Historically, whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) has served as the mainstay in the treatment of brain metastases over the past 65 years and is administered with 2 goals in mind: (1) to provide effective palliation of symptomatic brain metastases and (2) to sterilize occult microscopic disease. In the past 2 decades, WBRT has been used in the adjuvant setting following surgery to improve local control at the resection cavity and distant control in the brain. Following the adoption of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of brain metastasis in the mid-1990s, WBRT also has been used with SRS as an adjuvant treatment with similar goals in mind.
Chang EL. Preserving Neurocognition in Patients With Brain Metastases. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(2):269-270. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3944