Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 71--75

Role of palliative radiotherapy in brain metastases


1 Department of Radiotherapy, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore - 560 054, India
2 Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
S Nirmala
Department of Radiotherapy, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore - 560 054
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.53588

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Background: Brain metastases are a common manifestation of systemic cancer and exceed primary brain tumors in number and are a significant cause of neurologic problems. They affect 20-40% of all cancer patients. Aggressive management of brain metastases is effective in both symptom palliation and prolonging the life. Radiotherapy has a major role to play in the management of brain metastases. AIM: The aim of the study was to know the outcome of palliative radiotherapy in symptomatic brain metastases in terms of improvement in their performance status. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of 63 patients diagnosed to have brain metastases and treated with palliative whole brain radiotherapy to a dose of 30 Gy in 10 fractions over two weeks between June 1998 and June 2007. Diagnosis was done in most of the cases with computed tomography scan and in a few with magnetic resonance imaging. Improvement in presenting symptoms has been assessed in terms of improvement in their performance status by using the ECOG scale. Results: Fifty-four patients completed the planned treatment. Eight patients received concurrent Temozolamide; 88% of patients had symptom relief at one month follow-up; 39/54 patients had a follow-up of just one to three months. Hence survival could not be assessed in this study. Conclusion: External beam radiotherapy in the dose of 30 Gy over two weeks achieved good palliation in terms improvement in their performance status in 88% of patients. Addition of concurrent and adjuvant Timozolamide may improve the results.






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