This study investigated potential prognostic factors in patients treated with whole-brain irradiation (WBI) alone for brain metastases from relatively radioresistant tumors such as malignant melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and colorectal cancer. Additionally, a potential benefit from escalating the radiation dose was investigated. Data from 220 patients were retrospectively analyzed for overall survival and local control. Nine potential prognostic factors were evaluated: tumor type, WBI schedule, age, gender, Karnofsky performance score, number of brain metastases, extracerebral metastases, interval from diagnosis of cancer to WBI, and recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class. Survival rates at 6 and 12 months were 32% and 19%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, WBI doses >30 Gy (p = 0.038), KPS ≥70 (p < 0.001), only 1-3 brain metastases (p = 0.007), no extracerebral metastases (p < 0.001), and RPA class 1 (p < 0.001) were associated with improved survival. Local control rates at 6 and 12 months were 37% and 15%, respectively. In the multivariate analyses, KPS ≥70 (p < 0.001), only 1-3 brain metastases (p < 0.001), and RPA class 1 (p < 0.001) were associated with improved local control. In RPA class 3 patients, survival rates at 6 months were 10% (35 of 39 patients) after 10 × 3 Gy and 9% (2 of 23 patients) after greater doses, respectively (p = 0.98). Improved outcomes were associated with WBI doses >30 Gy, better performance status, fewer brain metastases, lack of extracerebral metastases, and lower RPA class. Patients receiving WBI alone appear to benefit from WBI doses >30 Gy. However, such a benefit is limited to RPA class 1 or 2 patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research