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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Nov 1;66(3):810-7.

RPA classification has prognostic significance for surgically resected single brain metastasis.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Brain Tumor Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.



To retrospectively evaluate prognostic factors that correlate with overall survival among patients with a surgically resected single brain metastasis.


An Institutional Review Board-approved database of the Cleveland Clinic Brain Tumor Institute was queried for patients with a single brain metastasis treated by surgical resection between February 1984 and January 2004. The primary endpoint was overall survival from the date of surgery by the Kaplan-Meier method.


A total of 271 patients were included. Statistically significant variables for improved survival on multivariate analysis included age <65 years, lack of extracranial metastases, control of primary tumor, histology (non-small-cell lung carcinoma), and use of stereotactic radiosurgery. The median survival for all patients was 10.2 months. Survival of patients in recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) class 1 was better (21.4 months) than those in RPA class 2 (9.0 months, p < 0.001), RPA class 3 (8.9 months, p = 0.15), or the combined group of RPA classes 2 and 3 (9.0 months, p < 0.001). Patients had a median survival of 10.6 months after documented gross total resection and 8.7 months after subtotal resection, which approached statistical significance (p = 0.07). Those who were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery had a median survival of 17.1 months, which was greater than patients who were not treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (8.9 months, p = 0.006).


This analysis supports the prognostic significance of the RPA classification in patients with a single brain metastasis who undergo surgical resection and adjuvant therapy. RPA class 1 patients have a very favorable prognosis with a median survival of 21.4 months.

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