Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines on the Role of Surgery in the Management of Adults With Metastatic Brain Tumors.
QUESTION: Should patients with newly diagnosed metastatic brain tumors undergo surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), or whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT)?
RECOMMENDATIONS: Level 1: Surgery + WBRT is recommended as first-line treatment in patients with single brain metastases with favorable performance status and limited extracranial disease to extend overall survival, median survival, and local control. Level 3: Surgery plus SRS is recommended to provide survival benefit in patients with metastatic brain tumors Level 3: Multimodal treatments including either surgery + WBRT + SRS boost or surgery + WBRT are recommended as alternatives to WBRT + SRS in terms of providing overall survival and local control benefits.
QUESTION: Should patients with newly diagnosed metastatic brain tumors undergo surgical resection followed by WBRT, SRS, or another combination of these modalities?
RECOMMENDATIONS: Level 1: Surgery + WBRT is recommended as superior treatment to WBRT alone in patients with single brain metastases. Level 3: Surgery + SRS is recommended as an alternative to treatment with SRS alone to benefit overall survival. Level 3: It is recommended that SRS alone be considered equivalent to surgery + WBRT.
QUESTION: Should patients with recurrent metastatic brain tumors undergo surgical resection?
RECOMMENDATION: Level 3: Craniotomy is recommended as a treatment for intracranial recurrence after initial surgery or SRS.
QUESTION A: Does the surgical technique (en bloc resection or piecemeal resection) affect recurrence?
RECOMMENDATION: Level 3: En bloc tumor resection, as opposed to piecemeal resection, is recommended to decrease the risk of postoperative leptomeningeal disease when resecting single brain metastases.
QUESTION B: Does the extent of surgical resection (gross total resection or subtotal resection) affect recurrence?
RECOMMENDATION: Level 3: Gross total resection is recommended over subtotal resection in recursive partitioning analysis class I patients to improve overall survival and prolong time to recurrence. The full guideline can be found at https://www.cns.org/guidelines/guidelines-treatment-adults-metastatic-brain-tumors/chapter_2.