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New Treatment Guidelines for Patients With Brain Metastases

January 21, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Neuroradiology
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The first national evidence-based, multidisciplinary guidelines for treating brain metastases are now available from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). The guidelines came out in late 2009 as an important new tool for treating people with brain tumors. Brain metastases, or tumors which spread to the brain from other parts of the body, occur in roughly 10 to 30 percent of adult cancers, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“A decade ago, a brain metastasis diagnosis was a death sentence,” said David Andrews, MD, who served as a member of the guidelines taskforce. “Until now, there has been no formally adopted way to treat these patients. Physicians also lacked a critical central resource of treatment regimens offering the best results. These new evidence-based guidelines offer us the opportunity to discuss with our patients the best available treatment option for them.”

The new guidelines address whole brain radiation therapy, partial brain radiation and chemotherapy, surgical resection, and other treatments. They also include:

  • A range of therapeutic options for treating brain metastases
  • The existing evidence used to guide decision-making and its limitations
  • The range of diversity in practice patterns and the various demographic factors that influence clinical decisions
  • The impact of expert reviews of published clinical evidence on practice regarding treatment options for brain metastases

The guidelines are published in a special issue of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

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