Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone versus whole brain radiotherapy plus SRS in patients with 1 to 4 brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer stratified by the graded prognostic assessment: A meta-analysis (PRISMA) of randomized control trials

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The present study aims to assess the therapeutic effect of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) for brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer stratified by graded prognostic assessment (GPA) through meta-analysis.


The Cochrane Library, PubMed, Ovid (Elsevier) were retrieved. The included randomized controlled trials (RCT) were evaluated, and the statistical analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3 software. Cochrane handbook was applied to evaluate the methodological quality. Statistical significance was considered as P < .05.


There were 2 randomized control trials identified eligible for the meta-analysis. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)+WBRT did not significantly improved overall survival (OS) in 2 subgroups. (GPA <2: HR, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61–1.40; P = .71), (GPA ≥2: HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.58–2.80; P = .54). The use of SRS+WBRT significantly extended brain tumor recurrence (BTR) free time in both subgroups (GPA <2: HR, 5.46; 95% CI: 2.09–14.22; P = .0005), (GPA ≥2: HR, 4.24; 95% CI: 2.24–8.04; P < .00001). The meta-analysis showed salvage therapy was more frequent among the SRS-alone in 2 subgroups (GPA <2: RR, 5.83; 95% CI: 1.47–23.06; P = .01), (GPA ≥2: RR, 2.53; 95% CI: 1.30–4.93; P = .006). The rate of grade 3 or 4 late radiation toxic effects was similar in 2 subgroups between SRS and SRS+WBRT


Because there are few studies to meet inclusion criteria, we cannot include more researches. The results of this analysis must be carefully interpreted in view of the unclear risk of bias in inclusion in the study. This meta-analysis of 2 randomized trails indicated that the combined treatment group did not show a survival benefit over SRS alone. However, SRS+WBRT improved BTR free time in the subgroup both GPA <2 and GPA ≥2 with the similar grade 3 or 4 late radiation toxicities.

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