Brain Metastases Specialty Group Overview

Teamwork during brain tumor surgery is key to successful outcomes. Brain tumor surgery

People whose cancer has spread to the brain and receive care in the Mayo Clinic Brain Tumor Program are treated by internationally respected doctors who specialize in this type of cancer. Mayo doctors use the latest technology and techniques and develop a treatment plan tailored to your situation.

Innovation in diagnosis and treatment

To arrive at a diagnosis, your doctor may have you undergo noninvasive imaging, such as high-resolution MRI, MR perfusion or spectroscopy. Some imaging techniques may help distinguish cancerous tumors from benign tumors without a biopsy.

Your treatment for brain metastases may include:

  • Proton therapy. Proton therapy offers precise radiation dose delivery to the tumor target and protection for nearby healthy tissue. This is because proton beams, unlike X-rays, do not travel beyond the tumor. Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Therapy Program has treatment facilities at the clinic's campuses in Arizona and Minnesota.
  • Laser interstitial thermal therapy. This technique is occasionally used in people whose brain metastases are difficult to reach with open surgery. It uses a long tube (catheter) to advance a laser into the brain and kills the cancerous tissue with heat.
  • Surgery in operating rooms dedicated to brain surgery. The operating room for brain surgery is equipped with intraoperative MRI, which creates accurate pictures of the brain that guide the neurosurgeon in effectively removing only the tumor and protecting healthy brain tissue. This precision helps preserve hearing, language and other important brain functions.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery. With Mayo Clinic's advanced stereotactic radiosurgery system (both Gamma Knife radiosurgery and linear accelerator-based radiosurgery), your doctor can treat many brain metastases, including widely spaced tumors, often in a single session. You may need to wear a headframe during the process, depending on your situation.

Minimally Invasive Scarless Brain Surgery

Your treatment team

Your treatment team may include a neurosurgeon, a radiation oncologist, a neuro-oncologist and others as needed. Together they work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. Cases are reviewed by a large, multidisciplinary tumor board of experts to discuss the optimum plan of care. You receive comprehensive care for the diagnosis and treatment of your condition, with access to in-depth counseling, unbiased review of all available treatment options, follow-up care and rehabilitation.

See physician staff
Oct. 23, 2020