When a malignant tumor spreads to the brain, its concurrent growth outside of the central nervous system (CNS) and the devastating effects of cerebral metastases often cancel all therapeutic attempts. The disappointing results commonly achieved in the management of intracranial metastases are only partly explained by the low efficacy of available therapeutic modalities. Support therapy plays a major role in the management of patients harboring cerebral metastases. Corticosteroids and osmotic agents can rapidly improve neurological symptoms, allowing a rapid, even if frequently brief, amelioration of the quality of life. Immunotherapy cannot be considered as an effective therapeutic tool for metastatic brain tumors. For many years chemotherapy has been thought inadequate treatment for both controlling the growth of metastases and improving neurological impairment. However, new concepts of multimodality therapy of primary CNS tumors seem to be applicable even to intracranial metastases. In combination with corticosteroids and radiation therapy, nitrosourea compounds (BCNU and CCNU) proved to be effective in more than 1/3 of patients in prolonging survival. New possibilities of improving available results are expected from new antiproliferative drugs (cisplatin) and from new modalities of administering conventional cytotoxic agents (intra-arterial route).
|Translated title of the contribution||Chemotherapy, immunotherapy and support therapy in metastatic brain tumors|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1984|
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