The whole-brain radiation may not improve survival

Dr. Hidefumi Aoyama and associates conducted a study in which 132 patients with one to four brain lesions were randomly assigned to get only focused radiation, called stereotactic radiosurgery, or focused radiation plus whole-brain radiation.

Brain metastases, tumors in the brain due to spread of cancers elsewhere in the body, occur in 20 percent to 40 percent of all patients with cancer and are associated with poor outcomes.

However researchers noted that rates of recurrence over a 12-month period were 47 percent in the dual-treatment group and 76 percent in the single-therapy group, the Forbes  reports.

For patients who have limited intracranial disease, the potential exists that WBRT could be replaced by targeted treatment, such as surgical resection or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which delivers high-dose, targeted radiation and has less long-term adverse effects than WBRT, Health Daily News reports.