Defining the role of radiosurgery in the management of brain metastases

M. P. Mehta*, J. M. Rozental, A. B. Levin, T. R. Mackie, S. S. Kubsad, M. A. Gehring, T. J. Kinsella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The role of stereotactic radiosurgery in the management of recurrent and newly diagnosed brain metastases was evaluated prospectively. From December 1988 to March 1991, 58 lesions in 40 patients were treated with accelerator-based stereotactic radiosurgery. All patients were followed for a minimum of 6 months or to death. The primary purpose was to determine the impact of radiosurgery on local control and its subsequent effects on quality of life. An overall tumor control rate of 82% with a complete response rate of 43% were achieved. As anticipated, the response rate for smaller tumors was substantially better than that for larger tumors (78% for lesions < 2 cm3; 50% for lesions ≥ 10 cm3). Although the overall in-field progression rate was 18.5%, only 1 23 (4%) complete responders subsequently recurred. The in-field failure rate is highly comparable with recently published surgical data. Progression outside the brain was noted in two-thirds of patients. One quarter of the deaths were neurologic. The median survival for this minimally selected patient population was 6.5 months. Stereotactic radiosurgery was also associated with improved quality of life as measured by Karnofsky score, neurologic function, and steroid dependence. Long-term steroid dependence was encountered in only four patients. We conclude that stereotactic radiosurgery can be used effectively in patients with brain metastases. In this series, a high tumor response rate was achieved which was associated with improved quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-625
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Brain metastases
  • CNS tumors
  • Radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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