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Volume 21, Number 3, 2016

Current treatment options of brain metastases and outcomes in patients with malignant melanoma

Jadwiga Nowak-Sadzikowska, Tomasz Walasek, Jerzy Jakubowicz, Paweł Blecharz, Marian Reinfuss


The prognosis for patients with melanoma who have brain metastases is poor, a median survival does not exceed 4–6 months. There are no uniform standards of treatment for patients with melanoma brain metastases (MBMs). The most preferred treatment approaches include local therapy – surgical resection and/or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The role of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) as an adjuvant to local therapy is controversial. WBRT remains a palliative approach for those patients who have multiple MBMs with contraindications for surgery or SRS, or/and poor performance status, or/and very widespread extracranial metastases. Corticosteroids have been used in palliative treatment of MBMs as relief from symptoms related to intracranial pressure and edema. In recent years, the development of new systemic therapeutic strategies has been observed. Various modalities of systemic treatment include chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. Also, multimodality management in different combinations is a common strategy. Decisions regarding the use of specific treatment modalities are dependent on patient's performance status, and the extent of both intracranial and extracranial disease. This review summarizes current treatment options, indications and outcomes in patients with brain metastases from melanoma.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2016; 21(3) : 271-277

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