Why Sen. John McCain’s Brain Tumor is Difficult to Treat?

Sen. John McCain’s brain tumor, glioblastoma, has a fairly grim outlook. Fewer than 5% of those diagnosed with glioblastoma survive to five years, and this cancer claims half its victims within 15 months. The followings are the reasons why this cancer is difficult to treat.

  1. The brain is relatively small and every part of it has important function. It is hard to cut wide and deep to remove the tumor. There are cancer cells that are inevitably left behind.
  2. Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancer that spreads rapidly in every direction and is the diversity of the cell populations.
  3. Blood brain barrier prevent drugs reaching the cancer targets.
  4. Brain is sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which damage the brain.
  5. There is almost no immune system presence in the brain.

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