For Patients

Brain Metastasis

It is estimated that 9-17% of all patients diagnosed with a primary cancer will develop a secondary cancer in the brain. Depending on the size, location and number of tumors, brain metastases can be treated with very effective and aggressive new tools, resulting in an improved prognosis for many patients.

An increasing number of advanced minimally and non invasive treatment options are being “tailored” to meet the needs of the individual patient in the areas of neurosurgery and radiation therapy.

Brainlab is a leading provider of neuronavigation and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) technologies that are widely used to assist your doctor during the different treatment phases.

How Brain Metastases develop and promising treatment options

Contents: Brain Metastases: A Documentary

1. What are Brain Metastases?
Hear from patient Brenda Smith about her brain mets and their impact on her life.
2. How and why do we develop brain metastases? (3:07)
Learn which cancers are more likely to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
3. What are potential treatment options? (5:10)
Understand the challenges associated with chemotherapy for brain metastases.
4. Whole Brain Radioation Therapy (6:11)
Discover the history of conventional treatment.
5. Stereotactic Radiosurgery (8:40)
Appreciate the technology and techniques behind highly precise, tumor-targeted radiation therapy.
6. What types of stereotactic radiosurgey exist? (10:22)
Explore the first-of-its-kind tumor-targeting radiation system.
7. Linear Accelerators (12:18)
Investigate the different types of and benefits to stereotactic radiosurgery systems.
8. What is the difference between a frame-based and a frameless treatment? (13:18)
Discover the pros and cons of both invasive head rings and non-invasive patient immobilization.
9. CyberKnife Technology (16:31)
Learn about this robotic linear accelerator.
10. Multileaf Collimator (17:32)
Find out how technology allows doctors to conform the radiation to match the shape of any tumor.
11. Treatment of multiple metastases (19:03)
Learn about cutting edge technologies for single session treatment of multiple brain metastases.
12. Why is it sometimes necessary to perform radiosurgery in more that one session? (21:39)
Understand how tumors grow and treatment works on larger tumors.
13. Why is whole brain radioation therapy still performed today? (24:37)
Hear about current thinking and the outlook for whole brain radiation.
14. As a patient, what can I do to maintain the best quality of life? (26:09)
See how clinicians are working to turn brain mets into a chronic disease through technology and diligent follow-up.
15. Why is it sometimes necessary to perform surgery? (27:09)
Know the tools we have to effectively treat brain metastases.
16. Why is it sometimes necessary to perform surgery AND radiosurgery? (28:20)
Understand why in some cases the best treatment option is a combined approach.
17. How can I select the best and most appropriate care unit? (29:15)
Learn how to decide on the best and appropriate treatment for you.
18. How will the treatment of metastatic brain cancer evolve in the future? (30:25)
Gain insights into how future innovation in technology will further improve treatment options.

How Brain Metastases develop and promising treatment options

It’s estimated that 9-17% of all patients diagnosed with a primary cancer will develop a secondary cancer in the brain, called metastasis.*

A new and thought-provoking documentary explores the pathology, diagnosis and treatment of brain metastasis through interviews, animations and live treatment footage.

Neurosurgery with Neuronavigation

Open surgery is the most common treatment option for single brain metastases. A craniotomy is performed to remove the tumor or to halt its progress.

Brainlab neuronavigation technology is used to plan and perform open surgery such as tumor resection or brain biopsy with greater precision. Computer-assisted surgery (CAS) works similarly to a car’s navigation system by continuously tracking surgical instruments in relation to the patient’s anatomy. This gives the surgeon additional visual guidance and allows for a more successful and minimally-invasive brain tumor resection or brain biopsy.

Benefits of computer-aided surgery:

  • Supports minimally invasive approach
  • Avoids critical brain structures
  • Reduces risks and hospital stay


For the treatment of single brain metastases, which are often inoperable due to their position and the sensitivity of the surrounding tissue, Brainlab has developed a special radiosurgery treatment system.
Novalis® radiosurgery shapes the cancer-fighting radiation beam around your brain tumor, ensuring that the prescribed treatment dose is delivered to the entire lesion in a one-time treatment or a series of treatments based on your doctor’s recommendation.

Benefits of radiosurgery:

  • Frameless non-invasive treatment improves patient comfort
  • Treatment typically lasts just minutes
  • Reduces recovery times
  • Can be performed without hospitalization

Find more information here: Novalis Radiosurgery – Shaping Cancer Care

Patient Resources

Find a brain cancer specialist
Discuss the different treatment options with your physician. Ask him/her to present the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the later side effects, of each different treatment option available to you:

  • Surgery
  • Whole brain radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Participation in clinical trials

Getting more help

To support you in the decision process about the best treatment option for your brain metastases, discuss with your family, and also refer to further valuable information sources, such as:

  • Internet
  • Self-support groups
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Written information material

Take the time to be informed; this is your decision and you need to do what is most beneficial and reassuring for you.



Looking to explore cutting-edge technologies for the treatment of brain metastasis? Want a second opinion? Search our comprehensive database of Brainlab Novalis Radiosurgery experts for a facility near you.

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      *Nayak L, Lee EQ, Wen PY. Epidemiology of brain metastases. Current Oncol Rep., 2012 Feb; 14(1): 48-54.

      This section of the website is intended to a public, and notably patients, located outside France. Due to the international and borderless nature of the Internet, it is possible that this section of the website may be accessible by users located in France. Brainlab does not intend to make this section available to any users located in France, nor to advertise its products or services to such users.

      Cette section du site web est destinée à un public, et en particulier des patients, situés hors de France. En raison de la nature internationale et sans frontière d’Internet, il est possible que des utilisateurs, situés en France, puissent accéder à cette section du site web. Brainlab n’a pas l’intention de rendre cette section accessible à de tels utilisateurs, ni faire de la publicité de ses produits ou services à l’attention de ces utilisateurs.