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

New Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy Technique Aims to Preserve Sexual Function
News | Radiation Therapy | June 18, 2018
A multicenter clinical trial being led by UT Southwestern physicians is testing a technique for sparing nerve bundles...
Elekta Unity High-Field MR-Linac Receives CE Mark
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | June 18, 2018
Elekta announced that its Elekta Unity magnetic resonance radiation therapy (MR/RT) system has received CE mark,...
Washington University in St. Louis Begins Clinical Treatments With ViewRay MRIdian Linac
News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | June 14, 2018
June 14, 2018 — The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in S
Accuray TomoTherapy System Beneficial in Two Total Body Irradiation Studies
News | Radiation Therapy | June 13, 2018
Recently published data from two new studies demonstrate the benefits of Accuray’s TomoTherapy System in the delivery...
IsoRay Funding Brain Cancer Treatment Research With Ochsner Clinic Foundation
News | Brachytherapy Systems | June 12, 2018
IsoRay Inc. announced the initiation of research funding for brain cancer treatment to Ochsner Clinic Foundation, a not...
News | Brachytherapy Systems | June 07, 2018
IsoRay Inc. announced the upcoming release of its Build-Blu delivery system for real-time prostate brachytherapy.
Raysearch RayStation
Feature | Radiation Therapy | June 05, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Treatment planning systems are at the heart of r...
Beaumont Researchers Invent New Mode of Proton Treatment for Lung Cancer
News | Proton Therapy | May 31, 2018
Members of Beaumont Health’s proton therapy team presented research on a new treatment for patients with lung cancer at...
More Than 60 Percent of Patients Seeking Proton Therapy Initially Denied Coverage
News | Proton Therapy | May 25, 2018
The Alliance for Proton Therapy Access has released a national report revealing the heavy emotional and financial...
News | Treatment Planning | May 24, 2018
Daniela Schmitt, Ph.D., took top honors in the overall category of the 2018 TROG Plan Study: Stereotactic Radiosurgery...
Overlay Init