Treatment of Brain Metastases From Melanoma

McWilliams, Robert R.; Brown, Paul D.; Buckner, Jan C.; Link, Michael J.; Markovic, Svetomir N.
December 2003
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Dec2003, Vol. 78 Issue 12, p1529
Academic Journal
Brain metastases from malignant melanoma have a poor prognosis, and treatment can be difficult because of rapid progression of the disease. To help define the treatment of this disease, we reviewed the published literature on brain metastases from melanoma. If a solitary metastasis is present, surgery might be beneficial, especially if systemic disease is absent. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a less invasive, attractive option for solitary or oligometastatic (up to 6) lesions. External beam whole-brain radiation therapy can produce responses and frequently palliates symptoms, but as the sole therapy, it is unlikely to eradicate brain metastases. Chemotherapy may be gaining a role with newer agents that penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Combined modality therapy appears to be the future direction of treatment of multiple metastases.


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