Single-fraction versus hypofractionated stereotactic radiosurgery for medium-sized brain metastases of 2.5 to 3 cm
Given recently suggested utility of hypofractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in treating large brain metastases (BMs) > 3 cm, we sought to prospectively control tumor size variable to investigate the efficacy and safety of hypofractionated SRS for medium-sized BMs (2.5 to 3 cm) compared with single-fraction SRS.
Between 2011 and 2015, a total of 100 patients with newly diagnosed BMs (n = 105) of 2.5 to 3 cm had been treated with either single-fraction (n = 67; median dose 20 Gy) or hypofractionated SRS (n = 38; median cumulative dose 35 Gy in 5 daily fractions). No patients received any prior or upfront whole brain radiotherapy. In each patient, treatment outcome was measured by local tumor control (LTC), overall and progression-free survival (OS and PFS), and the occurrence of radiation necrosis (RN).
With a median follow-up of 14 months, significant differences were observed between the single-fraction versus hypofractionated SRS groups in the incidence of RN (29.9% vs. 5.3%, P < 0.001) and LTC (1-year LTC rates 66.6% vs. 92.4%, P = 0.028). There were no differences in PFS (median 6 months vs. 6 months, P = 0.381) and OS (median 13 months vs. 18 months, P = 0.239). Treatment-related adverse events ( ≥ grade 2 toxicity by CTCAE ver. 4.0) occurred more frequently in single-fraction group, although the difference did not reach statistical significance (56.3% vs. 36.1%, P = 0.084).
Our results suggest a better safety and efficacy profile of hypofractionated SRS for medium-sized BMs compared with single-fraction SRS. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
KeywordsStereotactic radiosurgery Hypofractionation Brain metastases Radiation necrosis
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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