The role of surgical resection in patients with brain metastases

Carmine M. Carapella, Nicola Gorgoglione, Piero Andrea Oppido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Treatment of brain metastases represent a critical issue and different options have to be considered according to patients and tumour characteristics; in recent years, new therapeutic strategies have been proposed. In this review, we discuss the role of surgical resection on the basis of patient selection, new surgical techniques and the use of intraoperative adjuncts. The integration with postoperative whole brain radiotherapy will be also outlined because alternative treatment options are currently available.

RECENT FINDINGS: Surgical removal has been considered the mainstay in the treatment of brain metastases, in selected patients, with limited number of intracranial lesions and controlled primary disease, mainly in combination with whole brain radiotherapy. In the last few years, the increasing role of stereotactic focal radiotherapy has deeply modified the indications to open surgical procedures and whole brain radiotherapy.

SUMMARY: The appearance of brain metastases is considered a sign of bad prognosis. Treatment of these lesions is important for quality of life, providing local tumour control, preventing death from neurological causes and improving survival, although potentially only in a minority of patients. Careful patient selection, with adequate evaluation of clinical prognostic score, the use of appropriate surgical techniques and surgical adjuncts are major determinants of favourable outcome in patients undergoing resection of brain metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-395
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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