Radiat Oncol 2014 Jun 10
A minimally invasive treatment option for large metastatic brain tumors: long-term results of two-session Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery.   
Large brain metastases (BM) remain a significant cause of morbidity and death for cancer patients despite current advances in multimodality therapies. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and limitations of 2-session Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for patients with large BM.
This is a prospective, open-label and single arm study analyzing 58 consecutive patients who received 2-session SRS for large BM (ā‰„ā€‰10 mL). The median age was 66 years, and the median Karnofsky performance status (KPS) score was 70. SRS was the initial treatment in 51 large tumors (84%) and was used as salvage after failed prior treatments for 10 tumors (16%). The fraction protocol was 20-30 Gy given in 2 fractions with 3-4 weeks between fractions. Overall survival (OS) and neurological death (ND), local tumor control and KPS were analyzed.
The median follow-up time was 9.0 months. One- and 2-year OS rates were 47% and 20%, respectively. The median OS time was 11.8 months (95% CI: 5.5-15.6). The causes of death were intracranial local progression in 5 cases, meningeal carcinomatosis in 3 and progression of the primary lesion in 39. One- and 2-year ND-free survival rates were 91% and 84%, respectively. In 52 of 61 large BM (85%) with sufficient radiological follow-up data, 6- and 12-month local tumor control rates were 85% and 64%, respectively. The mean KPS improved from 70 at the 1st SRS to 82 at the 2nd; the first follow-up mean KPS was 87 (Pā€‰<ā€‰0.001). Symptomatic radiation injury developed and required conservative treatment in 3 patients (5%).
Long-term follow-up showed that two-session Gamma Knife SRS achieved durable tumor control rates as well as acceptable treatment-related morbidity. This treatment method may potentially merit being offered to patients with large BM who are in poor condition or are otherwise ineligible for standard care.

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