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Metastatic (Secondary) Brain Tumors

A primary brain tumor is a type of tumor that starts in the brain. A metastatic or secondary brain tumor is cancer that starts in another part of the body and spreads to the brain. This is the most common type of brain cancer.

Any cancer can spread to the brain, but metastatic brain tumors are most commonly caused by the following cancers:

There are many treatment options for brain metastases. Your healthcare provider will decide the best regimen for you based on your needs. Your treatment also depends on if your tumor has spread to other organs. Treatment may include surgery, radiation or systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted therapies. It is common to need a combination of treatments.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves patients from across the country and around the world who have metastatic brain tumors. Through the Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, we offer a wide range of services and treatments. Our commitment is to care for each patient based on their needs. Our team will help make a precise diagnosis. This often includes modern molecular and genetic characterization of your tumor. We will coordinate an efficient evaluation with many specialties and providers, all under the roof of the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute. Our dedicated social worker is here to help with needs at home, financial support or guidance. They can also help find a rehabilitation center close to your home. We strive to offer tomorrow’s treatments today. Please ask about clinical trials.

We are proud to be part of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, home to one of just six Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants for brain cancer funded by the National Cancer Institute.