How to dose-stage large or high-risk brain metastases: an alternative two-fraction radiosurgical treatment approach

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Vienna, Austria;
  • | 2 Gamma Clinic, Obninsk, Kaluga region, Russia;
  • | 3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical University of Vienna; and
  • | 4 Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, Division of Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
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OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to evaluate clinical outcome in patients with large, high-risk brain metastases (BMs) treated with different dose strategies by use of two-fraction dose-staged Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS).

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was performed with data from 142 patients from two centers who had been treated with two-fraction dose-staged GKRS between June 2015 and January 2020. Depending on the changes in marginal dose between the first (GKRS1) and second (GKRS2) GKRS treatments, the study population was divided into three treatment groups: dose escalation, dose maintenance, and dose de-escalation.

RESULTS

The 142 study patients underwent two-fraction dose-staged GKRS treatments for 166 large, high-risk BMs. The median tumor volume of 7.4 cm3 decreased significantly from GKRS1 to GKRS2 (4.4 cm3; p < 0.001), and to the last follow-up (1.8 cm3; p < 0.001). These significant differences in BM volume reduction were achieved in all three treatment groups. However, differences according to the primary tumor histology were apparent: while dose maintenance seemed to be the most effective treatment strategy for BMs from lung cancer or melanoma, dose escalation was the most beneficial treatment option for BMs from breast, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary cancer. Of note, the vast majority of patients who underwent dose-staged BM treatment did not show any significant postradiosurgical complications.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with large, high-risk BMs, dose-staged GKRS treatment represents an effective local treatment method with acceptable complication risks. Different dose-strategy options are available that may be chosen according to the primary tumor histology and treatment volume but may also be tailored to the findings at GKRS2.

ABBREVIATIONS

ARE = adverse radiation effect; BM = brain metastasis; GI = gastrointestinal; GKRS = Gamma Knife radiosurgery; GKRS1 = first GKRS fraction/treatment; GKRS2 = second GKRS fraction/treatment; GPA = graded prognostic assessment; GU = genitourinary; KPS = Karnofsky Performance Status; RN = radiation necrosis; RPA = recursive partitioning analysis; RR = radiation reaction; SIR = Score Index for Radiosurgery; SRS = stereotactic radiosurgery; WBRT = whole-brain radiation therapy.

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