Radiotherapy for Brain Metastases in Southern Thailand: Workload, Treatment Pattern and Survival

  • Phungrassami, Temsak (Division of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Songklanagarind Hospital) ;
  • Sriplung, Hutcha (Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University)
  • Published : 2015.03.09


Purpose: To study the patient load, treatment pattern, survival outcome and its predictors in patients with brain metastases treated by radiotherapy. Materials and Methods: Data for patients with brain metastases treated by radiotherapy between 2003 and 2007 were collected from medical records, the hospital information system database, and a population-based tumor registry database until death or at least 5 years after treatment and retrospectively reviewed. Results: The number of treatments for brain metastases gradually increased from 48 in 2003 to 107 in 2007, with more than 70% from lung and breast cancers. The majority were treated with whole brain radiation of 30 Gy (3 Gy X 10 fractions) by cobalt-60 machine, using radiation alone. The overall median survival of the 418 patients was 3.9 months. Cohort analysis of relative survival after radiotherapy was as follows: 52% at 3 months, 18% at 1 year and 3% at 5 years in males; and 66% at 3 months, 26% at 1 year and 7% at 5 years in females. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the patients treated with combined modalities had a better prognosis. Poor prognostic factors included primary cancer from the lung or gastrointestinal tract, emergency or urgent consultation, poor performance status (ECOG 3-4), and a hemoglobin level before treatment of less than 10 g/dl. Conclusions: This study identified an increasing trend of patient load with brain metastases. Possible over-treatment and under-treatment were demonstrated with a wide range of survival results. Practical prognostic scoring systems to assist in decision-making for optimal treatment of different patient groups is absolutely necessary; it is a key strategy for balancing good quality of care and patient load.


Radiotherapy;cancer;brain metastases;survival;workload;Thailand


Supported by : Prince of Songkla University


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