Radiographic response of brain metastasis after linear accelerator radiosurgery

Maryam Rahman, J. Bridger Cox, Yueh Yun Chi, Jamal H. Carter, William A. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Radiographic response of brain metastasis to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) over time has not been well characterized. Being able to predict SRS-induced changes in tumor size over time may allow improved counseling of patients and potentially earlier recognition of poor response to SRS. Objective: To quantify the rate of change in size of metastatic brain tumors after treatment with a linear accelerator (LINAC) SRS. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with single metastatic brain tumors treated with LINAC SRS at the University of Florida between 1992 and 2009 who had at least one MRI after treatment. A total of 218 patients with 406 follow-up MRI scans were included in the study. Tumor area was calculated by measuring the largest tumor area on axial imaging and using the equation for area of an ellipse. Primary outcome was percent change in tumor size. The contribution of several factors including gender, primary tumor histology, synchronous or asynchronous presentation, prior treatment, primary tumor control, and SRS dose were examined using multivariate analysis. Results: Mean patient age was 58.3 years (range 4-86), and 48.6% of patients were female. Sixty-three percent of patients had primary tumor control and 70.6% had asynchronous presentation of their brain metastases. SRS peripheral dose range was 1,000-2,250 cGy with a median of 1,750 cGy. The mean percent size change was -22.6% with a mean rate of change of -7.0% per month. The median percent change was -49.7% with a median rate of change of -8.8% per month. The median follow-up was 4.8 months (range 0.3-52.5). Female gender and melanoma histology were found to be significant predictors of an increase in tumor size. Lack of previous surgical resection was a significant predictor of a decrease in tumor size after SRS. Other factors tested with multivariate analysis, including age, synchronicity of presentation, dose, dose volume, Karnofsky performance score, and primary tumor control, were not significant in predicting tumor size change after SRS. Conclusion: In this study, brain metastases decreased in size by a median of 50% for a median follow-up of 4.8 months after SRS. The overall rate of decrease was 9% per month after treatment with SRS. Melanoma histology was a predictor of poor tumor control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalStereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain metastasis
  • Linear accelerator
  • Radiographic response
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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