Bevacizumab for the Treatment of Gammaknife Radiosurgery-Induced Brain Radiation Necrosis

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Abstract

Background:

Radiation necrosis is one of the complications of Gammaknife radiosurgery. The traditional treatment of radiation necrosis carries a high risk of failure, Bevacizumab is an antiangiogenic monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, a known mediator of cerebral edema. It can be used to successfully treat brain radiation necrosis.

Patient Description:

Two patients with a history of small cell lung cancer presented with metastatic disease to the brain. They underwent Gammaknife radiosurgery to brain metastases. Several months later, magnetic resonance imaging showed radiation necrosis with significant surrounding edema. The patients had a poor response to treatment with dexamethasone. They were eventually treated with bevacizumab (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks, 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks, respectively), and the treatment resulted in significant clinical and radiographic improvement.

Conclusion:

Bevacizumab can be successfully used to treat radiation necrosis induced by Gammaknife radiosurgery in patients with cerebral metastases. It is of particular benefit in patients with poor reaction to corticosteroids and other medications.

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