was first diagnosed with a low-grade glioma brain tumor. She had her first brain
surgery in ’03, again in 2013, and this past December, Shannan could just tell it was bad. – I’ve always experienced what
are called focal seizures. It may be just a little
period of my vision may change a little bit. Just kinda like I feel
a little bit different for a few seconds or whatever, but I noticed that those were becoming a little bit more persistent. – [Carolyn] Shannan even got so confused, she went to the grocery store and couldn’t find her way back home. Sadly, because her tumor is
embedded in brain tissue, it is bound to come back. – I noticed that my gait
and some motor skills on my left side were starting to change, as well as vision problems. – [Carolyn] But this time
when Shannan went back to her neurosurgeon, Dr. John Clough at Menorah Medical Center, he recommended something new, a revolutionary radiation treatment called brain brachytherapy. – This is tailor made
for a patient like her. – [Carolyn] Shannan is
the first person in Kansas to undergo this surgically-targeted
radiation therapy, which basically involves
inserting a small collagen tile at the site of the tumor
after it’s removed, providing an intense treatment to target any residual tumor cells, thereby eliminating the need
for the patient to come back for the standard six weeks of
daily radiation treatments. – The beauty of it is it’s
tailored towards the patient. It’s designed specifically
for their type of tumor and the size of their tumor. – [Carolyn] At this point,
Dr. Clough and Shannan have been working together
to defeat this brain tumor for almost 20 years, so they’ve developed quite
a unique relationship. – [Dr. Clough] She had left the note. – [Carolyn] She even carved
this cut here message into her hair before surgery. – [Dr. Clough] It was very helpful. I knew exactly where to go. – [Carolyn] Shannan was
discharged from Menorah two days after that surgery, and now, six weeks later,
she has regained her energy and is even back to working out. – I feel really good. I mean, I feel, I just feel like myself. – [Carolyn] Carolyn Long, KCTV5 News. – That’s good to hear. Most patients experience
fewer side effects compared to patients who
receive other more traditional repeat radiation treatments.

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