How to treat brain metastasis in 2012?

Département de radiothérapie, CRLC Val-d'Aurelle-Paul-Lamarque, Montpellier, France.
Cancer/Radiothérapie (Impact Factor: 1.11). 07/2012; 16(4):309-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.canrad.2012.03.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During the last French radiation oncology society annual congress, the therapeutic options for the management of brain metastases were presented. The indications and limits of surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy and whole brain radiotherapy, as well as their benefit in terms of overall survival, local control and improvement of the functional and neurocognitive status were discussed. The prognosis significance of the different phenotypes of breast cancer on the risk for BM as well as their roles in the treatment of brain metastases were also described. Surgery improves overall survival for patients with a single brain metastase and should be considered in the case of symptomatic lesions. The overall survival of patients treated with stereotactic radiotherapy do not differ from that of patients treated with surgery. These treatments should be mainly considered for patients with good performance status, one to three small brain metastases (<3cm) and limited extracranial disease. Whole brain radiotherapy is more and more discussed in adjuvant setting due to potential late neurocognitive toxicity. This toxicity could be improved with the development of techniques sparing the hippocampus. HER2+ and triple-negative breast cancer patients are at increased risk for brain metastases. Prognosis of these patients differs as the overall survival of HER2+ patients has improved with anti-HER2 therapies. The optimal combination of local and systemic therapies remain to be determined.

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