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Secondary Analysis of RTOG 9508, a Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy Versus WBRT Plus Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Patients With 1-3 Brain Metastases; Poststratified by the Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA)

      Purpose

      Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9508 showed a survival advantage for patients with 1 but not 2 or 3 brain metastasis (BM) treated with whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) versus WBRT alone. An improved prognostic index, the graded prognostic assessment (GPA) has been developed. Our hypothesis was that if the data from RTOG 9508 were poststratified by the GPA, the conclusions may vary.

      Methods and Materials

      In this analysis, 252 of the 331 patients were evaluable by GPA. Of those, 211 had lung cancer. Breast cancer patients were excluded because the components of the breast GPA are not in the RTOG database. Multiple Cox regression was used to compare survival between treatment groups, adjusting for GPA. Treatment comparisons within subgroups were performed with the log-rank test. A free online tool (brainmetgpa.com) simplified GPA use.

      Results

      The fundamental conclusions of the primary analysis were confirmed in that there was no survival benefit overall for patients with 1 to 3 metastases; however, there was a benefit for the subset of patients with GPA 3.5 to 4.0 (median survival time [MST] for WBRT + SRS vs WBRT alone was 21.0 versus 10.3 months, P=.05) regardless of the number of metastases. Among patients with GPA 3.5 to 4.0 treated with WBRT and SRS, the MST for patients with 1 versus 2 to 3 metastases was 21 and 14.1 months, respectively.

      Conclusions

      This secondary analysis of predominantly lung cancer patients, consistent with the original analysis, shows no survival advantage for the group overall when treated with WBRT and SRS; however, in patients with high GPA (3.5-4), there is a survival advantage regardless of whether they have 1, 2, or 3 BM. This benefit did not extend to patients with lower GPA. Prospective validation of this survival benefit for patients with multiple BM and high GPA when treated with WBRT and SRS is warranted.
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