Brain Tumors

Am J Med. 2018 Aug;131(8):874-882. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2017.12.039. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Brain tumors are common, requiring general medical providers to have a basic understanding of their diagnosis and management. The most prevalent brain tumors are intracranial metastases from systemic cancers, meningiomas, and gliomas, specifically, glioblastoma. Central nervous system metastases may occur anywhere along the neuroaxis, and require complex multidisciplinary care with neurosurgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Meningiomas are tumors of the meninges, mostly benign and often managed by surgical resection, with radiation therapy and chemotherapy reserved for high-risk or refractory disease. Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor, with a limited response to standard-of-care concurrent chemoradiation. The new classification of gliomas relies on molecular features, as well as histology, to arrive at an "integrated diagnosis" that better captures prognosis. This manuscript will review the most common brain tumors with an emphasis on their diagnosis, oncologic management, and management of medical complications.

Keywords: Brain metastases; Brain tumor; Cerebral edema; Glioblastoma; Meningioma; Seizures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Glioblastoma / diagnosis
  • Glioblastoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Meningioma / diagnosis
  • Meningioma / therapy
  • Neuroimaging