Brachytherapy in the treatment of recurrent solitary brain metastases

Neurosurgery. 1988 Dec;23(6):733-7. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198812000-00008.


Conventional therapy for solitary brain metastases includes radiotherapy and surgical resection in selected cases. Often, however, the metastasis recurs and limits the quality of life and survival of the patient. Once the metastasis recurs, therapeutic options are limited. Brachytherapy delivers a high total dose of radiation to a localized area, allowing reirradiation at the time of recurrence. Three patients with recurrent brain metastases treated with iridium-192 implants are presented; two of these patients had breast carcinoma and one had malignant melanoma. The implants allowed long term survival in the two patients with recurrent metastatic breast carcinoma. Unfortunately, the patient with melanoma did not respond to the brachytherapy and died within 7 months of implantation. The approaches to treatment to metastatic brain tumors and the rationale for using brachytherapy are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Breast Neoplasms*
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed