Management of Brain Metastases: Neurosurgical Considerations
April 01, 2007
Metastatic lesions to the brain occur commonly in oncology patients and portend a very poor outcome, as they often occur in the setting of progressive systemic metastatic disease and can result in neurologic deterioration that may preclude therapy. Therapy of patients with brain metastases requires a combination of measures to achieve local control at the site of metastasis (eg, with surgical resection or radiosurgery) and to reduce the subsequent risk of recurrences elsewhere in the brain (eg, with whole-brain radiation). Successful therapy of extracranial systemic metastases is required for optimal outcomes. Clinical trials are currently underway to define the optimal role of whole-brain radiation and radiosurgery in different subsets of patients. Novel therapies to enhance radiation responsiveness are also under investigation. In the current review, we discuss recent developments in the management of patients with brain metastases.