Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most frequent cancer that metastasizes to brain. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become the management of choice for most patients with such metastatic tumors. Therefore, the authors endeavored to elucidate the survival and SRS outcomes for patients with NSCLC metastasis at their center.
In this single-institution retrospective analysis, the authors reviewed their experience with NSCLC metastasis during a 10-year period from 2001 to 2010. Seven hundred twenty patients underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery. A total of 1004 SRS procedures were performed, and 3143 tumors were treated. The NSCLC subtype was adenocarcinoma in 386 patients, squamous cell carcinoma in 111 patients, and large cell carcinoma in 34 patients. The median aggregate tumor volume was 4.5 cm3 (range 0.1–88 cm3).
The median survival time after diagnosis of brain metastasis from NSCLC was 12.6 months, and the median survival after SRS was 8.5 months. The 1-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates after SRS were 39%, 21%, and 10%, respectively. Postradiosurgery survival was decreased in patients treated with prior whole-brain radiation therapy compared with SRS alone (p = 0.003). Aggregate tumor volume was inversely related to survival after SRS (p < 0.001), and the histological subgroups demonstrated significant survival differences (p = 0.023). The overall local tumor control rate in the entire group was 92.8%. One hundred seventy-four patients (24%) underwent repeat SRS for new or resistant metastatic deposits.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective means of providing local control for NSCLC metastases. Neurological function and survival benefit from serial patient monitoring and repeat SRS for new tumors.