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Surg Neurol. 2002 Aug;58(2):118-23; discussion 123.

Prognostic factors in patients who survived more than 10 years after undergoing surgery for metastatic brain tumors: report of 5 cases and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.



Although the overall prognosis of patients with metastatic brain tumors is dismal, a small number survive longer than 10 years after craniotomy. We report 5 patients who survived for more than 10 years after undergoing treatment for metastatic brain tumor.


The 5 patients who survived for more than 10 years after undergoing craniotomy were among 56 consecutively treated patients with solitary metastatic brain tumors. We retrospectively examined their clinical course, treatment, and variables associated with their longer survival and compared these 5 patients with other reported cases of metastatic brain tumor.


The histologic tumor types and the sites of origin of the primary tumor varied: two were from lung cancer and one each was from colon cancer, renal cell, and cervical carcinoma of the uterus. Common features among the long-term survivors were: systemic disease was absent, the metastatic tumor was located in the non-eloquent area of the non-dominant hemisphere, they were in good neurologic condition before surgery, there was a long interval between the diagnosis and treatment of the primary lesion and the diagnosis of the brain metastasis, and the patients received postoperative irradiation/chemotherapy.


Aggressive surgical treatment may be justified in young patients with a solitary metastatic brain tumor, as long as they are free of active systemic metastases.

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