News | Radiation Therapy | February 16, 2017

Targeted Radiosurgery Better Than Whole-brain Radiation for Treating Brain Tumors

Study shows effectiveness of radiosurgery in controlling spread of brain cancer after surgery

targeted radiosurgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, whole-brain radiation, brain tumor metastases, Cureus, University of Missouri School of Medicine study

February 16, 2017 — University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine researchers compared two common postsurgical therapies for metastatic brain tumors and found that stereotactic radiosurgery can provide better outcomes for patients compared to whole-brain radiation.

During whole-brain radiation therapy, beams of radiation cover the entire brain. Because it treats the whole brain, the therapy is thought to control the spread of tumors by treating both identifiable and hidden cancerous cells. However, whole-brain radiation has been associated with a decline in cognitive functions that can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life.

In stereotactic radiosurgery, radiation is delivered to more precise areas of the brain. Because it is a targeted therapy, less collateral damage occurs to healthy brain tissue. As a result, patients experience less cognitive decline when compared to whole-brain radiation, and experience a higher quality of life.

"Although radiosurgery has been shown to be an effective post-surgical treatment for metastatic brain tumors, previous studies did not compare patient outcomes from a single hospital over the same period of time," said N. Scott Litofsky, M.D., chief of the Division of Neurological Surgery at the MU School of Medicine and senior author of the study. "Our study is one of the first to directly compare outcomes of patients treated at the same hospital during a set period of time. Ultimately, our findings reinforce the use of radiosurgery over whole-brain radiation."

Under Litofsky’s mentorship, Kristen Scheitler-Ring, a medical student doing a pathology fellowship at the MU School of Medicine, studied the outcomes of patients treated at MU Health Care from 2010 to 2014. After undergoing brain surgery to remove a metastatic tumor, 46 patients received whole-brain radiation, while 37 patients received radiosurgery. The researchers found that radiosurgery controlled the spread of the cancerous cells as effectively as whole-brain radiation; patients who received radiosurgery experienced less cognitive decline compared to those who received whole-brain radiation. Additionally, the median survival rate for patients who received radiosurgery was 440 days, compared to 202 days for patients who received whole-brain radiation.

"For patients with metastatic cancer of the brain, the importance of surviving for a longer period of time cannot be overstated," Litofsky said. "In our practice, we now treat patients almost exclusively with radiosurgery following their surgery. Although this therapy does cost more, results often can be achieved in one to three visits compared to 10 to 12 visits for whole-brain radiation. With these considerations, we strongly suggest physicians consider radiosurgery as an initial radiation treatment after surgery."

The study, "Radiosurgery to the Postoperative Tumor Bed for Metastatic Carcinoma Versus Whole Brain Radiation after Surgery," recently was published in the medical journal Cureus. Research reported in this publication was supported by a Bob Willis Medical Student Fellowship of the American Brain Tumor Association and a Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship from the MU School of Medicine Office of Medical Research. The researchers have no conflicts of interest to declare related to this study.

For more information: www.cureus.com

References

Scheitler-Ring, K., Ge, B., Petroski, G., Biedermann, G., et al. "Radiosurgery to the Postoperative Tumor Bed for Metastatic Carcinoma Versus Whole Brain Radiation After Surgery," Cureus. Published Nov. 19, 2016. doi:10.7759/cureus.885

Related Content

Mevion Achieves CE Mark for S250i Proton Therapy System
News | Proton Therapy | November 21, 2017
November 21, 2017 — Mevion Medical Systems announced the Mevion S250i...
RayStation Selected for New Tennessee Proton Therapy Center
News | Treatment Planning | November 20, 2017
November 20, 2017 — Provision Healthcare has selected RayStation for external beam planning at the new Provision Care
Sponsored Content | Videos | Radiation Therapy | November 15, 2017
Chris Toth, president, global commercial and field operations for Varian, takes a tour of Varian’s new product introd
Synthetic CT Images Suitable for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy Planning
News | Treatment Planning | November 14, 2017
Spectronic Medical announced that new data for their MRIPlanner software, generating synthetic computed tomography (sCT...
ASTRO: CMS Report on Radiation Therapy Payment Model Charts Path to Value-Based Cancer Care
News | Radiation Therapy | November 08, 2017
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to...
U.S. Recognizes Radiologic Technologists Nov. 5-11
News | Imaging | November 06, 2017
November 6, 2017 — During National Radiologic Technology Week (NRTW) every November, hospitals, healthcare centers an
Study Suggests Breast Cancer Patients Forego Post-Surgery Treatment Due to Mistrust
News | Radiation Therapy | November 06, 2017
November 6, 2017 — Nearly one-third of women with...
PTCOG-NA Studies Address Cost and Coverage Issues With Proton Therapy
News | Proton Therapy | November 01, 2017
Physicians from across the country gathered in Chicago last week to discuss the most recent advances in proton therapy...
Proton Therapy Lowers Treatment Side Effects in Pediatric Head and Neck Cancer Patients
News | Proton Therapy | November 01, 2017
Pediatric patients with head and neck cancer can be treated with proton beam therapy (PBT) instead of traditional...
Cleveland Clinic Leads Development of New Guidelines for Radiation in Breast Cancer
News | Brachytherapy Systems, Women's Healthcare | October 31, 2017
October 31, 2017 — Cleveland Clinic researcher Chirag Shah, M.D., recently led the development of updated guidelines
Overlay Init