[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastases to the brainstem portend a poor prognosis and present a challenge in clinical management. Surgical resection is rarely a viable option.
Post-treatment MRI scans of patients with brainstem metastases treated with radiosurgery were used to determine local control and disease progression. Median survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards model, respectively.
Thirty-two consecutive patients with brainstem metastasis underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Median age was 50 years. Median tumor volume was 0.71cm(3) and median tumor margin dose was 13Gy. Seventeen of 32 patients received WBRT prior to stereotactic radiosurgery. Median survival was 5.2 months. There was a statistically significant difference in survival based on RTOG recursive partition analysis (RPA) class. Median survival of patients categorized as RPA class I was 19.2 months, RPA class II was 8.4 months, and RPA class III was 1.9 months. The overall local tumor control rate was 87.5%. There were no acute complications following stereotactic radiosurgery and no evidence of radiation necrosis noted on post-treatment MRI scans.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective treatment for brainstem metastases and should be considered especially for patients with good performance status.