OBJECTIVE: To verify whether the treatment of brain oligometastases with whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) plus stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) or surgical resection results in different outcomes.
METHODS: Files of patients affected by brain metastases submitted to surgical resection followed by WBRT (group A) or WBRT + SRT (group B) were retrospectively selected for this study. The two treatment groups were matched for the following potential prognostic factors: WBRT schedule, age, gender, performance status, tumor type, number of brain metastases, extra-cerebral metastases, and recursive partitioning analysis class (RPA). The outcomes of patients in both groups were evaluated in terms of toxicity, local control, and overall survival.
RESULTS: Total of 97 patients were selected (56 male; 42 female) who were respectively submitted to surgical resection followed by WBRT (group A, n = 50 patients) or WBRT + SRT (Group B, n = 47 patients). Median follow-up was 95 months (range, 8-171 months). The 1-year local control rates were 46.0% and 69.0% respectively. No significant difference in local tumor control was observed between group A and B (p = 0.10). Median overall survival was 15 and 19 months in group A and B, respectively. One-year survival was 56.0% and 62%, respectively. No difference was observed in the two groups (p = 0.40).
CONCLUSION: Surgery remains the main therapeutic approach in symptomatic patients; nevertheless, our data support the use of WBRT plus SRT in one or two brain metastases smaller than 3 cm.