Metastases involving the brain and meninges

Peter Hoskin and Wendy Makin

in Oncology for Palliative Medicine

Second edition

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780192628114
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730115 | DOI:
Metastases involving the brain and meninges

Show Summary Details


This chapter covers metastases of the brain and the meninges. Brain metastases reflects malignancy of the cancer disease; however, most metastases of the brain develop after diagnosis and initial treatment of cancer. Secondary neoplasms account for 20 per cent of all intracerebral tumours in adults. Cerebral metastases are often common in patients with lung and breast cancers and with Hodgkin's lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Cerebral disease is associated with reduced life expectancy with treatment, and if untreated it can cause death within a few weeks. Cerebral metastases is usually prevalent in the terminal phase of the disease. Metastases of the meninges or meningeal carcinomatosis is a serious metastatic syndrome that affects the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, and spinal nerve roots. It is prevalent in less than 5 per cent of cancer patients, but meningeal deposits have been found in twice as many cases upon performance of a post-mortem examination. Meningeal carcinomatosis is a result of haematogenous spread through the plexus of the veins associated with the axial bone, involvement of the adjacent bone, or from the central nervous system (CNS) itself. Meninges are common in patients with breast and lung cancer, melanoma, leukaemia, and lymphoma.

Keywords: brain; meninges; Brain metastases; intracerebral tumours; cerebral metastases; cerebral disease; meningeal carcinomatosis; metastatic syndrome; spinal cord; cranial nerves

Chapter.  4380 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.