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Surgical treatment for brain metastases: prognostic factors and survival in 177 patients

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Brain metastases are an increasingly frequent complication of cancer. Advances in diagnosis and treatment have led to wider indications for surgery. We present a single-institution series of 177 patients and discuss our results with regard to the literature. Special focus is on patients with advanced age, multiple brain metastases, extracranial metastases, and brain metastasis recurrence. All patients underwent craniotomy for the resection of solid tumor brain metastases between 1994 and 2001 in our department. Perioperative morbidity and mortality as well as survival were evaluated. The median patient age was 59 years (range 32–86 years). In 177 patients, 348 brain metastases were detected, of which 68.0% were supratentorial and 32.0% were infratentorial. According to univariate analysis, the following parameters were significantly associated with prolonged patient survival: (1) age <70 years, (2) one to three intracranial metastases, (3) favorable postoperative performance, (4) resection of all intracranial lesions, and (5) recraniotomy for brain metastasis recurrence. In contrast, the presence of extracranial metastases, metachronous diagnosis, and solitary brain metastases had no influence on survival. As expected, younger age and limited number of brain metastases (up to three) are favorable prognostic factors. Remarkably, the presence of extracranial metastases had no influence on patient survival.

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Correspondence to Andreas M. Stark.

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Stark, A.M., Tscheslog, H., Buhl, R. et al. Surgical treatment for brain metastases: prognostic factors and survival in 177 patients. Neurosurg Rev 28, 115–119 (2005).

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