Clinical dose profile of Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery for extensive brain metastases

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;
  • 2 Departments of Radiation Oncology (Medical Physics) and
  • 3 Neurological Surgery and the Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and
  • 4 Department of Radiation Oncology (Medical Physics), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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OBJECTIVE

The use of Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSRS) for the treatment of extensive intracranial metastases has been expanding due to its superior dosimetry and efficacy. However, there remains a dearth of data regarding the dose parameters in actual clinical scenarios. The authors endeavored to calculate the radiation dose to the brain when treating ≥ 15 brain metastases with GKSRS.

METHODS

This retrospective analysis reviewed dosage characteristics for patients requiring single-session GKSRS for the treatment of ≥ 15 brain metastases. Forty-two patients met the inclusion criteria between 2008 and 2017. The median number of tumors at the initial GKSRS procedure was 20 (range 15–39 tumors), accounting for 865 tumors in this study. The median aggregate tumor volume was 3.1 cm3 (range 0.13–13.26 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 16 Gy (range 14–19 Gy).

RESULTS

The median of the mean brain dose was 2.58 Gy (range 0.95–3.67 Gy), and 79% of patients had a dose < 3 Gy. The 12-Gy dose volume was a median of 12.45 cm3, which was equivalent to 0.9% of the brain volume. The median percentages of brain receiving 5 Gy and 3 Gy were 6.7% and 20.4%, respectively. There was no correlation between the number of metastases and the mean dose to the brain (p = 0.8). A greater tumor volume was significantly associated with an increased mean brain dose (p < 0.001). The median of the mean dose to the bilateral hippocampi was 2.3 Gy. Sixteen patients had supplementary GKSRS, resulting in an additional mean dose of 1.4 Gy (range 0.2–3.8 Gy) to the brain.

CONCLUSIONS

GKSRS is a viable means of managing extensive brain metastases. This procedure provides a relatively low dose of radiation to the brain, especially when compared with traditional whole-brain radiation protocols.

ABBREVIATIONS GKSRS = Gamma Knife SRS; SRS = stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT = whole-brain radiation therapy.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Gregory Neil Bowden: University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. gregory.bowden@ahs.ca.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online May 8, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.3.JNS193369.

Disclosures Dr. Lunsford is a consultant for Elekta AB, Insightec, and DSMB and a stockholder in Elekta AB.

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