The role of chemotherapy in brain metastases

Hisatsugu Ohori, Shin Takahashi, Chikashi Ishioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain metastases are the most common intracranial tumors and their incidence is increasing. Untreated brain metastases have a very poor prognosis with a median survival of 1∼2 months. Despite the use of surgery and radiotherapy including whole-brain radiation and stereotactic radiosurgery to locally control brain metastases, survival times for those patients has not improved. Although chemotherapy plays a limited role in the treatment of brain metastases, metastases from lung or breast cancer are often well-controlled by chemotherapy. Accumulating evidence suggest that brain metastases are equally sensitive to chemotherapy as are metastases elsewhere in the body in particular chemotherapy-naive cases. Finally, since nearly a half of patients with brain metastases die from progression of systemic disease, control of systemic disease as well as intracranial disease are both important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-848
Number of pages9
JournalJapanese Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain metastases
  • Breast cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Lung cancer


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