The role of chemotherapy (CT) for brain metastases (BrM) is still controversial. Limited life expectancy and presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) have been considered as contraindications for relatively aggressive therapies, such as CT. Nevertheless, more recent studies emphasise the possibility that in addition to historical nitrosoureas, also platinum derivatives, etoposide, teniposide, gemcitabine, irinotecan, topotecan and temozolomide can pass the BBB as they are active against selected BrM. Interaction of cytotoxic agents with other drugs may represent a problem in the treatment of BrM. By far, the most important factor conditioning the response to cytotoxic agents is the chemosensitivity of different tumours. CT proved to be effective in patients with BrM from lung cancer, mainly small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, choriocarcinoma and germ cell tumours. In these malignancies the responses to CT are similar to those observed in other metastatic sites. This observation, confirmed by many studies, contrasts with the theory, emphasised in the past, of the brain as a sanctuary. In fact BBB may be important in protecting normal brain tissue and micrometastases from CT, but not when BrM are symptomatic and clinically evident. The clue to the treatment of chemosensitive tumours is to assess the most active drugs and combinations. Cisplatin and etoposide was confirmed to be the treatment of choice in many situations (BrM from lung and also from breast cancer). Newer drugs are now on study: topotecan and temozolomide seem to be particularly promising (alone or in association with other drugs) in the treatment of various BrM (also from melanoma) and could represent an alternative to more widely-used drugs or as second-line treatments.
Controversies in the management of brain metastases: the role of chemotherapy / G. Landonio, A. Sartore-Bianchi, L. Giannetta, M. Renga, M. Riva, S. Siena. - In: FORUM. - ISSN 1121-8142. - 11:1(2001 Jan), pp. 59-74.
|Titolo:||Controversies in the management of brain metastases: the role of chemotherapy|
|Parole Chiave:||Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Brain Neoplasms; Humans|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/06 - Oncologia Medica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||gen-2001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|