Brain Metastasis From Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

Adam N. Mamelak, Fredric Grannis, Robert Morgan, Jr., and Richard D. Pezner

Brain metastases from tumors arising outside the central nervous system are exceptionally common. There are an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 cases of brain metastasis each year in the United States. Approximately 30% to 60% of all brain metastases originate in a primary lung cancer. In light of the marked frequency with which this illness is encountered in general oncology practice, a thorough understanding of the principles of diagnosis and treatment is essential for all practitioners.

Lung cancers are primarily classified as either small cell or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with NSCLC representing more than 80% of cases. These two classes each have a distinct biologic activity and response to various forms of therapy and should therefore be considered as distinct entities from a clinical perspective. Only NSCLC will be considered in this chapter.

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