Brain metastases care at Mayo Clinic

Team approach

People who come to Mayo Clinic for brain metastases diagnosis and treatment will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team. Your treatment team may include neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists, neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, rehabilitation specialists and other professionals as needed. Your doctors work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan and make sure you get exactly the care you need.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience diagnosing brain metastases, even the rarest types. They use innovative, noninvasive imaging technology, such as high-resolution MRI, MRI perfusion and spectroscopy, CT myelography and even 3D magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). MRE is a technique invented at Mayo Clinic that is now used to improve brain tumor surgery options. Some imaging techniques may help distinguish cancerous tumors from benign tumors without a biopsy.

After your diagnostic tests are completed, your doctors will talk with you about your treatment options. Mayo Clinic doctors are experts in all treatments, from targeted therapies to complex brain surgeries. And they use advanced methods and radiation technology that is available at very few medical institutions.

  • 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, your doctor can treat many brain metastases, including widely spaced tumors, often in a single treatment session.

Care focused on your needs

Doctors at Mayo Clinic provide care for you as an individual. They take the time to get to know you and work with you to provide care that fits with your goals and needs. And their collaborative approach to care means efficient care. In many cases you can be diagnosed and start treatment in just a few days.

Expertise and rankings


Mayo Clinic doctors trained in brain metastases (neurologists and oncologists), brain surgery (neurosurgeons) and radiation therapy (radiation oncologists) have experience in evaluating and treating people with all types of brain metastases. Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors diagnose and treat more than 1,500 people with brain metastases, including those with rare conditions and those who require complex surgeries.

Treatment expertise

At Mayo Clinic you will find doctors who specialize in brain metastases and work with you to choose an individualized treatment plan from the full range of options. They use an integrated cancer care model, which means they focus on restoring your ability to function and improving your quality of life.

If you and your doctor decide that surgery is right for you, you'll be treated by a neurosurgeon whose practice is focused on brain metastases.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic's world-renowned neurologists and neurosurgeons are respected for their experience diagnosing and treating brain metastases. Care for people with metastatic brain tumors is done in conjunction with Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a result of the high number of people with cancer that Mayo Clinic sees each year, the brain metastases team has extensive experience with rare metastatic brain tumors, such as those from prostate and ovarian cancers.

Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona., rank among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for cancer in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023–2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings. With the emphasis on collaborative care, specialists interact very closely with their colleagues across all sites.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

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Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.