Secondary brain tumours, also called brain metastases, are more common than primary brain tumours. Up to 40% of all cancer patients may develop brain metastases, that in Europe account for up to 1.5 million people every year. The incidence is increasing, which can partially be explained by improved local control of primary and secondary lesions and/or improved detection methodology.
Brain metastases are most frequently derived from primary cancers localized either in the lung, breast, skin, kidney or colon. Treatment involves combinations of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and radiosurgery. So far there has not been a systematic attempt to develop drugs specifically targeting brain metastases, and often patients with brain metastases are excluded from new clinical trials involving metastatic disease. In the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Brain Tumour Research Centre, a focus will be to acquire more knowledge related to brain metastasis formation and to use such knowledge for the development of new effective therapies.
A melanoma patient with a brain metastasis localized in the frontal lobe.
More information related to brain metastasis is provided here.