A matched-pair analysis comparing whole-brain radiotherapy with and without a stereotactic boost for intracerebral control and overall survival in patients with one to three cerebral metastases

Dirk Rades, Stefan Janssen, Amira Bajrovic, Mai Trong Khoa, Theo Veninga, Steven E. Schild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background: Twelve years ago, a randomized trial demonstrated that a radiosurgery boost added to whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) improved intracerebral control (IC) in patients with one to three cerebral metastases. Overall survival (OS) was improved only in the subgroup of patients with a single metastasis but not in the entire cohort. The present study compared both regimens in a different scenario outside a randomized trial. Methods: A total of 252 patients with one to three cerebral metastases were included. Eighty-four patients receiving WBRT plus a planned stereotactic boost and 168 patients receiving WBRT alone were individually matched 1:2 for nine factors including fractionation of WBRT, age, gender, performance score, primary tumor, number of cerebral metastases, extracerebral metastases, recursive partitioning analysis class, and time between cancer diagnosis and WBRT. Each group of three patients was required to match for all nine factors. Both groups were compared for IC and OS. Results: IC rates at 6, 12, 18 and 24months were 88, 71, 45 and 22% after WBRT plus stereotactic boost vs. 75, 48, 38 and 22% after WBRT alone (p=0.005). OS rates at 6, 12, 18 and 24months were 76, 53, 32 and 25% after WBRT plus stereotactic boost and 67, 45, 29 and 20% after WBRT alone (p=0.10). In patients with a single lesion, OS rates were also not significantly different (p=0.12). Conclusions: Similar to the previous randomized trial from 2004, this matched-pair study showed that a stereotactic boost in addition to WBRT significantly improved IC but not OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 24 2017



  • Cerebral metastases
  • Intracerebral control
  • Overall survival
  • Stereotactic boost
  • Whole-brain radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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