Whole Brain Radiotherapy Combined with Stereotactic Radiotherapy Versus Stereotactic Radiotherapy Alone for Brain Metastases: a Meta-analysis

  • Duan, Lei (Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Zeng, Rong (Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Yang, Ke-Hu (Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Tian, Jin-Hui (Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Wu, Xiao-Lu (Lanzhou University Second Hospital) ;
  • Dai, Qiang (The First Clinical Medical College of Lanzhou University) ;
  • Niu, Xiao-Dong (The Second Clinical Medical College of Lanzhou University) ;
  • Ma, Di-Wa (The Second Clinical Medical College of Lanzhou University)
  • Published : 2014.01.30


Aim: This study was to evaluate the effect of whole brain radiation (WBRT) combined with stereotactic radiotherapy (SRS) versus stereotactic radiotherapy alone for patients with brain metastases using a meta-analysis. Materials and Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library from their inception up to October 2013. Randomized controlled trials involving whole brain radiation combined with stereotactic radiotherapy versus stereotactic radiotherapy alone for brain metastases were included. Statistical analyses were performed using RevMan5.2 software. Results: Four randomized controlled trials including 903 patients were included. The meta-analysis showed statistically significant lowering of the local recurrence rate (OR=0.29, 95%CI: 0.17~0.49), new brain metastasis rate (OR=0.45, 95%CI: 0.28~0.71) and symptomatic late neurologic radiation toxicity rate (OR=3.92, 95%CI: 1.37~11.20) in the combined group. No statistically significant difference existed in the 1-year survival rate (OR=0.78, 95%CI: 0.60~1.03). Conclusions: The results indicate that whole brain radiotherapy combined with stereotactic radiotherapy has advantages in local recurrence and new brain metastasis rates, but stereotactic radiotherapy alone is associated with better neurological function. However, as the samples included were not large, more high-quality, large-sample size studies are necessary for confirmation.


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