Latest News

Treatment of Spinal Metastases

Significant advances have been made in the  treatment of spinal metastases in recent years. Options have evolved from simple decompression surgery or conventional external bean radiotherapy (cEBRT) to complex multi-disciplinary treatments incorporating stereotactic radio surgery (SRS) and minimally invasive surgical techniques (MIS). This is important as 60% of all patients with cancer will develop spinal metastases and 5-10% will develop spinal cord compression. The aims of therapy for these patients […]

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Current Treatment Strategies

Trigeminal neuralgia (aka tic douloureux or Fothergill disease) can be extremely difficult to manage and can cause significant distress for patients with craniofacial pain. In this article, we will explore current treatment strategies to assist in treating patients with severe trigeminal neuralgia (TN). TN is characterised by paroxysmal excruciating, electric like pain lasting a few seconds to minutes. It is often triggered by sensory stimulus: shaving, talking, eating, drinking, washing, […]

The Role of Surgery for Malignant Glioma – Is it all good?

Surgery has an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with most brain tumours, including glioma patients with a suspected brain tumour are usually referred straight to a neurosurgeon for that reason. Traditionally, brain tumour surgery has been a core activity and skill for neurosurgeons, but better outcomes for almost all patients with brain tumours (especially gliomas/GBM/malignant glioma) are achieved when the patient is managed by a neurosurgeon […]

Why doesn’t the immune system work against Brain Cancer?

That is a VERY good question. Why would the body allow tumour cells to grow and destroy the normal brain? Isn’t the immune system supposed to rid us of foreign and destructive material? The immune system certainly is supposed to do this. It a highly evolved and finely tuned system that in general works extremely well. There are checks and balances built into this system which can go wrong – […]

Australian of the Year and Brain Research

Professor Alan Mackay-Sim was recently named Australian of the Year. This is a wonderful accolade for Professor Mackay-Sim who has been at the forefront of developing neural stem cell concepts, which potentially will lead to treatments for spinal cord or brain injury and many other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Professor Mackay-Sim has done his work in Brisbane, and his interest in this field stemmed from early research on […]

Quality of Life for patients and distress for caregivers

Homage to the Jane McGrath Foundation and Breast Care Nurses For patients with primary malignant brain tumours (glioma, low grade glioma, glioblastoma, GBM, oligodendroglioma) the maintenance of Quality of Life is paramount. Health-related quality of life is widely recognized in medicine but it’s assessment and maintenance in patients with brain tumours has not kept up with other more common cancers. This situation does not correlate with the problem – most […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

From all the surgeons and team at BrizBrain & Spine, we would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Next year we are looking forward to welcoming Dr Stephen Byrne to our Sunshine Coast Brain & Spine practice and the relocation of our Chermside clinic to a new location situated closer to Holy Spirit Northside Hospital. We will be running our […]

Funding into Brain Cancer Research

“The Age” newspaper has recently reported in the dire situation regarding funding for brain cancer research. The report used the example of a young boy with incurable brain tumour, and lamented the fact that survival for patients with brain cancer has not changed significantly in decades. Not only that, funding for brain cancer lags well behind that for other cancers despite the fact that brain cancer kills more young people […]

CMV and brain tumours

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus in our community. Most adults will show serological evidence of of previous exposure. CMV can cause severe disease, but generally this is only in newborns or in immunosuppressed patients, such as those people having had a transplant. In the last few years, it has become clear that CMV can be identified in brain tumour tissue – both in primary gliomas (glioblastoma, astrocytoma, GBM) and […]

Fear of recurrence – an unmet need

In patients who have faced a diagnosis of cancer, and then had treatment, a subsequent “Fear of Recurrence” can be a severe problem. There is a growing literature of this phenomenon in diseases such as breast cancer, but very little if any work has been done in the field of Brain Cancer. This is a typical scenario – a person is diagnosed with a brain cancer (glioblastoma, GBM, malignant glioma), […]