Whole Brain or Cyberknife for Brain Metastases?

Last Modified: September 18, 2013

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How do I know if whole brain radiation or cyberknife radiation is better? My doctor said both are an option. Are both as effective? Does one have more side effects or worse side effects?

Robert Lustig, MD, Pediatric & Adult Radiation Oncologist at Penn Medicine, responds:


I will answer assuming you have brain metastasis from a cancer somewhere else in the body. The choice of treatment depends on the number of brain lesions and the patients overall condition. In my practice I usually recommend focal treatment (Cyberknife or Gamma Knife) if there are 4 or fewer lesions and reserve whole brain radiation if it is needed in the future.

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