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).