Treatment of metastatic brain tumors depends on the size and location of the tumor, its rate of growth, and considerations with your overall health.
Stanford Health Care is a sought-after referral center for leading-edge approaches to manage metastatic brain tumors. Our goal is to fully understand your symptoms and their impact as we work with you to develop your treatment plan.
The most common tumor management tools are surgery, radiation therapy, and medication (drug) therapy.
We are a global resource center for the management of metastatic brain tumors.
Surgery is commonly the first course of action in treating metastatic brain tumors. The goal is to safely remove as much of the tumor as possible and to relieve any pressure on the brain.
For tumors near areas of the brain that control speech or motor skills, your doctor may recommend specific types of surgery that helps us avoid sensitive structures as we work to remove the tumor.
Our doctors use an advanced imaging technology including intraoperative MRI scans and neuronavigation of the brain to more clearly distinguish the contours of tumors from healthy, sensitive tissues. That improves the safety and success of surgery.
Your doctor may recommend radiation therapy as a standalone treatment or as additional treatment to destroy any tumor cells that may remain after surgery.
We offer advanced options to deliver the maximum safe dose directly to the target tissue.
- CyberKnife is a robotic, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) system that delivers precise pulses of high-dose radiation to the target tissue, while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissues.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, sometimes referred to as IMRT, conforms the radiation beam to the contours of the tumor and customizes intensity of the radiation pulses to the various densities of the tumor tissue.
- Drug therapies that may help destroy tumor cells or stall their growth include:
- Chemotherapy: Drugs that destroy cancer cells throughout your entire body
- Targeted therapy: Drugs that disrupt tumors by targeting certain features on tumor cells
- Immunotherapy: This is the newest class of anti-cancer medications and stimulate the body’s own immune system to fight tumors
- Depending on the type of cancer you have, targeted therapy or immunotherapy may be a treatment option. Your doctor will guide with recommendations.
- If the tumor is causing certain symptoms like seizures, pain, or changes in vision, we may recommend medication to manage them. These medications may include:
- Anticonvulsants to reduce pain and risk of seizures caused by the tumor
- Steroid medications to reduce any swelling of the brain
Tumor Genomic Profiling
Some tumor types have specific genetic markers that might respond to certain medications. We will work to decode the genetic blueprint of the tumor to determine which medications may be right for you.
Our extensive range of clinical trials may allow you to receive a novel treatment before it is widely available.
Comprehensive Support Services
We offer multiple support services to help you and your family manage the challenges that cancer presents.
- Cancer Care Services: With just one call to the Stanford Cancer Center’s program, a specially trained nurse will assess your needs and connect you to the right supportive care for you.
- Rehabilitation: We offer specialized physical and occupational therapy through the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center to help you maintain the best quality of life possible.