Patterns of treatment and outcome in patients with 20 or more brain metastases
Background/Aim - The aim of this study was to analyze the patterns of treatment and outcomes in patients with a large number of brain metastases, arbitrarily defined as 20 or more lesions. These patients are typically excluded from studies of focal brain treatment, e.g., surgery or radiosurgery, and might have a limited prognosis.
Patients and Methods - This was a retrospective single-institution analysis. Overall, 11 patients were identified from a prospectively maintained database.
Results - Ten patients had received active treatment (9 whole-brain radiotherapy, 7 systemic therapy). Median survival was 5.0 months without long-term survival beyond 13 months. Patients with better performance status had numerically longer survival, however we did not identify baseline parameters with a significant impact on survival.
Conclusion - While long-term survival was not observed in this small study, most patients survived long enough to experience symptomatic improvement from whole-brain radiotherapy. Therefore, we recommend multidisciplinary assessment of the patients' prognosis and systemic treatment options, and initiation of whole-brain radiotherapy if survival is not limited to 1-2 months.