IDH refers to isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation brain tumors, including astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas. The most common type of tumor originating in the brain are gliomas. Many gliomas carry a mutation in the gene for IDH1, an enzyme involved in cell metabolism. These are known as IDH mutation tumors, and often require different therapeutic approaches when compared to other gliomas.
Most IDH mutation tumors are astrocytomas or oligodendrogliomas. Both of these begin in the brain or spinal cord.
IDH mutation tumors are typically diagnosed via magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a noninvasive test that gives insights into the neuro-chemical state of the brain that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cannot. Though still in the research phase, our team is studying the use of spinal fluid for diagnosis for surgically inaccessible tumors.
Mass General Brigham offers all the latest treatments for IDH mutation tumors. Your care team may use one or more of the following approaches to give you the best chance at a successful outcome.
In surgery for IDH mutation tumors, your neurosurgeon removes as much of the tumor as safely possible. Following surgery, you may undergo radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to target any remaining cells.
Among the advanced surgical approaches available at Mass General Brigham is intraoperative brain MRI to ensure that as much tumor is removed as possible, even with tissue shifts that may occur during surgery.
Our surgical team is also skilled in awake brain surgery. These procedures are performed while you are awake but sedated. They enable us to monitor and test you in the operating room when removing a tumor near an area of the brain controlling language, vision or motor skills.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays, to shrink or kill cancer cells without damaging healthy normal cells around the tumor.
Mass General Brigham is home to the only proton therapy center in the northeastern United States, and brings unparalleled experience in treating benign and malignant tumors with this approach. In fact, we were the world's first center to harness the power of high-energy protons for medical care.
Chemotherapy uses drugs (given intravenously or orally) to destroy cancer cells. Your care team may employ chemotherapy in addition to surgery and/or radiation therapy to stop your tumor from growing.
Mass General Brigham is home to the only proton therapy site in New England and brings unparalleled experience in treating benign and malignant tumors with this approach. In fact, we were the world's first center to harness the power of high-energy protons for medical care.
Meet Mass General Brigham's multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons and other brain tumor experts.
Each year, thousands of patients from more than 140 countries travel to Mass General Brigham for medical care, second opinions and treatments unavailable anywhere else in the world.
Mass General Brigham is experienced in caring for brain tumor patients who are traveling great distances to our hospitals in Boston. Your cancer team here and our international patient services team will help you prepare for and plan the appropriate amount of time to stay in Boston for your appointments, treatments and any recovery time. During this recovery time in Boston or back home in your country, our clinical team will monitor your well-being and progressions to continuously optimize your treatment plan and symptoms.
Our international patients often have questions about everything from travel and lodging to scheduling appointments. Our International Patient Care Team is here to help. We look forward to making your Mass General Brigham experience as healing and stress-free as possible.
Learn more about our neuro-oncology expertise.