Brain metastases are a type of cancer that travels to the brain after starting in other parts of the body. It is a devastating problem with hundreds of thousands of persons developing brain metastases each year in the United States. According to a recent study by the American Cancer Society more than 1.2 million people in this country will develop some form of cancer each year. Of those, 20-40% will develop brain metastases.
Through our experience with thousands of brain metastases patients here at the University of Pittsburgh, we have noticed a radical improvement in patient outcomes. Previously, 80% of cancer patients who developed brain metastases died from the progression of their disease. Now, 80% of these patients can have their brain metastases controlled.
The tools we use to detect and treat brain metastases have improved dramatically over the years. High resolution CT scans and high resolution MRIs have allowed us to detect brain metastases quicker and more often than ever before. The Gamma Knife has proved a powerful, mimimally invasive tool in treating brain tumors anywhere in the brain, including those deep within the structure that were previously believed untreatable.
The course and videos accessible on this page discuss the treatment choices and management strategies regarding brain metastases.