Characteristics of breast cancer patients with central nervous system metastases: A single-center experience

Harputluoglu H., DİZDAR Ö., AKSOY S., KILIÇKAP S., Dede D. S., Ozisik Y., ...More

JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, vol.100, no.5, pp.521-526, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics of breast cancer patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastases and factors associated with survival after development of CNS metastasis. One-hundred-forty-four patients with brain metastases were retrospectively analyzed. Median age at the time of brain metastasis diagnosis was 48.9. Median time between initial diagnosis and development of brain metastasis was 36 months. Fourteen cases had leptomeningeal involvement. Twenty-two patients (15.3%) had single metastasis. Ten percent of the patients had surgery, 94% had radiotherapy and 63% had chemotherapy. Median survival after development of brain metastasis was 7.4 months. Survival of patients with single metastasis was significantly longer, than those with multiple metastases (33.5 vs. 6.5 months, P=0.0006). Survival of patients who received chemotherapy was significantly longer than those who received radiotherapy alone (9.9 vs. 2 months, p<0.0001). In multivariate Cox regression analyses, presence of single metastasis and application of chemotherapy were the only significant factors associated with better survival (p=0.047 and p<0.0001, respectively). Age at initial diagnosis or at the time of brain metastasis, time from initial diagnosis to development of brain metastasis, menopausal status, tumor stage, grade, hormone receptor or HER2 status individually were not associated with survival. In this study, survival after the diagnosis of CNS metastases appeared to be affected by patient characteristics rather than biologic characteristics of the tumor. This is probably secondary to the lack of effective treatment options in these patients and overall poor prognosis.