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J Neurosurg. 1995 Oct;83(4):605-16.

Survival after surgical treatment of brain metastases from lung cancer: a follow-up study of 231 patients treated between 1976 and 1991.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.


The authors reviewed the records of 231 patients who underwent resection of brain metastases from nonsmall-cell lung cancer between 1976 and 1991. Data regarding the primary disease and the characteristics of brain metastasis were retrospectively collected. Median survival in the group from the time of first craniotomy was 11 months; post-operative mortality was 3%. Survival rates of 1, 2, 3, and 5 years were 46.3%, 24.2%, 14.7%, and 12.5%, respectively. One hundred twelve women survived significantly longer than 119 men (13.8 vs. 9.5 months, p < 0.02). Patients with single metastatic lesions (200 patients) survived longer than those (31 patients) with multiple metastases (11.1 vs. 8.5 months, p < 0.02). Patients with supratentorial tumors survived longer than patients with cerebellar lesions. A high Karnofsky performance scale score before surgery also indicated increased survival. In multivariate analyses, incomplete resection or no resection of primary lung tumor, male gender, infratentorial location, presence of systemic metastases, and age older than 60 years were significantly correlated with shorter survival. Approximately one-third of the patients died of neurological causes, one-third of systemic disease, and one-third of a combination of both. The results of this series confirm that the overall prognosis for patients with even a single resectable brain metastasis is poor, but that aggressive therapy can prolong life with quality of life preserved and can occasionally permit long-term survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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