Prognostic Factors in Patients with Non-small Cell Lung Carcinoma and Brain Metastases: a Malaysian Perspective


Background: Brain metastases occur in about 20-40% of patients with non-small-cell lung carcinoma(NSCLC), and are usually associated with a poor outcome. Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) is widely used butincreasingly, more aggressive local treatments such as surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or stereotacticradiotherapy (SRT) are being employed. In our study we aimed to describe the various factors affecting outcomesin NSCLC patients receiving local therapy for brain metastases. Materials and
Methods: The case records of 125patients with NSCLC and brain metastases consecutively treated with radiotherapy at two tertiary centres fromJanuary 2006 to June 2012 were analysed for patient, tumour and treatment-related prognostic factors. Patientsreceiving SRS/SRT were treated using Cyberknife. Variables were examined in univariate and multivariatetesting.
Results: Overall median survival was 3.4 months (95%CI: 1.7-5.1). Median survival for patients withmultiple metastases receiving WBRT was 1.5 months, 1-3 metastases receiving WBRT was 3.6 months and 1-3metastases receiving surgery or SRS/SRT was 8.9 months. ECOG score (≤2 vs >2, p=0.001), presence of seizure(yes versus no, p=0.031), treatment modality according to number of brain metastases (1-3 metastases+surgeryor SRS/SRT±WBRT vs 1-3 metastases+WBRT only vs multiple metastases+WBRT only, p=0.007) and the use ofpost-therapy systemic treatment (yes versus no, p=0.001) emerged as significant on univariate analysis. All fourfactors remained statistically significant on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: ECOG ≤2, presence of seizures,oligometastatic disease treated with aggressive local therapy (surgery or SRS/SRT) and the use of post-therapysystemic treatment are favourable prognostic factors in NSCLC patients with brain metastases.