Do patients with brain metastases selected for whole brain radiotherapy have worse baseline quality of life as compared to those for radiosurgery or neurosurgery (with or without whole brain radiotherapy)?

Posted On 2016-02-23 17:48:47

Background: The purpose was to examine the baseline characteristics, symptoms and quality of life (QOL) in patients who receive different treatments for brain metastases.

Methods: Eligible patients were divided and analysed based on their treatment: whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) alone versus stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or neurosurgery with or without WBRT. The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) items were grouped according to different domains for summary scores. The domains used for summary scores were physical, social/family, emotional, functional well-being (FWB) and additional concerns.

Results: A total of 120 patients were enrolled, with 37 treated with WBRT alone and 83 with SRS or neurosurgery with or without WBRT. Of the 50 baseline FACT-Br items, only five items (I feel ill; I get support from my friends; I worry about dying; I have difficulty expressing my thoughts, I am able to put my thoughts into action) were statistically worse in patients treated with WBRT alone (P<0.05). Patients who received SRS or surgery with or without WBRT had statistically (P<0.05) higher scores for the FWB domain, additional concerns domain, and FACT-G total scores, indicating better QOL.

Conclusions: Patients selected for WBRT alone reported statistically different baseline QOL as compared to patients who were treated with SRS or neurosurgery (with or without WBRT).