Brain metastases the challenge of contemporary oncology

Original Article, Pol J Public Health 2020;130: 5-7

Łukasz Rams1, Katarzyna Świtka2, Paulina Kamińska3, Bartłomiej Kulesza4

1 Department of Neurosurgery, AK Altona Hamburg, Germany

2 Med 1 Clinic, Hamburg, Germany

3 Department of Clinical Oncology and Chemotherapy, SPSK 4 in Lublinie, Poland

4 Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University in Lublin, Poland

DOI_disc_logo  10.2478/pjph-2020-0002

© 2020 Medical University of Lublin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial-No Derivs licence (


Brain metastases (BM) represent the most common tumours of the central nervous system with ranged between 2.8 and 14.3 per 100.000. Despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment of brain metastases, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy only 2.4% of patients will survive 5 years. BM causes a wide spectrum of neurological symptoms, such as hemiparesis, impaired coordination or walking, aphasia, and seizures. Despite the effective treatment of the primary tumor, in many cases, it does not protect against brain metastases. The main source of BMs in adults is, in descending order, non-small cell lung cancer, followed by breast cancer and melanoma and then renal cancer. Some malignancies particularly tend to produce “late” or “delayed” cerebral metastasis years or even decades after the anti-cancer treatment has been accomplished. There is still a need to develop more effective treatments for cancer and metastases to the brain.

Keywords: brain metastases, cancer, blood-brain-barrier, primary tumor.

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