Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 165–174 | Cite as

Brain metastases in breast cancer; natural history, prognostic factors and outcome

  • W. Boogerd
  • V. W. Vos
  • A. A. M. Hart
  • G. Baris
Clinical Study


One hundred and thirty seven breast cancer patients with CT scan documented brain metastasis (BM) were reviewed. Occurrence of brain as first site of relapse was associated with adjuvant systemic therapy of the primary tumor. Multivariate analysis showed significantly longer survival in patients without manifest systemic disease, in patients with a solitary BM, in those with neurologic symptoms present for more than 4 weeks prior to diagnosis, and in those treated with chemotherapy after diagnosis. When controlling for prognostic factors no significant difference in survival was found between surgery and radiotherapy (RT) as treatment of a solitary lesion. Tumor size, tumor necrosis and mass effect had no demonstrable influence on survival. Overall median survival was 16 weeks and 19% survived one year. Neurologic disease was the cause of death or a major contributing factor to it in 68% of the patients, indicating the need for improvement of the treatment of BM itself. These results warrant further studies on the value of surgery, RT and chemotherapy in solitary as well as multiple BM from breast carcinoma.

Key words

breast cancer adjuvant chemotherapy brain metastasis tumor characteristics prognostic factors 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Boogerd
    • 1
  • V. W. Vos
    • 1
  • A. A. M. Hart
    • 2
  • G. Baris
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurology of the Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ZiekenhuisAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Radiotherapy of the Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ZiekenhuisAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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