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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 June;64(3):272-86

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.20.04952-8


language: English

Stereotactic radiosurgery in the treatment of adults with metastatic brain tumors

Boryana M. EASTMAN 1, Vyshak A. VENUR 2, Simon S. LO 1, Jerome J. GRABER 3

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 2 Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA; 3 Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Alvord Brain Tumor Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

Brain metastasis is the most common type of intracranial tumor affecting a significant proportion of advanced cancer patients. In recent years, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become commonly utilized. It has contributed significantly to decreased toxicity, prolonged quality of life and general improvement in outcomes of patients with brain metastases. Frequent imaging and advanced treatment techniques have allowed for the treatment of more patients with large and numerous metastases extending their overall survival. The addition of targeted therapy and immunotherapy to SRS has introduced novel treatment paradigms and has further improved our ability to effectively treat brain lesions. In this review, we examined in detail the available evidence for the use of SRS alone or in combination with surgery and systemic therapies. Given our developing understanding of the importance of primary tumor histology, the use of different treatment strategies for different metastasis is evolving. Combining SRS with immunotherapy and targeted therapy in breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma as well as the use of preoperative SRS have shown significant promise in recent years and are investigated in multiple ongoing prospective trials. Further research is needed to guide the optimal sequence of therapies and to identify specific patient subgroups that may benefit the most from aggressive, combined treatment approaches.

KEY WORDS: Brain neoplasms; Neoplasm metastasis; Radiotherapy; Immunotherapy; Radiosurgery

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