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Oncology Essentials

Current Perspectives in the Management of Brain Metastases

Marlon Garzo Saria
David Piccioni
Joshua Carter
Heather Orosco
Tiffany Turpin
Santosh Kesari
CJON 2015, 19(4), 475-478 DOI: 10.1188/15.CJON.475-478

Brain metastases (BMs) are diagnosed in 10%–40% of all patients with cancer, and the incidence continues to increase along with the number of long-term survivors. When BMs occur, they are often associated with a myriad of symptoms, including neurologic dysfunction and functional decline; both are difficult to manage and can be distressing for patients and their caregivers. Although clinically significant findings have not kept up with the rapid pace of scientific breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms of BMs, novel approaches that affect the prognosis of patients with BMs have been introduced in clinical practice.

At a Glance

  • Screening for brain metastases (BMs) is not routinely performed in patients with no neurologic symptoms. However, screening is indicated in lung cancer and possibly in the context of high-risk cancers.
  • Individual differences in patients warrant a personalized approach in the management of BMs.
  • Whole brain radiation therapy and steroids are considered to be the cornerstones of treatment for BMs.

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