How to treat brain metastases

Recent statistics provide new insight on the biology of breast cancer. For most women breast cancer is an incurable chronic disease. This conclusion demands a revaluation of therapy. Medicine still postulates that breast cancer might be cured with intensive chemotherapy. Recent studies suggest, that high chemotherapy doses  might not be necessary.

Women with chronic cancer carry a tumor which is dormant  most of the time. Dormancy may be initiated with much smaller drug dose than is given today.
First I present the two statistics which show that breast cancer is an incurable chronic disease. Once tumor recurs the only treatment  objective is dormancy induction. It requires small drug doses.

Women with brain metastases are incurable. They do not require such an aggressive treatment, yet will always get it. Even at this stage the objective is to cure by all means. Which is wrong!  Since the only objective is dormancy induction which requires a gentle therapy.

Small metastases trigger only cerebral edema which might be alleviated with mannitol or steroids. Once headache is gone tumor dormancy ought to be initiated, which is achieved with small doses of  chemotherapy, e.g., temodal. Meditation is an effective measure to reduce intracranial pressure, and to initiate dormancy. Only when gentle therapy fails to alleviate patient’s suffering, one may need a surgical intervention. Radiotherapy ought to avoided  since damaging the brain, and used only when other measures fail.

Overtreatment of brain metastases does more harm than good and affects the patient’s survival. In another  presentation I show that 15% of women with breast cancer die from chemotherapy overdose. All this might be avoided by abandoning the quest for cure  of  patients with recurrent cancer.