Surgery for brain metastases—impact of the extent of resection
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Neurochirurgica. 2022, . 10.1007/s00701-021-05104-7
Background Surgical resection of brain metastases improves symptoms and survival in selected patients. The benefit of gross total resection is disputed, as most patients are believed to succumb from their non-CNS tumor burden. We investigated the association between overall survival and residual tumor after surgery for single brain metastases. Methods We reviewed adults who underwent surgery for a single brain metastasis at a regional referral center (2011–2018). Gross total resection was defined as no visible residual tumor on cerebral MRI 12–48 h postoperatively. Results We included 373 patients. The most common primary tumors were lung cancer (36%) and melanoma (24%). We identified gross total resection in 238 patients (64%). Median overall survival was 11.0 months, 8.0 (6.2–9.8) months for patients with subtotal resection and 13.0 (9.7–16.3) months for patients with gross total resection. In a multivariate regression analysis including preoperative prognostic factors, gross total resection was associated with longer overall survival (HR: 0.66, p = 0.003). Postoperative radiotherapy administered within 6 weeks did not significantly alter the hazard ratio estimates for grade of resection. Conclusions Our study suggests improved survival with gross total resection compared to subtotal resection. The importance of extent of resection in surgery for brain metastases should not be discarded.