Treating brain metastases from breast cancer: outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery

T. G. Wilson, T. Robinson, C. MacFarlane, T. Spencer, C. Herbert, L. Wade, H. Reed, J. P. Braybrooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)



Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an alternative to surgery or whole brain radiotherapy for the control of single or multiple brain metastases in patients with breast cancer. To date, there is no clear consensus on factors that might predict overall survival following SRS. The aim of this study was to assess the overall survival of breast cancer patients with brain metastases treated with SRS at a single centre and to examine the factors that might influence survival.

Materials and methods

A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients with breast cancer and brain metastases, considered suitable for SRS by the regional neuro-oncology multidisciplinary team. All patients were treated at a single National Health Service centre.


In total, 91 patients received SRS between 2013 and 2017, of whom 15 (16.5%) were alive at the time of analysis. The median overall survival post-SRS was 15.7 months (interquartile range 7.7–23.8 months) with no significant effect of age on survival (67 patients ≤ 65 years, 16.3 months; 26 patients > 65 years, 11.4 months, P = 0.129). The primary tumour receptor status was an important determinant of outcome: 31 oestrogen receptor positive (ER+)/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2–) patients had a median overall survival of 13.8 months, 14 ER+/HER2+ patients had a median overall survival of 21.4 months, 30 ER–/HER2+ patients had a median overall survival of 20.4 months and 16 patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) had a median overall survival of 8.5 months. A larger total volume of tumour treated (>10 cm3), but not the number of individual metastases treated, was associated with worse survival (P = 0.0002) in this series. Patients with stable extracranial disease at the time of SRS had improved overall survival compared with those with progressive extracranial disease (30 patients stable extracranial disease overall survival = 20.1 months versus 33 patients progressive extracranial disease overall survival = 11.4 months; P = 0.0011). Seventeen patients had no extracranial disease at the time of SRS, with a median overall survival of 13.1 months.


This single-centre series of consecutive patients with brain metastases from breast cancer, treated with SRS, had a similar overall survival compared with previous studies of SRS. TNBC and ER+/HER2– histology, metastatic volumes >10 cm3 and progressive extracranial disease at the time of SRS were associated with worse survival.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Oncology
Early online date1 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2020


  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Breast cancer
  • Brain metastases
  • Survival
  • Factors influencing survival
  • Intra-cranial disease


Dive into the research topics of 'Treating brain metastases from breast cancer: outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this