The Current Role of Whole Brain Radiation Therapy in Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

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The incidence of brain metastases has increased in patients with NSCLC as a result of better systemic disease control and advances in imaging modalities. Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) has been the mainstay treatment of multiple symptomatic brain metastases for years. A number of recent publications have questioned its place in the absence of a survival and quality of life benefit and the possible risk for long-term neurotoxicity. Omission or deferral of WBRT and strategies consisting of stereotactic radiosurgery or delivery of systemic therapies alone are being proposed more and more. However, critical analysis of the literature shows that WBRT still has relevant indications in well-selected patients. Within this review, we discuss the place of WBRT in the modern management of patients with NSCLC.

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