Treatment of brain metastases in patients with melanoma

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Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of melanoma > Treatment of brain metastases in patients with melanoma

Melanoma has a high propensity to metastasise to the brain. Up to 50% of patients with stage IV disease will develop brain metastases during the course of their illness (25% of patients have them at initial diagnosis of stage IV)[1] and these are associated with a poor prognosis, with a median overall survival (OS) of 2.8 to 4 months.[2][3][4] Control of brain metastases is important since its progression often leads to deterioration in neurological function and quality of life and/or neurologic death.

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  1. Jakob JA, Bassett RL Jr, Ng CS, Curry JL, Joseph RW, Alvarado GC, et al. NRAS mutation status is an independent prognostic factor in metastatic melanoma. Cancer 2012 Aug 15;118(16):4014-23 Abstract available at
  2. Davies MA, Liu P, McIntyre S, Kim KB, Papadopoulos N, Hwu WJ, et al. Prognostic factors for survival in melanoma patients with brain metastases. Cancer 2011 Apr 15;117(8):1687-96 Abstract available at
  3. Fife KM, Colman MH, Stevens GN, Firth IC, Moon D, Shannon KF, et al. Determinants of outcome in melanoma patients with cerebral metastases. J Clin Oncol 2004 Apr 1;22(7):1293-300 Abstract available at
  4. Chiarion-Sileni V, Guida M, Ridolfi L, Romanini A, Del Bianco P, Pigozzo J, et al. Central nervous system failure in melanoma patients: results of a randomised, multicentre phase 3 study of temozolomide- and dacarbazine- based regimens. Br J Cancer 2011 Jun 7;104(12):1816-21 Abstract available at

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