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Clinical Investigation
Impact of radiosurgical management of geriatric patients with brain metastases: Clinical and quality of life outcomes
David M Randolph II, Emory McTyre, Heidi Klepin, Ann M Peiffer, Diandra Ayala-Peacock, Scott Lester, Adrian W Laxton, Ammoren Dohm, Stephen B Tatter, Edward G Shaw, and Michael D Chan

Objectives: Recent trials have shown that whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) can worsen performance status, particularly in the geriatric population. We reviewed our institutional experience with geriatric patients (> 70 years) with brain metastases treated with radiosurgery (SRS) to determine clinical and quality of life (QOL) outcomes.

Methods: Between 7/2000 and 1/2013, a retrospective review was performed on 467 patients treated with SRS (114 geriatric patients). Overall survival (OS), cause of death, and WBRT were evaluated. A retrospective review of geriatric patients was performed with assessments of Karnofsky performance score (KPS, N=69), mini-mental status examinations (MMSE, N=39), and Spitzer QOL (SQOL, N=39) at initial interview, 6, and 12 months after SRS. Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to evaluate differences in quality of life values. Kaplan-Meier analysis estimated survival and time to WBRT.

Results: Geriatric patients had a shorter OS compared to non-geriatric patients (p<0.035). Fewer patients in the geriatric cohort received whole brain (p<0.001) or subsequent Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKRS) (p<0.025). No difference was seen in neurologic death rates (p<0.4). In geriatric patients, SQOL declined from 0 to 6 months (mean 6.5 to 5.9, respectively, p<0.02) and 0 to 12 months (mean 6.5 and 5.6, respectively, p<0.03). KPS and MMSE scores did not change over time. Grade 3 or 4 toxicity was 9% in geriatric patients. There was no grade 5 toxicity.

Conclusion: Geriatric patients tolerate GKRS without a significant decline in KPS or MMSE and with acceptable toxicity profile. SRS also spares a significant proportion of geriatric patients from WBRT, and its associated toxicities.

Keywords: whole brain radiotherapy, radiosurgical management, Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery, geriatric patients, brain metastases, Karnofsky performance score, mini-mental status examination, quality of life outcome

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