Optimal Management of Corticosteroids in Patients with Intracranial Malignancies

Karan S. Dixit, Priya U. Kumthekar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Corticosteroids have been essential in the management of brain tumor patients for decades, primarily for the treatment of peritumoral cerebral edema and its associated neurologic deficits. Dexamethasone is the drug of choice with standard practice being administration up to four times per day, however, because of its long biologic half-life and high potency, once or twice a day dosing is likely adequate in patients without elevated intracranial pressure. The length of corticosteroid treatment should be limited to the shortest period of time to minimize the risk of potential toxicities that can significantly affect quality of life, as well as to avoid a possible detrimental impact on survival in high-grade glioma patients and abrogation of the effect of immunotherapy. Agents such as bevacizumab should be considered in patients who are unable to wean completely off of steroids as well as those who have symptomatic edema and are on immunotherapy. Several other agents have been studied without much success. An increased understanding of the complex pathophysiology of peritumoral vasogenic edema is critically needed to discover new agents that are safer and more effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Brain metastases
  • Corticosteroids
  • Glioma
  • Immunosuppression
  • Immunotherapy
  • Myopathy
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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