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J Neurooncol. 2013 Jan;111(2):163-7. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0994-1. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Frequency of brain metastases from prostate cancer: an 18-year single-institution experience.

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Medical Oncology Department, Santa Chiara Hospital, Largo Medaglie d'Oro, 38100 Trento, Italy.


It has recently been reported that the incidence of brain metastases (BMs) from prostate cancer (PC) has increased in comparison with historical series. The aim of this study was to compare the incidence of BMs in the pre- and post-docetaxel era in a single institution in which all oncological patients are referred to one Radiotherapy and one Medical Oncology Department. We searched the electronic databases of these departments for all males with BMs entered from 1994 to 2011. The year of the introduction of docetaxel into clinical practice (2002) divided the observation period into two 9-year periods: period 1 (P1) from 1994 until 2002 (P1), and period 2 (P2) after 2002. The number of patients with BMs was constant: 241 patients in P1 and 249 in P2. The greatest changes in frequency between P1 and P2 involved colorectal cancer (+75.9 %), renal cancer (+141.9 %), and PC (+238.7 %). The total number of patients with BMs from PC was nine: two in P1 (0.8 %) and seven in P2 (2.8 %). All but two of these patients developed BMs after becoming castration-resistant. Median BM-free survival was 36 months, whereas median BM survival was 8 weeks. As the appearance of BMs in the natural history of PC is usually related to the late phase of the disease, and mortality due to PC remained constant, it seems that there really has been an increase in the frequency of BMs from PC that may reflect a gain in survival.

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