October 8, 2021/Cancer

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases (Podcast)

Why it remains the mainstay for newly diagnosed metastases and tumors

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Advances · Stereotactic Radiosurgery in the Treatment Landscape for Brain Metastases


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

“Brain metastases are about 10 times more common than primary brain tumors in adults, so it is really important that medical oncologists and primary care doctors are tuned into the possibility of their patients with cancer developing brain metastases,” says neurosurgeon Gene Barnett, MD, MBA, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center. “The treatment options are better if we get to these metastases when they are smaller and/or asymptomatic.”

One treatment option is stereotactic radiosurgery, a minimally invasive intervention that uses targeted radiation beams to treat brain tumors and other abnormalities. In a recent episode of Cleveland Clinic’s Cancer Advances podcast, Dr. Barnett discusses the evolution of traditional surgical approaches for treating patients with brain metastases and the ability of stereotactic radiosurgery to deliver superior outcomes. He provides insight on the following:

  • Presenting symptoms of brain metastases
  • The range of treatment options, from surgical interventions to medication and radiation therapies
  • A step-by-step look at the stereotactic radiosurgery procedure
  • The emergence and promising results of neoadjuvant stereotactic surgery
  • The importance of combining systemic therapies with radiosurgery for tumor control


Click the podcast player above to listen to the episode now, or read on for a short edited excerpt.

Excerpt from the podcast

Podcast host Dale Shepard, MD, PhD: What does [stereotactic radiosurgery] look like from a patient perspective, in terms of what their experience is as they undergo the treatment and how well they’re likely to do? When I see patients in clinic and I tell them they have a lung met or a liver met, they’re not nearly as frightened as when I tell them they have a brain met. So how do we reassure patients?

Dr. Barnett: Well, I think that’s totally understandable because people understand the brain is who we are and allows us to do what we want to do. Many people know, or know of, people who have had brain tumors and have not done well. I think the point of reassurance is that we can actually do a really good job of controlling brain metastases these days with radiosurgery, to the extent that most people who have brain metastases don’t die from them — rather, they die of their systemic disease and their brain disease is under control. For the vast majority of brain metastases, the control rate is upwards of 90% to 95%. And with the staged technique, the control is typically durable. So, I think that giving patients the facts should be consoling. You don’t want to sugarcoat things, but the facts are that the outcome is actually probably a lot better than what they were thinking.

Related Articles

Blood clot
May 17, 2024/Cancer/Research
Managing the Risks of Venous Thromboembolisms in Patients with Cancer

Oral anticoagulants may be beneficial but need to be balanced against bleeding risks

Director of the Novel Cancer Therapeutics Center
May 2, 2024/Cancer/Innovations
Oncology Pharmacovigilance Clinic Expands Specialties

First-of-its-kind clinic for immune-related adverse events supports oncologists in managing severe side effects

Scrambler therapy for nerve pain
April 29, 2024/Cancer
Scrambler Technology Life Changing for Many Patients with Neuropathic Pain

Novel therapy “retrains” the brain to disrupt pain signals

Women's health physician
April 16, 2024/Cancer
Watching Out for Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

An underdiagnosed condition in patients with cancer

Fluorescent imaging during small bowel surgery
April 11, 2024/Cancer/Surgical Oncology
Fluorescence Imaging Augments Surgical Inspection and Palpation for Small Bowel Carcinoid Tumors

Study demonstrates superior visualization of occult primary lesions

microwave ablation of liver tumor
150-Watt, Single-Antenna Microwave Ablation System Demonstrates Safety and Efficacy

New device offers greater tumor control for malignant liver lesions

viral-induced cancer
April 3, 2024/Cancer
Mechanism of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) May Serve as Clue to More Effective Treatment

Cleveland Clinic researchers discover what drives – and what may halt – virus-induced cancer