Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines on the Use of Stereotactic Radiosurgery in the Treatment of Adults With Metastatic Brain Tumors.

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Brain metastases; Cerebral metastases; Radiation; Stereotactic radiosurgery


TARGET POPULATION: These recommendations apply to adult patients with new or recurrent solitary or multiple brain metastases from solid tumors as detailed in each section.

QUESTION 1: Should patients with newly diagnosed metastatic brain tumors undergo stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) compared with other treatment modalities?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Level 3: SRS is recommended as an alternative to surgical resection in solitary metastases when surgical resection is likely to induce new neurological deficits, and tumor volume and location are not likely to be associated with radiation-induced injury to surrounding structures. Level 3: SRS should be considered as a valid adjunctive therapy to supportive palliative care for some patients with brain metastases when it might be reasonably expected to relieve focal symptoms and improve functional quality of life in the short term if this is consistent with the overall goals of the patient.

QUESTION 2: What is the role of SRS after open surgical resection of brain metastasis?

RECOMMENDATION: Level 3: After open surgical resection of a solitary brain metastasis, SRS should be used to decrease local recurrence rates.

QUESTION 3: What is the role of SRS alone in the management of patients with 1 to 4 brain metastases?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Level 3: For patients with solitary brain metastasis, SRS should be given to decrease the risk of local progression. Level 3: For patients with 2 to 4 brain metastases, SRS is recommended for local tumor control, instead of whole brain radiotherapy, when their cumulative volume is < 7 mL.

QUESTION 4: What is the role of SRS alone in the management of patients with more than 4 brain metastases?

RECOMMENDATION: Level 3: The use of stereotactic radiosurgery alone is recommended to improve median overall survival for patients with more than 4 metastases having a cumulative volume < 7 mL. The full guideline can be found at:

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Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute