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Open Access Hypothesis

Surgical impact on brain tumor invasion: A physical perspective

Thomas S Deisboeck1* and Caterina Guiot23

Author Affiliations

1 Complex Biosystems Modeling Laboratory, Harvard-MIT (HST) Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA

2 Dept. Neuroscience, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

3 CNISM, Torino, Italy

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Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research 2008, 2:1  doi:10.1186/1750-1164-2-1

Published: 2 April 2008

Abstract

It is conventional strategy to treat highly malignant brain tumors initially with cytoreductive surgery followed by adjuvant radio- and chemotherapy. However, in spite of all such efforts, the patients' prognosis remains dismal since residual glioma cells continue to infiltrate adjacent parenchyma and the tumors almost always recur. On the basis of a simple biomechanical conjecture that we have introduced previously, we argue here that by affecting the 'volume-pressure' relationship and minimizing surface tension of the remaining tumor cells, gross total resection may have an inductive effect on the invasiveness of the tumor cells left behind. Potential implications for treatment strategies are discussed.