Isolated metastases to peripheral nerves. Report of five cases involving the brachial plexus

Isaac Metter, Daphna Alkalay, Martha Mozes, David B. Geffen, Tovi Ferit

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    Background. Primary true isolated metastasis in a peripheral nerve trunk is considered a rare phenomenon. Several routes of tumor invasion of the peripheral nervous system from different types of cancer and in various anatomic locations have been described in the literature; however, the brachial plexus is an uncommon site of such blood‐born metastases. Methods. Five patients with severe brachial plexus neuropathy without obvious external signs of tumor masses and no detectable regional lymph node involvement underwent exploration of the plexus. Results. Isolated metastatic deposits were identified inside the nerve trunks. Radiation therapy to the area of the lesion provided good symptomatic relief to all patients and local arrest of the disease to four of five. Conclusions. Despite its rich vascularity, the Peripheral nerve has relative resistance to metastatic spread because there are blood‐nerve barriers. This barrier should be investigated further in a tumor model. Cancer 1995;76:1829–32.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1829-1832
    Number of pages4
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995


    • blood nerve barrier
    • brachial plexus neuropathy
    • nerve biopsy
    • peripheral nervous system
    • primary metastasis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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