Metastatic brain cancer is a form of cancer that has spread from a primary tumor location elsewhere to the brain. Brain metastases occur in 20 to 40% of cancer patients with an estimated 98,000 to 170,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. The symptoms of metastatic brain cancer vary depending upon the exact location and size of the tumor, but most symptoms result from increased pressure within the brain.
The treatment for metastatic brain cancer generally depends on the type of primary cancer; the size, location and number of tumors; the patient’s health; and the type of treatment used in the past. The current standard of care for treatment is whole-brain radiation therapy with or without tumor resection surgery. Such treatment can reduce neurologic symptoms, but the median survival following whole-brain radiation therapy is only 3 to 6 months, demonstrating the substantial unmet medical need.
There is currently no chemotherapy drug approved for use in brain metastases.