ACR Appropriateness Criteria® follow-up and retreatment of brain metastases.
ABSTRACT Multiple options for retreatment are available, which include whole-brain radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, surgery, chemotherapy, and supportive care. Size, number, timing, location, histology, performance status, and extracranial disease status all need to be carefully considered when choosing a treatment modality. There are no randomized trials examining the retreatment of brain metastases. Repeat whole-brain radiation has been examined in a single-institution experience, showing the potential for clinical responses in selected patients. Local control rates as high as 91% using stereotactic radiosurgery for relapses after whole-brain radiation are reported. Surgery can be indicated in progressive and/or hemorrhagic lesions causing mass effect. The role of chemotherapy in the recurrent setting is limited but some agents may have activity on the basis of experiences on a smaller scale. Supportive care continues to be an important option, especially in those with a poor prognosis. Follow-up for brain metastases patients is discussed, examining the modality, frequency of imaging, and imaging options in differentiating treatment effect from recurrence. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every 2 years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of the current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In instances where evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Dispersion of tumors throughout the body is a neoplastic process responsible for the vast majority of deaths from cancer. Despite disseminating to distant organs as malignant scouts, most tumor cells fail to remain viable after their arrival. The physiologic microenvironment of the brain must become a tumor-favorable microenvironment for successful metastatic colonization by circulating breast cancer cells. Bidirectional interplay of breast cancer cells and native brain cells in metastasis is poorly understood and rarely studied. We had the rare opportunity to investigate uncommonly available specimens of matched fresh breast-to-brain metastases tissue and derived cells from patients undergoing neurosurgical resection. We hypothesized that, to metastasize, breast cancers may escape their normative genetic constraints by accommodating and coinhabiting the neural niche. This acquisition or expression of brain-like properties by breast cancer cells could be a malignant adaptation required for brain colonization. Indeed, we found breast-to-brain metastatic tissue and cells displayed a GABAergic phenotype similar to that of neuronal cells. The GABAA receptor, GABA transporter, GABA transaminase, parvalbumin, and reelin were all highly expressed in breast cancer metastases to the brain. Proliferative advantage was conferred by the ability of breast-to-brain metastases to take up and catabolize GABA into succinate with the resultant formation of NADH as a biosynthetic source through the GABA shunt. The results suggest that breast cancers exhibit neural characteristics when occupying the brain microenvironment and co-opt GABA as an oncometabolite.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2014; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1322098111 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In many patients with brain metastases, the primary therapeutic aim is symptom palliation and maintenance of neurologic function, but in a subgroup, long-term survival is possible. Local control in the brain, and absent or controlled extracranial sites of disease are prerequisites for favorable survival. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a focal, highly precise treatment option with a long track record. Its clinical development and implementation by several pioneering institutions eventually rendered possible cooperative group randomized trials. A systematic review of those studies and other landmark studies was undertaken. Most clinicians are aware of the potential benefits of SRS such as a short treatment time, a high probability of treated-lesion control and, when adhering to typical dose/volume recommendations, a low normal tissue complication probability. However, SRS as sole first-line treatment carries a risk of failure in non-treated brain regions, which has resulted in controversy around when to add whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT). SRS might also be prescribed as salvage treatment in patients relapsing despite previous SRS and/or WBRT. An optimal balance between intracranial control and side effects requires continued research efforts.Radiation Oncology 07/2014; 9(1):155. DOI:10.1186/1748-717X-9-155 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This report from the Working Group on Stereotaktische Radiotherapie of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Radioonkologie, DEGRO) provides recommendations for the use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on patients with brain metastases. It considers existing international guidelines and details them where appropriate. The main recommendations are: Patients with solid tumors except germ cell tumors and small-cell lung cancer with a life expectancy of more than 3 months suffering from a single brain metastasis of less than 3 cm in diameter should be considered for SRS. Especially when metastases are not amenable to surgery, are located in the brain stem, and have no mass effect, SRS should be offered to the patient. For multiple (two to four) metastases-all less than 2.5 cm in diameter-in patients with a life expectancy of more than 3 months, SRS should be used rather than whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT). Adjuvant WBRT after SRS for both single and multiple (two to four) metastases increases local control and reduces the frequency of distant brain metastases, but does not prolong survival when compared with SRS and salvage treatment. As WBRT carries the risk of inducing neurocognitive damage, it seems reasonable to withhold WBRT for as long as possible. A single (marginal) dose of 20 Gy is a reasonable choice that balances the effect on the treated lesion (local control, partial remission) against the risk of late side effects (radionecrosis). Higher doses (22-25 Gy) may be used for smaller (< 1 cm) lesions, while a dose reduction to 18 Gy may be necessary for lesions greater than 2.5-3 cm. As the infiltration zone of the brain metastases is usually small, the GTV-CTV (gross tumor volume-clinical target volume) margin should be in the range of 0-1 mm. The CTV-PTV (planning target volume) margin depends on the treatment technique and should lie in the range of 0-2 mm. Distant brain recurrences fulfilling the aforementioned criteria can be treated with SRS irrespective of previous WBRT.Strahlentherapie und Onkologie 04/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00066-014-0648-7 · 2.73 Impact Factor