Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Radiation Oncology


The role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the treatment of multiple brain metastases is controversial. While whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) has historically been the mainstay of treatment, its value is increasingly being questioned as emerging data supports that SRS alone can provide comparable therapeutic outcomes for limited (one to three) intracranial metastases with fewer adverse effects, including neurocognitive decline. Multiple recent studies have also demonstrated that patients with multiple (> 3) intracranial metastases with a low overall tumor volume have a favorable therapeutic response to SRS, with no significant difference compared to patients with limited metastases. Herein, we present a patient with previously controlled breast cancer who presented with multiple recurrences of intracranial metastases but low total intracranial tumor volume each time. This patient underwent SRS alone for a total of 40 metastatic lesions over three separate procedures with good local control and without any significant cognitive toxicity. The patient eventually opted for enrollment in the NRG-CC001 clinical trial after multiple cranial recurrences. She received conventional WBRT with six months of memantine and developed significant neurocognitive side effects. This case highlights the growing body of literature supporting the role of SRS alone in the management of multiple brain metastases and the importance of maximizing neurocognition as advances in systemic therapies prolong survival in Stage IV cancer.

Source Citation

Dahshan BA, Mattes MD, Bhatia S, et al. Efficacy of Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Patients with Multiple Metastases: Importance of Volume Rather Than Number of Lesions. Cureus. December 2017. doi:10.7759/cureus.1966