A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “Effect of Radiosurgery Alone vs Radiosurgery With Whole Brain Radiation Therapy on Cognitive Function in Patients With 1 to 3 Brain Metastases: A Randomized Clinical Trial” has shown that the use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone, compared with SRS combined with whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT), resulted in less cognitive decline three months after treatment in brain metastases patients.

WBRT—irradiating the entire brain—has been a common treatment for brain metastases for decades. As the study states, WBRT’s effectiveness in tumor control has been established but it’s role as a treatment for brain metastases remains controversial due to its association with cognitive decline. The study is an important step in establishing radiotherapy treatments that are both effective and have less impact on cognitive function.

Dr. Tony Asher and Dr. Stuart Burri from the Carolinas HealthCare System co-authored the study. Watch the video in which they discuss their findings and the future of radiosurgery in the treatment of brain metastases here.