Brain metastasis after immunotherapy in patients with metastatic melanoma or renal cell cancer: Is craniotomy indicated?

Ronald Hurst, Donald E. White, John Heiss, David S. Lee, Steven A. Rosenberg, Douglas J. Schwartzentruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of surgical treatment of brain metastasis in patients with metastatic melanoma or renal cell cancer after interleukin-2 (IL-2) therapy. A retrospective analysis was conducted at the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute. All patients with a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma or renal cell cancer who received IL-2 from January 1, 1985 to January 1, 1996 (n = 1385) were screened for the development of brain metastasis. Forty patients underwent surgical treatment of brain metastasis that developed after initiating IL-2 therapy. Thirty-six were rendered free of disease after resection of a single metastasis and were the focus of this study. Twenty-two of the 36 patients achieved a clinical response (10 complete responses and 12 partial responses) at extracranial sites of disease after IL-2-based immunotherapy and before the development of brain metastasis. The median disease-free interval in the brain after resection of a single metastasis was 21, 7, and 3 months for patients achieving a complete response, partial response, and no response (CR, PR, and NR) to IL-2 therapy, respectively. The median survival after craniotomy for these three groups of patients was 23, 17, and 7 months, respectively. The disease-free interval in the brain and the overall survival after craniotomy were significantly longer for patients achieving a CR to previous immunotherapy when compared with patients achieving a PR or NR. Of the 10 patients who had achieved a prior CR, 8 remained disease free in the brain at last follow-up, 6 remained alive beyond 1 year, and 3>4 years. Twenty-five patients experienced neurologic symptoms before craniotomy and all had complete resolution of their symptoms after surgery. Surgical treatment of single brain metastasis in patients with metastatic melanoma or renal cell cancer is indicated in carefully selected patients. The benefits of resection include palliation of symptoms and the potential for a prolonged disease-free interval in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Renal cell
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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