Brain metastases from malignant melanoma

Vanna Chiarion-Sileni, Rita Murr, Jacopo Pigozzo, Samanta Sarti, Ottaviano Tomassi, Antonella Romanini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metastatic spread of tumour cells detached from melanoma into the central nervous system (CNS) occurs haematogenously since lymphatic drainage is absent in the brain. CNS metastases occur in 10 to 40% of melanoma patients in clinical studies and up to 90% in autopsy studies. Headache is the most common presenting symptom, but brain metastases should be suspected in all melanoma patients with new neurologic findings. Magnetic resonance imaging is the best diagnostic technique for detecting CNS metastases. Median survival of melanoma patients with CNS metastases ranges between 2 and 8 months. The optimal treatment of melanoma patients with CNS metastases depends on the objective situation, often surgery, radiosurgery, whole brain radiotherapy and chemotherapy are used in combination to obtain longer remissions and optimal symptom relieve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-185
Number of pages16
JournalFORUM - Trends in Experimental and Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Melanoma
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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