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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Oct 1;42(3):581-9.

Stereotactic radiosurgery for cerebral metastatic melanoma: factors affecting local disease control and survival.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



The development of a brain metastasis represents an ominous event for patients with malignant melanoma. We evaluated results after stereotactic radiosurgery (SR) for patients with metastastic melanoma to identify patient outcomes and factors for survival.


The authors reviewed the management results of 60 consecutive patients with melanoma metastases, with a total of 118 melanoma brain metastases, undergoing SR during a 9-year interval. Of these, 51 also had whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). A total of 118 tumors of mean volume of 2.95 ml (range, 0.1-25.5 ml) were treated by SR with a mean margin dose of 16.4 Gy (range, 10 to 20 Gy). Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine significant prognostic factors affecting survival in 60 patients.


Median survival was 7 months after SR in all 60 patients and 10 months from brain tumor diagnosis (mean follow-up period, 9.3 months). Lack of active systemic disease and a solitary metastasis were associated with improved survival in multivariate analysis (median, 15 months). The imaging-defined local control rate of evaluable tumors (n = 72) was 90% (disappearance = 11%, shrinkage = 44%, and stable = 35%). Local recurrence developed in 7 patients and remote brain disease developed in 14 patients. WBRT combined with radiosurgery did not improve survival nor local tumor control. New brain metastases developed less often when WBRT was added to SR (23% vs. 44%), but this difference was not significant. Only 4 patients (7%) died from progression of a radiosurgery-managed tumor. No patient developed a delayed radiation-related complication, but 3 patients developed delayed intratumoral hemorrhage at the radiosurgery site, 2 of whom had new symptoms.


Stereotactic radiosurgery for melanoma brain metastasis is effective and is associated with few complications. The use of radiosurgery alone is an appropriate management strategy for many patients with solitary tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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