Solid Tumor Brain Metastasis

Utilization of genomics, imaging and rational therapeutic design to face the challenging problem of metastatic cancer in the brain across multiple cancer types


  • Brain metastases from solid tumors pose unique and difficult challenges:
    • Devastating symptoms for patients:
      • Headaches, Seizures, Vomiting, Weakness, Loss of Vision, Cognitive Decline, Personality Changes
    • Poor penetration of therapies 
    • Exclusion from clinical trials
  • Brain metastases are rising in incidence.
    • As treatment for systemic disease has improved and patients survive longer, they live to develop brain metastases.
    • Twenty to forty percent of all cancer patients will now develop brain metastases*.
    • Brain metastases are especially prevalent in patients with lung, breast, melanoma, and renal cell carcinoma cancer.
    • Survival for patients with brain metasteses remains less than 5% at 2 years.
  • Few therapies, trials, or programs exist specifically for patients with brain metastases.


  • Develop novel approaches to prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment gained through patience-centric, multidisciplinary research and care for patients
  • Develop a renowned, patient-centric, multi-disciplinary, stream-lined research, care, and clinical trials center for patients with brain metastases, taking advantage of many existing Duke strengths:
    • Neurosurgery
    • Radiation Oncology
    • Medical Oncology
    • Imaging / Radiology
    • Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program
    • Extensive Clinical Trials Infrastructure
    • Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center
    • Pratt School of Engineering


  • Prevention
  • Therapeutic development
  • Improved imaging and diagnosis
  • Clinical Trials
  • Improved quality of life improvement for survivors


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