The authors conducted validity testing of the 5 major reported indices for radiosurgically treated brain metastases— the original Radiation Therapy Oncology Group's Recursive Partitioning Analysis (RPA), the Score Index for Radiosurgery in Brain Metastases (SIR), the Basic Score for Brain Metastases (BSBM), the Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA), and the subclassification of RPA Class II proposed by Yamamoto—in nearly 2500 cases treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), focusing on the preservation of neurological function as well as the traditional endpoint of overall survival.
The authors analyzed data from 2445 cases treated with GKS by the first author (T.S.), the primary surgeon. The patient group consisted of 1716 patients treated between January 1998 and March 2008 (the Chiba series) and 729 patients treated between April 2008 and December 2011 (the Tokyo series). The interval from the date of GKS until the date of the patient's death (overall survival) and impaired activities of daily living (qualitative survival) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method, while the absolute risk for two adjacent classes of each grading system and both hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
For overall survival, there were highly statistically significant differences between each two adjacent patient groups characterized by class or score (all p values < 0.001), except for GPA Scores 3.5–4.0 and 3.0. The SIR showed the best statistical results for predicting preservation of neurological function. Although no other grading systems yielded statistically significant differences in qualitative survival, the BSBM and the modified RPA appeared to be better than the original RPA and GPA.
The modified RPA subclassification, proposed by Yamamoto, is well balanced in scoring simplicity with respect to case number distribution and statistical results for overall survival. However, a new or revised grading system is necessary for predicting qualitative survival and for selecting the optimal treatment for patients with brain metastasis treated by GKS.