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Temozolomide in advanced malignant melanoma with small brain metastases: can we Withhold Cranial Irradiation?


Posted on: 01/07/2007

Cancer. 2006 Dec 5; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links

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Temozolomide in advanced malignant melanoma with small brain metastases: can we Withhold Cranial Irradiation?

Boogerd W, de Gast GC, Dalesio O.

Department of Neuro-oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

BACKGROUND.: The efficacy of radiotherapy (RT) in patients who have brain metastases from melanoma is limited. In this study, the authors evaluated the efficacy of treatment with temozolomide in patients with metastatic melanoma, including small brain metastases, who did not require immediate RT and investigated the feasibility of deferring RT. METHODS.: Patients with brain metastasis were identified from 3 prospective studies of temozolomide (with or without immunotherapy) for metastatic melanoma. Patients with brain metastasis that measured >2 cm, extensive edema, and localization in the brain stem were excluded from the study. For the current analysis, patients with leptomeningeal metastasis and patients who received previous stereotactic RT were excluded. In patients who achieved a systemic response or stabilization to temozolomide, the response of brain metastasis and the necessity for palliative cranial RT were evaluated. RESULTS.: Among 179 patients who received temozolomide for advanced melanoma, 52 patients with brain metastasis were evaluable. Stabilization of systemic metastasis was noted in 7 of 52 patients (13%), and there were 6 responses (5 partial responses and 1 complete response; 11%); thus, in those 13 patients, 6 had stabilization of brain metastasis (11%) and 5 had a response (2 partial responses and 3 complete responses; 9%). Immunotherapy did not influence the neurologic response. The median time to neurologic progression was 7 months (range 2-15, months). RT for cerebral recurrence was required in 2 patients. The median survival of patients with brain metastases was 5.6 months (95% confidence interval, 4.4-6.8 months). Intracranial hemorrhagic complications were not observed. CONCLUSIONS.: The current results indicated that it is feasible to treat patients who have advanced melanoma and small brain metastasis with temozolomide as the single treatment. The small subset of patients with systemic response usually showed durable stabilization or a response of brain metastasis. With this approach, neurologic disease can be controlled, and cranial irradiation may be deferred and even withheld in most of patients. Cancer 2007. (c) 2006 American Cancer Society.

PMID: 17149755 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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