Brain Metastases

Brain metastases is a cancer that has spread to the brain from another site in the body, commonly the lung or breast. When a cancer spreads (metastasizes) from its original site to another area of the body, it is termed metastatic cancer. Virtually all cancers have the potential to develop this way. Whether metastases do develop depends on the complex interaction of many tumor cell factors, most of which are not completely understood. Symptoms include headaches, seizures, mental status changes, sensory and visual changes.

William Beaumont Hospital employs a multidisciplinary approach for treating brain metastases involving both radiation oncologists and neurologists to determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient. There are different treatment options for brain metastases, these include surgery, whole brain radiation therapy and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Surgery is usually an option for solitary or occasionally multiple lesions, in patients where the location is accessible and the patient is in good clinical condition and no other major medical conditions are present. Whole brain radiation is most often used when there are multiple lesions present. Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used as the primary treatment for a small number of lesions, usually less than four or after surgery as a secondary treatment after surgery. The advantages of Gamma Knife radiosurgery over whole brain radiation therapy for a small number if lesions is that the treatment uses very focused beams of radiation to the tumors themselves and does not damage surrounding normal tissue.

Gamma Knife vs. Cyberknife