Treatment Options for Metastatic Brain Tumors

For patients with advanced stage cancer, the brain is among the most common sites to which a primary tumor can spread. In these cases, doctors take a number of factors into consideration such as the type of primary cancer, the location of the metastatic tumor within the brain and the current health condition of the patient, before determining a treatment plan. Below is an overview of treatment options you may consider.

Surgery: Patients with an easily accessible single metastatic brain tumor are the best candidates for surgery. Surgery generally requires a hospital stay and recovery period.

Whole-brain radiation therapy: This is the most common approach to treating metastatic brain tumors. During the procedure, patients are treated with daily radiation treatments that aim to shrink brain tumors to relieve symptoms. This method does not completely eliminate tumors, but is often paired with other treatment options.

Stereotactic radiosurgery: Stereotactic radiosurgery is another form of radiation therapy that is ideal for patients who require a noninvasive option or have one or more surgically inoperable tumors. During treatment, high dose radiation beams are delivered to metastatic brain lesions with pinpoint precision. 

St. Louis CyberKnife treats metastatic brain tumors using the CyberKnife® system, an advanced technology that delivers stereotactic radiosurgery. Treatment is completed within five outpatient sessions and the majority of patients experience few to no side effects. To learn more about how CyberKnife treats brain tumors, read our blog series.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.