, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 167-174
Date: 07 Feb 2014

Local control and toxicity outcomes in brainstem metastases treated with single fraction radiosurgery: is there a volume threshold for toxicity?

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Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKRS) has been reported in the treatment of brainstem metastases while dose volume toxicity thresholds remain mostly undefined. A retrospective review of 52 brainstem metastases in 44 patients treated with GKRS was completed. A median dose of 18 Gy (range 10–22 Gy) was prescribed to the tumor margin (median 50 % isodose). 25 patients had undergone previous whole brain radiation therapy. Toxicity was graded by the LENT-SOMA scale. Mean and median follow-up was 10 and 6 months. Only 3 of the 44 patients are living. Multiple brain metastases were treated in 75 % of patients. Median size of lesions was 0.134 cc, (range 0.013–6.600 cc). Overall survival rate at 1 year was 32 % (95 % CI 51.0–20.1 %) with a median survival time of 6 months (95 % CI 5.0–16.5). Local control rate at 6 months and 1 year was 88 % (95 % CI 70–95 %) and 74 % (95 % CI 52–87 %). Cause of death was neurologic in 17 patients, non-neurologic in 20 patients, and unknown in four. Four patients experienced treatment related toxicities. Univariate analysis of tumor volume revealed that volume greater than 1.0 cc predicted for toxicity. A strategy of using lower marginal doses with GKRS to brain stem metastases appears to lead to a lower local control rate than seen with lesions treated within the standard dose range in other locations. Tumor size greater than 1.0 cc predicted for treatment-related toxicity.

Portions of this manuscript were presented as a Poster Presentation at the 53rd Annual Meeting of American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, Miami, 10/2/2011-10/6/11.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-014-1537-8.