In patients with brain tumor (BT), seizures are the onset symptom in 20-40% of patients, while a further 20-45% of patients will present them during the course of the disease. These patients present a complex therapeutic profile and require a unique and multidisciplinary approach. The choice of antiepileptic drugs is challenging for this particular patient population because brain tumor-related epilepsy (BTRE) is often drug-resistant, has a strong impact on the quality of life and weighs heavily on public health expenditures.
In BT patients, the presence of epilepsy is considered the most important risk factor for long-term disability. For this reason, the problem of the proper administration of medications and their potential side effects is of great importance, because good seizure control can significantly improve the patient’s psychological and relational sphere.
In these patients, new generation drugs such as gabapentin, lacosamide, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, pregabalin, topiramate, zonisamide are preferred because they have fewer drug interactions and cause fewer side effects. Among the recently marketed drugs, lacosamide has demonstrated promising results and should be considered a possible treatment option.
Therefore, it is necessary to develop a customized treatment plan for each individual patient with BTRE. This requires a vision of patient management concerned not only with medical therapies (pharmacological, surgical, radiological, etc.) but also with emotional and psychological support for the individual as well as his or her family throughout all stages of the illness.