Background: A 44 years old female was diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer in February 2014. She had been diagnosed with left breast cancer in 2010 and had been treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy at that time. In February 2014, her MRI showed brain cancer with multiple metastatic nodules and peritumoral edema. After the diagnosis, she had craniotomy for cerebral tumor removal, palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Aim: Drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a major limitation in the treatment of brain tumor. So radiotherapy have been commonly used in brain tumor area. She presented to our hospital with complaints of severe side effects associated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy such as fatigue, nausea, headache and dizziness. To control side effects and improve tumor response, Korean medicine was used concurrently.
Methods: Her chemotherapy was planned to give CMF (Methotrexate, Fluorouracil and Cyclophosphamide) regimen, but she didn't take cyclophosphamide. Intravenous herbal pharmacounture (HP) -three times per week- was given alongside chemotherapy from April 14th till to July 16th. Several other tools of Korean medicine, including moxibustion, and oral herbal medicines, were also applied as symptomatic therapies. The effectiveness of the combined therapy was evaluated by MRI.
Results: The size of two metastatic tumors in right frontal lobe of brain decreased (8.37mm to 3.39mm, 6.71mm to 4.80) respectively. Furthermore, right cerebellar metastasis with peritumoral edema was remarkably reduced and the chemotherapy induced side effects were mitigated.
Conclusions: Based on these results, this case report suggests that Korean medicine treatment including HP therapy may be a complementary therapy for brain metastatic tumor.