Brain Metastases

"Not all patients are candidates for surgery, and that is why it is essential to have a multidisciplinary team that jointly values each patient and establishes a personalized treatment".


Brain metastases are the most common brain tumors in adults.

The types of tumors that most often develop brain metastases are melanoma, lung cancer, breast cancer and kidney cancer. While breast and kidney carcinomas tend to cause single metastases, melanoma and lung cancer produce multiple metastases.

They are more common in men than in women, with the average age of onset being between 50 and 70 years.


Second Opinion,
peace of mind

Request a second opinion from our professionals with great experience in the diagnosis and treatment of oncological diseases

In 3 days, without leaving home.

What are the symptoms of brain metastases?

Symptoms may vary depending on where the tumor is located in the brain, because each brain region controls different functions.

However, there are some common symptoms related to increased pressure in the brain.

  • Headache.
  • Changes in ability to think and understand.
  • Emotional changes.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Changes in the vision.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Convulsions.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Changes in sensory abilities (smell, taste, hearing, etc.).

The most common symptoms are:

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Changes in sensory abilities.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a brain metastasis

How are brain metastases diagnosed?

<p>Dr. Zubieta en la sala de exploraci&oacute;n neurorradiol&oacute;gica&nbsp;</p>

The time interval between the diagnosis of the primary tumor and the appearance of the brain metastasis(s) depends on the type of primary tumor: thus, for example, breast cancer has an average interval of 3 years while lung cancer has only 4 or 10 months. 

Its diagnosis requires a thorough physical and neurological examination, so the diagnostic technique of choice is cranial magnetic resonance with gadolinium. In addition, an anatomopathological diagnosis of the lesion is required in order to make a differential diagnosis between metastasis and primary brain tumor (high-grade glioma, lymphoma) or even non-tumor lesions (abscesses, demyelinating and vascular lesions).

How are brain metastases treated?

The treatment of choice, whenever possible, is surgery. Its success is based on a good surgical technique in conjunction with the use of new technological equipment for the location of the lesion (neuronavigation), the location of eloquent areas (tractography and functional resonance), and neurophysiological monitoring.

The Department of Neurosurgery of the Clinic is the only national center in incorporating the magnetic resonance of high field (3T), that allows the maximum precision and control of the cranial surgery.

The objectives of the surgery are: 

  • To establish a histological diagnosis.
  • To alleviate the symptoms.
  • Achieve local control of the disease in the long term.

To carry out the surgery, the clinical situation of the patient, the histology of the primary tumour, the number of brain lesions and their location will be taken into account. 

The alternatives to surgery, when this is not possible, are holocranial radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery, which alone and/or in combination with chemotherapy, can achieve adequate local control of the disease.

Likewise, the recent creation of the Proton Therapy Unit will make it possible to treat brain tumors that are difficult to access or that are close to risk organs with the maximum precision and minimum toxicity possible. 

The commitment to translational research and multidisciplinary work enables the Clinic to be at the forefront of the use of clinical trials with oncolytic viruses and immunotherapy in this field. 

Where do we treat them?


Central Nervous System Tumors Area
of the Cancer Center Clínica Universidad de Navarra

In the Central Nervous System Tumors Area we offer maximum safety and efficiency in brain tumor surgery, being the first hospital with a high field magnetic resonance within the operating room.

We have a highly specialized team in the surgery of brain tumors, with more than 15 years of experience.

The individualized treatment of each case by an interdisciplinary team allows us to offer the best alternative to each patient.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Integral evaluation of the patient.
  • Cutting edge technology.
  • Expert professionals who are a national reference.

Our team of professionals