Radiation Therapy for Brain Metastases: An ASTRO Clinical Practice Guideline

Vinai Gondi, Glenn Bauman, Lisa Bradfield, Stuart H. Burri, Alvin R. Cabrera, Danielle A. Cunningham, Bree R. Eaton, Jona A. Hattangadi‐Gluth, Michelle M. Kim, Rupesh Kotecha, Lianne Kraemer, Jing Li, Seema Nagpal, Chad G. Rusthoven, John H. Suh, Wolfgang A. Tomé, Tony J.C. Wang, Alexandra S. Zimmer, Mateo Ziu, Paul D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: This guideline provides updated evidence-based recommendations addressing recent developments in the management of patients with brain metastases, including advanced radiation therapy techniques such as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and hippocampal avoidance whole brain radiation therapy and the emergence of systemic therapies with central nervous system activity. Methods: The American Society for Radiation Oncology convened a task force to address 4 key questions focused on the radiotherapeutic management of intact and resected brain metastases from nonhematologic solid tumors. The guideline is based on a systematic review provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Recommendations were created using a predefined consensus-building methodology and system for grading evidence quality and recommendation strength. Results: Strong recommendations are made for SRS for patients with limited brain metastases and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2. Multidisciplinary discussion with neurosurgery is conditionally recommended to consider surgical resection for all tumors causing mass effect and/or that are greater than 4 cm. For patients with symptomatic brain metastases, upfront local therapy is strongly recommended. For patients with asymptomatic brain metastases eligible for central nervous system–active systemic therapy, multidisciplinary and patient-centered decision-making to determine whether local therapy may be safely deferred is conditionally recommended. For patients with resected brain metastases, SRS is strongly recommended to improve local control. For patients with favorable prognosis and brain metastases receiving whole brain radiation therapy, hippocampal avoidance and memantine are strongly recommended. For patients with poor prognosis, early introduction of palliative care for symptom management and caregiver support are strongly recommended. Conclusions: The task force has proposed recommendations to inform best clinical practices on the use of radiation therapy for brain metastases with strong emphasis on multidisciplinary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-282
Number of pages18
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiation Therapy for Brain Metastases: An ASTRO Clinical Practice Guideline'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this