Efficacy and safety of CyberKnife radiosurgery in elderly patients with brain metastases: A retrospective clinical evaluation

Gueliz Acker, Seyed Morteza Hashemi, Josch Fuellhase, Anne Kluge, Alfredo Conti, Markus Kufeld, Anita Kreimeier, Franziska Loebel, Melina Kord, Diana Sladek, Carmen Stromberger, Volker Budach, Peter Vajkoczy, Carolin Senger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been increasingly applied for up to 10 brain metastases instead of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) to achieve local tumor control while reducing neurotoxicity. Furthermore, brain-metastasis incidence is rising due to the increasing survival of patients with cancer. Our aim was to analyze the efficacy and safety of CyberKnife (CK) radiosurgery for elderly patients. Methods: We retrospectively identified all patients with brain metastases ≥ 65 years old treated with CK-SRS at our institution since 2011 and analyzed data of primary diseases, multimodality treatments, and local therapy effect based on imaging follow-up and treatment safety. Kaplan-Meier analysis for local progression-free interval and overall survival were performed. Results: We identified 97 patients (233 lesions) fulfilling the criteria at the first CK-SRS. The mean age was 73.2 ± 5.8 (range: 65.0-87.0) years. Overall, 13.4% of the patients were > 80 years old. The three most frequent primary cancers were lung (40.2%), kidney (22.7%), and malignant melanoma (15.5%). In 38.5% (47/122 treatments) multiple brain metastases were treated with the CK-SRS, with up to eight lesions in one session. The median planning target volume (PTV) was 1.05 (range: 0.01-19.80) cm3. A single fraction was applied in 92.3% of the lesions with a median prescription dose of 19 (range: 12-21) Gy. The estimated overall survivals at 3-, 6-, and 12 months after SRS were 79, 55, and 23%, respectively. The estimated local tumor progression-free intervals at 6-, 12-, 24-, 36-, and 72 months after SRS were 99.2, 89.0, 67.2, 64.6, and 64.6%, respectively. Older age and female sex were predictive factors of local progression. The Karnofsky performance score remained stable in 97.9% of the patients; only one patient developed a neurological deficit after SRS of a cerebellar lesion (ataxia, CTCAE Grade 2). Conclusions: SRS is a safe and efficient option for the treatment of elderly patients with brain metastases with good local control rates without the side effects of WBRT. Older age and female sex seem to be predictive factors of local progression. Prospective studies are warranted to clarify the role of SRS treatment for elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain metastases
  • CyberKnife
  • Elderly patients
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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