Whole brain reirradiation and concurrent temozolomide in patients with brain metastases

Giuseppe Minniti, Claudia Scaringi, Gaetano Lanzetta, Alessandro Bozzao, Andrea Romano, Vitaliana De Sanctis, Maurizio Valeriani, Mattia Osti, Riccardo Maurizi Enrici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A second course of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) has been employed in selected patients with progressive brain metastases providing favorable symptomatic palliation with acceptable toxicity, although its efficacy and safety remain matter of debate. In the present study we have evaluated the outcomes in patients with progressive intracranial disease treated with WBRT reirradiation and concurrent temozolomide between October 2010 and May 2013. Data were obtained from a prospectively maintained database including patients with brain tumors treated with radiotherapy at Sant'Andrea Hospital. We identified 27 patients (10 males and 17 females) with a median age of 54 years who received WBRT reirradiation at a dose of 25 Gy in ten fractions plus concomitant daily temozolomide administered orally at a dose of 75 mg/m 2. At the time of repeat WBRT all patients had a KPS ≥ 60. The primary disease sites were lung (n = 18) and breast (n = 9). The median overall survival after the second course of WBRT was 6.2 months and the median time to progression was 5.5 months. Eight patients experienced complete resolution of symptoms, 9 patients had a significant improvement, and 6 patients had no change in their neurologic function. Four patients had further deterioration after reirradiation. Overall, 85 % of patients improved or maintained their neurologic status. No severe acute toxicity during or after the second course of WBRT reirradiation was observed. On multivariate analysis with the Cox proportional hazards model, stable or absent extracranial metastases (p = 0.005) and response to treatment (p = 0.01) were independent favorable prognostic factors for survival. The median and 12-month survival rates were 12 months and 50 % in patients with stable or absent extracranial disease and 4.6 months and 7 % in those with progressive extracranial disease (p = 0.001). In conclusion, in the respect to the small number of treated patients, repeat WBRT plus concomitant temozolomide may be a treatment option in selected patients with multiple brain metastases to improve or maintain neurological conditions and quality of life with acceptable toxicity. The favorable effects of concomitant temozolomide on survival remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-334
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Brain metastases
  • Reirradiation
  • Retreatment
  • Temozolomide
  • Whole brain radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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