Treatment options for brain metastases from melanoma

Rrobert R. McWilliams, Ravi D. Rao, Paul D. Brown, Michael J. Link, Jan C. Buckner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Brain metastases are a common complication of metastatic malignant melanoma, conferring an exceedingly poor prognosis. Diagnosis of brain metastasis often has significant implications for duration and quality of life, and management can be difficult due to rapid progression of disease and resistance to conventional therapies. This review focuses primarily on the published evidence for treatment modalities for brain metastases from melanoma, emerging technologies and outlines future directions for research. In summary, external-beam radiation alone appears effective in palliating symptoms. Surgical management of solitary or acutely symptomatic lesions appears to alleviate symptoms and provide the possibility of local control of disease. Stereotactic radiosurgery is an increasingly utilized technique for patients with a limited number of metastases and presents a less-invasive alternative to craniotomy. Chemotherapy alone is relatively ineffective, although combined chemotherapy with external-beam radiation is being investigated. Future directions include combined modality therapy, the incorporation of novel agents and careful consideration of the structure of clinical trials for this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-820
Number of pages12
JournalExpert review of anticancer therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Brain metastasis
  • Melanoma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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