"In cancer research and treatment, there has been a lot of focus on associations that have not been proven, some of which have actually have been shown to be wrong," said Ka-Wei Tang, ., a doctoral candidate at University of Gothenburg, Sweden who worked on the study. "Researchers are starting to realize that we need truly unbiased methods to uncover meaningful associations. In this study, we take advantage of the opportunities offered by next-generation genetic sequencing, which has really revolutionized cancer research over the past decade."
"Inoperable is defined differently by different surgeons," said Sloan. "Its estimated that the mean number of brain tumors the average neurosurgeon in the . operates on is two to three per year. Subspecialists at major brain tumor centers like the UH-Seidman Cancer Center commonly operate on 60 to 100 brain tumors a year, and often certain individuals will subspecialize in various types. Thus while some complicated tumors might be truly 'inoperable' to a neurosurgeon in general practice who typically do many kinds of surgery, only rare tumors are truly 'inoperable' to subspecialists with specialized tools such as intra-operative MRI, stereotaxis, fluorescent imaging of tumors (. 5-ALA), laser interstitial thermotherapy (LITT), etc."
A biopsy can then be performed to identify the type of brain tumor and whether it is malignant (cancerous). During a biopsy, a small amount of the cancerous tissue is taken and analyzed under a microscope. A biopsy can usually be done during surgery in which all or part of the brain tumor is removed. Tumors buried deep in the brain sometimes cannot be approached safely. In those cases, a biopsy procedure involves using three-dimensional needle technique in which special imaging equipment guides the placement of a needle to allow cells to be drawn into the needle.