Epilepsy in neuro-oncology: a review

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Maurizio Riva


Brain tumours, systemic neoplasia, epilepsy, anticonvulsants, treatment guidelines


Epilepsy associated with neoplastic diseases in any site is a poorly understood manifestation that has important clinical and social implications. This article comprises a review based on a practical approach to three main categories of the population affected: 1) seizure or epilepsy in patients with structural active neoplastic brain lesions (primary or metastatic): strictly and commonly identified as “brain-tumour associated epilepsy (TAE)”; 2) seizure or epilepsy in patients without structural active neoplastic brain lesions: peri/post-operative period for any other CNS oncologic surgery; vascular, paraneoplastic and infectious complications in systemic cancers; and 3) seizure or epilepsy in various other conditions of any cancer: history of a previous CNS tumour (but not expression of active neoplastic CNS disease) or toxicity of its treatments, mainly radiotherapy; metabolic and treatmens complications in systemic cancers, etc. These statements may be shared and spread among neuro-oncologists, general practitioners, medical doctors in emergency rooms and any other specialist involved in the management of such patients.

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