Purpose: Recurrent intracranial metastases after whole-brain irradiation pose a clinical challenge owing to the escalating morbidity associated with their treatment. Although stereotactic radiosurgery is increasingly being used, there are still situations in which whole-brain reirradiation (ReRT) continues to be appropriate. Here, we report our experience using whole-brain pulsed reduced dose rate radiation therapy (PRDR), a method that delivers radiation at a slower rate of 0.067 Gy/min to potentially increase sublethal damage repair and decrease toxicity. Methods and Materials: Patients undergoing whole-brain ReRT with PRDR from January 1, 2001 to March 2019 were analyzed. The median PRDR ReRT dose was 26 Gy in 2 Gy fractions, resulting in a median total whole-brain dose of 59.5 Gy. Cox regression analysis was used for multivariate analysis. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for overall survival, progression free survival, and to evaluate the ReRT score. Binary logistic regression was employed to evaluate variables associated with rapid death. Results: Seventy-five patients were treated with whole-brain PRDR radiation therapy. The median age was 54 (range, 26-72), the median Karnofsky performance status (KPS) was 80, and 86.7% had recursive partitioning analysis scores of 2. Thirty-two patients had over 10 metastases and 11 had leptomeningeal disease. The median overall survival was 4.1 months (range, 0.29-59.5 months) with a 1 year overall survival of 10.4%. Age, KPS, dexamethasone usage, and intracranial disease volume were significantly correlated with overall survival on multivariate analysis. A KPS ≤70 was associated with rapid death after radiation. The prognostic value of the ReRT score was validated. The most common acute toxicities were fatigue (23.1%) and headache (16.9%). Conclusions: In this large cohort of patients with advanced intracranial metastases, PRDR achieves acceptable survival and may decrease toxicity associated with ReRT. PRDR is an easily implemented technique and is a viable treatment option for ReRT of brain metastases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging