Purpose: In the treatment of resected metastatic brain disease, a recent phase 3 trial by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (N107C/CEC.3) surprisingly found that the local control rate for whole-brain radiation therapy was better than that of stereotactic radiation surgery (SRS). To optimize target delineation, we performed a quantitative analysis of local failure patterns after postoperative SRS. Methods and materials: Patients with brain metastases who were treated with surgery and SRS to the cavity were evaluated. Local failure was defined by pathologic confirmation or magnetic resonance imaging evidence of progression leading to further overlapping radiation therapy. T1 postgadolinium magnetic resonance imaging scans that were taken preoperatively and at recurrence were co-registered to the simulation computed tomography. Three volumes were compared: (1) Preoperative tumors, (2) resection cavities that were originally contoured as clinical target volumes for SRS, and (3) recurrent tumors. Overlap volume histograms quantified the proximity of the three volumes to the meninges. Results: In the cohort of 173 patients, 18 patients experienced local failure in 19 resection cavities. The original SRS target volume overlapped with a median of 69.6% of the recurrent tumor. When the entire preoperative tumor was included, the overlap with the recurrent tumor increased to a median of 76.8%. Recurrent tumors were closer to the meninges than corresponding preoperative tumors (P =.03) but a median 8.2 mm expansion of the target volume from the meninges was needed to increase overlap with the recurrent tumor to 90%. Increases in overlap with the recurrent tumor were achieved most efficiently by uniformly expanding the contoured cavity and a median 2.8 mm expansion covered 90% of the recurrent tumor. Conclusions: Our quantitative analysis of recurrence patterns suggests that a larger 3 mm uniform expansion of the SRS target volume substantially increases coverage of the volume that is later occupied by the recurrent tumor and may provide improved local control. The extent of the preoperative tumor in the target volume or expanding the target volume from the meninges provides little benefit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging