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J Clin Oncol. 2015 Jul 10;33(20):2239-45. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.58.8517. Epub 2015 May 18.

Validation and Development of a Modified Breast Graded Prognostic Assessment As a Tool for Survival in Patients With Breast Cancer and Brain Metastases.

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All authors: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
All authors: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.



Several indices have been developed to predict overall survival (OS) in patients with breast cancer with brain metastases, including the breast graded prognostic assessment (breast-GPA), comprising age, tumor subtype, and Karnofsky performance score. However, number of brain metastases-a highly relevant clinical variable-is less often incorporated into the final model. We sought to validate the existing breast-GPA in an independent larger cohort and refine it integrating number of brain metastases.


Data were retrospectively gathered from a prospectively maintained institutional database. Patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from 1996 to 2013 were identified. After validating the breast-GPA, multivariable Cox regression and recursive partitioning analysis led to the development of the modified breast-GPA. The performances of the breast-GPA and modified breast-GPA were compared using the concordance index.


In our cohort of 1,552 patients, the breast-GPA was validated as a prognostic tool for OS (P < .001). In multivariable analysis of the breast-GPA and number of brain metastases (> three v ≤ three), both were independent predictors of OS. We therefore developed the modified breast-GPA integrating a fourth clinical parameter. Recursive partitioning analysis reinforced the prognostic significance of these four factors. Concordance indices were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.80) and 0.84 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.85) for the breast-GPA and modified breast-GPA, respectively (P < .001).


The modified breast-GPA incorporates four simple clinical parameters of high prognostic significance. This index has an immediate role in the clinic as a formative part of the clinician's discussion of prognosis and direction of care and as a potential patient selection tool for clinical trials.

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