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1.  Review and Uses of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Oligometastases 
The Oncologist  2012;17(8):1100-1107.
The radiobiologic, technical, and clinical aspects of stereotactic body radiation therapy are reviewed for various anatomical sites of oligometastases.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Assess stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) as an emerging modality in the treatment of oligometastatic patients.Discuss data on safety and efficacy of SBRT in the oligometastatic setting.Evaluate SBRT as a competitive option in patients with a low burden of disease in the metastatic setting.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
In patients with proven distant metastases from solid tumors, it has been a notion that the condition is incurable, warranting palliative care only. The term “oligometastases” was coined to refer to isolated sites of metastasis, whereby the entire burden of disease can be recognized as a finite number of discrete lesions that can be potentially cured with local therapies. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a novel treatment modality in radiation oncology that delivers a very high dose of radiation to the tumor target with high precision using single or a small number of fractions. SBRT is the result of technological advances in patient and tumor immobilization, image guidance, and treatment planning and delivery. A number of studies, both retrospective and prospective, showed promising results in terms of local tumor control and, in a limited subset of patients, of survival. This article reviews the radiobiologic, technical, and clinical aspects of SBRT for various anatomical sites.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2012-0092
PMCID: PMC3425528  PMID: 22723509
Radiotherapy; Image-guided; Metastases; Neoplasm; Health care economics
2.  Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for Oligometastatic Disease in Liver 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:340478.
Liver metastasis in solid tumors, including colorectal cancer, is the most frequent and lethal complication. The development of systemic therapy has led to prolonged survival. However, in selected patients with a finite number of discrete lesions in liver, defined as oligometastatic state, additional local therapies such as surgical resection, radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, and radiotherapy can lead to permanent local disease control and improve survival. Among these, an advance in radiation therapy made it possible to deliver high dose radiation to the tumor more accurately, without impairing the liver function. In recent years, the introduction of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) has offered even more intensive tumor dose escalation in a few fractions with reduced dose to the adjacent normal liver. Many studies have shown that SABR for oligometastases is effective and safe, with local control rates widely ranging from 50% to 100% at one or two years. And actuarial survival at one and two years has been reported ranging from 72% to 94% and from 30% to 62%, respectively, without severe toxicities. In this paper, we described the definition and technical aspects of SABR, clinical outcomes including efficacy and toxicity, and related parameters after SABR in liver oligometastases from colorectal cancer.
doi:10.1155/2014/340478
PMCID: PMC4020541  PMID: 24868526
3.  Concurrent chemoradiation of metastases with capecitabine and oxaliplatin and 3D-CRT in patients with oligometastatic colorectal cancer: results of a phase I study 
Background
Local control appears to be an important treatment aim in patients with limited metastases (oligometastases) of colorectal cancer (CRC). Those patients show a favourable prognosis, if - in addition to the local effective treatment - an occurrence of new metastases may also be postponed by effective systemic therapy. The purpose of this dose escalation phase I study was to establish the efficacy of local radiotherapy (RT) of oligometastatic CRC with a concurrent standard chemotherapy regimen.
Methods
Patients with first-, second- or third-line therapy of oligometastatic CRC (1–3 metastases or local recurrence plus max. 2 metastases) received capecitabine (825 mg/m2/d BID d 1–14; 22–35) and oxaliplatin (50 mg/m2 d 1, 8, 22, 29). 3D-conformal RT of all metastatic lesions was delivered in 2.0 Gy up to 36 Gy to 50 Gy (3 dose levels). Primary endpoint was the maximal tolerable dose (MTD) of RT defined as the level at which two or more of six patients experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT).
Results
Between 09/2004 and 08/2007, 9 patients (7 male, 2 female, 50–74 years) were enrolled, 6 patients treated at dose level 1 (36 Gy), 3 patients at dose level 2 (44 Gy). 1 patient from the first cohort experienced DLT (oxaliplatin-related hypersensitivity reaction). No radiation-induced DLT occurred. 6/9 patients achieved objective response (partial remission). One year after initiation, all patients were alive, 6 patients survived (16 to 54 months) patients died of tumor progression (14 to 23 months). The phase II part of the trial had to be closed due to recruitment failure.
Conclusions
Local 3D-CRT to metastatic lesions in addition to standard chemotherapy was feasible, DLT was not documented. 3/9 patients survived for a period of 3.5 to 4.4 years (time at the last evaluation). Radiotherapy of metastatic lesions should be incorporated into subsequent trials.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-83
PMCID: PMC3403841  PMID: 22681700
Oligometastatic colorectal cancer; Chemoradiation; Capecitabine; Oxaliplatin; Phase I study
4.  Role of stereotactic body radiotherapy for oligometastasis from colorectal cancer 
Systemic chemotherapy has enabled prolongation of survival in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer. This has subsequently increased the relative significance of local therapy for patients with oligometastases because they can be cured by removal of oligometastatic lesions. One of the most frequently reported tumor histologies for oligometastases is colorectal cancer. Resection is the standard therapy in most settings of oligometastases. Recently, studies have shown that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) may become a treatment option that provides high local control with minimal morbidity. Two-year local control rates following SBRT for hepatic and pulmonary oligometastases are almost over 80% and are even higher for patients treated with high-dose regimens. The indications of SBRT for other metastatic sites or conditions include isolated lymph nodes, spinal and adrenal metastasis, and post-surgical pelvic recurrence. Many retrospective studies have indicated that SBRT for various lesions results in good outcomes with low morbidity, both in the curative and palliative setting. However, few reports with a high level of evidence have indicated the efficacy of SBRT compared to standard therapy. Hereafter, the optimal indication of SBRT needs to be prospectively investigated to obtain convincing evidence.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i15.4220
PMCID: PMC3989958  PMID: 24764660
Oligometastasis; Colorectal cancer; Radiation therapy; Stereotactic ablation body radiation therapy; Local therapy
5.  Therapeutic strategy for postoperative recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer 
World Journal of Clinical Oncology  2014;5(5):1048-1054.
Postoperative recurrence occurs in approximately half of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), even after complete resection. Disease recurrence after surgical resection reduces the patient’s life expectancy sharply. The prognosis after postoperative recurrence is considered to largely depend on both the mode of first recurrence (distant, locoregional or combined) and the treatment modality: (1) The majority of cases of postoperative recurrence involve distant metastasis with or without locoregional recurrence. Platinum-based systemic chemotherapy is practically accepted as the treatment for these diseases on the basis of evidence for original stage IV disease. The advent of both pemetrexed and molecular-targeted drugs has improved the survival of nonsquamous NSCLC and changed the chemotherapeutic algorithm for NSCLC; (2) Among patients with distant metastatic recurrence without locoregional recurrence at the primary tumor site, the metastasis is often limited in both organ and number. Such metastases are referred to as oligometastases. Local therapy, such as surgical resection and radiotherapy, has been suggested to be the first-line treatment of choice for oligometastatic recurrence; and (3) While locoregional recurrence is likely to cause troublesome symptoms, it is a potentially limited disease. Therefore, providing local control is important, and radiation is usually beneficial for treating local recurrence. In order to obtain better control of the disease and provide treatment with curative intent in patients with limited disease, the administration of concurrent platinum-based chemoradiotherapy is recommended according to the results of originally nonresectable stage IIIA and IIIB disease.
doi:10.5306/wjco.v5.i5.1048
PMCID: PMC4259931  PMID: 25493240
Non-small cell lung cancer; Postoperative recurrence; Distant metastasis; Oligometastases; Local treatment; Locoregional recurrence
6.  Surveillance or metastasis-directed Therapy for OligoMetastatic Prostate cancer recurrence (STOMP): study protocol for a randomized phase II trial 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):671.
Background
Metastases-directed therapy (MDT) with surgery or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is emerging as a new treatment option for prostate cancer (PCa) patients with a limited number of metastases (≤3) at recurrence – so called “oligometastases”. One of the goals of this approach is to delay the start of palliative androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), with its negative impact on quality of life. However, the lack of a control group, selection bias and the use of adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy prevent strong conclusions from published studies.
The aim of this multicenter randomized phase II trial is to assess the impact of MTD on the start of palliative ADT compared to patients undergoing active surveillance.
Methods/Design
Patients with an oligometastatic recurrence, diagnosed on choline PET/CT after local treatment with curative intent, will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio between arm A: active surveillance only and arm B: MTD followed by active surveillance. Patients will be stratified according to the location of metastasis (node vs. bone metastases) and PSA doubling time (≤3 vs. > 3 months). Both surgery and SBRT are allowed as MDT. Active surveillance means 3-monthly PSA testing and re-imaging at PSA progression. The primary endpoint is ADT-free survival. ADT will be started in both arms at time of polymetastatic disease (>3 metastatic lesions), local progression or symptoms. The secondary endpoints include progression-free survival, quality of life, toxicity and prostate-cancer specific survival.
Discussion
This is the first randomized phase 2 trial assessing the possibility of deferring palliative ADT with MDT in oligometastatic PCa recurrence.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01558427
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-671
PMCID: PMC4175227  PMID: 25223986
Oligometastases; Prostate cancer; Salvage treatment; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; Salvage lymph node dissection; Active surveillance; Androgen deprivation therapy; Quality of life; Survival
7.  Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Metachronous Multisite Oligo-Recurrence: A Long-Surviving Case with Sequential Oligo-Recurrence in Four Different Organs Treated Using Locally Radical Radiotherapy and a Review of the Literature 
Pulmonary Medicine  2012;2012:713073.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for oligometastases represents a recent trend in radiation oncology. While abundant data are available regarding the use of SBRT for the treatment of lung or liver oligometastases from various retrospective series and prospective trials, relatively little information has been accumulated for the treatment of oligometastases at sites other than the lungs and liver, particularly for sequential oligometastases in multiple organs. Oligometastases with primary lesions controlled is called “oligo-recurrence.” We describe herein the case of a lung cancer patient who developed repeated oligo-recurrence at multiple sites that were each controlled by radical radiotherapy and achieved long-term survival and discuss the merits of locally aggressive radiotherapy for this type of disease condition with reviewing the literature. Although further investigation should be undertaken to clarify the benefits, objectives, and methods of SBRT for the treatment of oligometastases, we believe utilization of SBRT may be worthwhile for patients with remote metastases who hope for treatment to acquire better local control and possible longer survival.
doi:10.1155/2012/713073
PMCID: PMC3486341  PMID: 23150822
8.  Novel Insights of Oligometastases and Oligo-Recurrence and Review of the Literature 
Pulmonary Medicine  2012;2012:261096.
Oligometastases and oligo-recurrence are among the most important notions of metastatic and recurrent cancer. The concept of oligometastases is related to the notion that cancer patients with 1–5 metastatic or recurrent lesions that could be treated by local therapy achieve long-term survival or cure, while the concept of oligo-recurrence is related to the notion that cancer patients with 1–5 metastatic or recurrent lesions that could be treated by local therapy have controlled primary lesions. Achievement of long-term survival or cure in patients with oligometastases and oligo-recurrence is cancer and organ specific. These facts rely on the seed and soil theory and multiple steps of cancer progression. Oligo-recurrence is considered to have a better prognosis than oligometastases. In patients with oligometastases and oligo-recurrence, the oligometastases and oligo-recurrence are sometimes cured with only local therapy, which is an example of the abscopal effect, previously described in relation to cure of lesions outside of the field of radiation therapy without systemic therapy. Oligometastases and oligo-recurrence can now be cured by less invasive local treatment methods combined with systemic therapy. The mechanisms of oligometastases and oligo-recurrence, as well as novel insights into these important concepts, are presented in this paper.
doi:10.1155/2012/261096
PMCID: PMC3432385  PMID: 22966429
9.  A single-institution study of stereotactic body radiotherapy for patients with unresectable visceral pulmonary or hepatic oligometastases 
Purpose
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility, efficacy and toxicity of SBRT for treatment of unresectable hepatic or lung metastases regardless of their primary tumor site for patients who received prior systemic chemotherapy.
Methods and materials
Between July 2007 and June 2010, 90 patients were treated with the CyberKnife® SBRT system for hepatic or pulmonary metastatic lesions. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed. The endpoints of this study were local control, overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), local relapse free-survival (LRFS), and treatment toxicity.
Results
A total of 113 liver and 26 lung metastatic lesions in 52 men (58%) and 38 women (42%) were treated. Median follow-up was 17 months. Median age at treatment was 65 years (range, 23–84 years). Primary cancers were 63 GI, three lung, eight breast, four melanoma, three neuro-endocrine tumors, and three sarcomas. Median diameter of the lesions was 28 mm (range, 7–110 mm) for liver and 12.5 mm (range, 5–63.5 mm) for lung. Local control rates at 1 and 2 years were 84.5% and 66.1%, respectively. Two-year overall survival rate was 70% (95% CI: 55–81%). The 1 and 2-year disease-free survival rates were 27% (95% CI: 18–37%) and 10% (95% CI: 4–20%), respectively. Median duration of disease-free survival was 6.7 months (95% CI: 5.1–9.5 months). Observed toxicities included grade 1–3 acute toxicities. One grade 3 and no grade 4 toxicity were reported.
Conclusion
High-dose SBRT for metastatic lesions is both feasible and effective with high local control rates. Overall survival is comparable with other available techniques. Treatment is well tolerated with low toxicity rates. It could represent an interesting treatment option for oligometastatic patients not amenable to surgery, even when patients had been pre-treated with chemotherapy.
Summary
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) has previously been successfully used in the treatment of metastatic lesions. It could be considered as a curative option for oligometastatic patients. This retrospective study involved 90 patients, designed to test potential effectiveness of SBRT in the treatment of oligometastases irrespective of primary. Results suggest SBRT could be an effective treatment extending patients’ life span. This treatment appears to be more effective when used prior to multiple systemic treatment regimens.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-164
PMCID: PMC3494573  PMID: 23014094
SBRT; Liver metastasis; Lung metastasis; Oligometastases; CyberKnife
10.  Stereotactic body radiation therapy for abdominal oligometastases: a biological and clinical review 
Advances in imaging and biological targeting have led to the development of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) as an alternative treatment of extracranial oligometastases. New radiobiological concepts, such as ceramide-induced endothelial apoptosis after hypofractionated high-dose SBRT, and the identification of patients with oligometastatic disease by microRNA expression may yet lead to further developments. Key factors in SBRT are delivery of a high dose per fraction, proper patient positioning, target localisation, and management of breathing–related motion. Our review addresses the radiation doses and schedules used to treat liver, abdominal lymph node (LN) and adrenal gland oligometastases and treatment outcomes. Reported local control (LC) rates for liver and abdominal LN oligometastases are high (median 2-year actuarial LC: 61 -100% for liver oligometastases; 4-year actuarial LC: 68% in a study of abdominal LN oligometastases). Early toxicity is low-to-moderate; late adverse effects are rare. SBRT of adrenal gland oligometastases shows promising results in the case of isolated lesions. In conclusion, properly conducted SBRT procedures are a safe and effective treatment option for abdominal oligometastases.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-7-126
PMCID: PMC3485144  PMID: 22852764
Cancer; Gastrointestinal; Liver; Radiotherapy; Radiation biology; Surgery
11.  MicroRNA Expression Characterizes Oligometastasis(es) 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28650.
Background
Cancer staging and treatment presumes a division into localized or metastatic disease. We proposed an intermediate state defined by ≤5 cumulative metastasis(es), termed oligometastases. In contrast to widespread polymetastases, oligometastatic patients may benefit from metastasis-directed local treatments. However, many patients who initially present with oligometastases progress to polymetastases. Predictors of progression could improve patient selection for metastasis-directed therapy.
Methods
Here, we identified patterns of microRNA expression of tumor samples from oligometastatic patients treated with high-dose radiotherapy.
Results
Patients who failed to develop polymetastases are characterized by unique prioritized features of a microRNA classifier that includes the microRNA-200 family. We created an oligometastatic-polymetastatic xenograft model in which the patient-derived microRNAs discriminated between the two metastatic outcomes. MicroRNA-200c enhancement in an oligometastatic cell line resulted in polymetastatic progression.
Conclusions
These results demonstrate a biological basis for oligometastases and a potential for using microRNA expression to identify patients most likely to remain oligometastatic after metastasis-directed treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028650
PMCID: PMC3236765  PMID: 22174856
12.  The management of painful bone metastases with an emphasis on radionuclide therapy. 
OBJECTIVE: This review provides an update on the management of painful bone metastases, with an emphasis on radionuclide therapy, and introduces oligometastases and quantitative imaging evaluations for clinical trials. METHODS: The current use of radionuclides, alone and in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for painful bone metastases, is discussed, including toxicity, cost and overall outcomes. RESULTS: Radionuclide therapy is shown to be a useful and cost-effective means of alleviating bone pain in metastatic disease and may be more effective when combined with chemotherapy, bisphosphonates and radiation therapy. Early use of radionuclides in pain therapy may limit cancer progression by inhibiting oligometastases development. Thus, radionuclides can significantly decrease patient morbidity, prolong patient survival, and may decrease the occurrence of new bone metastases. CONCLUSION: Palliative pain therapy is critical for effectively managing bone metastases, with treatment options including analgesics, external beam radiotherapy, chemotherapy and radionuclides. Radionuclide therapy is underutilized. Recent studies using radionuclides with chemotherapy and bisphosponates, or using newer radionuclides or combinations of radionuclides and treatment paradigms (e.g., higher activities, repetitive or cyclic administration, chemo sensitization, chemo supplementation), are encouraging. A comprehensive, inter-disciplinary clinical approach is needed. Clinical collaborations will optimize radionuclide therapy for pain palliation and increase awareness of its benefits.
PMCID: PMC2574338  PMID: 17668645
13.  Prognostic Impact of Radiation Therapy to the Primary Tumor in Patients With Non-small Cell Lung Cancer and Oligometastasis at Diagnosis 
Purpose
We investigated prognostic factors associated with survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and oligometastatic disease at diagnosis, particularly the influence of local treatment to the primary site on prognosis.
Methods and Materials
From January 2000 through June 2011, 78 consecutive patients with oligometastatic NSCLC (<5 metastases) at diagnosis underwent definitive chemoradiation therapy (≥45 Gy) to the primary site. Forty-four of these patients also received definitive local treatment for the oligometastases. Survival outcomes were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and risk factors were identified by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results
Univariate Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed better overall survival (OS) for those patients who received at least 63 Gy of radiation to the primary site (P=.002), received definitive local treatment for oligometastasis (P=.041), had a Karnofsky performance status (KPS) score >80 (P=.007), had a gross tumor volume ≤ 124 cm3 (P=.002), had adenocarcinoma histology (P=.002), or had no history of respiratory disease (P=.016). On multivariate analysis, radiation dose, performance status, and tumor volume retained significance (P=.004, P=.006, and P<.001, respectively). The radiation dose also maintained significance when patients with and without brain metastases were analyzed separately.
Conclusions
Tumor volume, KPS, and receipt of at least 63 Gy to the primary tumor are associated with improved OS in patients with oligometastatic NSCLC at diagnosis. Our results suggest that a subset of such patients may benefit from definitive local therapy.
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.02.054
PMCID: PMC3919541  PMID: 22503522
14.  Stereotactic body radiation therapy for liver metastases 
Over the years, early diagnosis of metastatic disease has improved and the prevalence of oligometastatic patients is increasing. Liver is a most common site of progression from gastrointestinal, lung and breast cancer and in the setting of oligometastatic patients, surgical resection is associated with increased survival. Approximately 70-90% of liver metastases, however, are unresectable and an effective and safe alternative therapeutic option is necessary for these patients. The role of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) was investigated in the treatment of oligometastatic patients with promising results, thanks to the ability of this procedure to deliver a conformal high dose of radiation to the target lesion and a minimal dose to surrounding critical tissues. This paper was performed to review the current literature and to provide the practice guidelines on the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy in the treatment of liver metastases. We performed a literature search using Medical Subject Heading terms “SBRT” and “liver metastases”, considering a period of ten years.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2078-6891.2014.039
PMCID: PMC4074953  PMID: 24982767
Liver metastases; stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT); oligometastases; stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR)
15.  Preoperative/Neoadjuvant Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Response and Resection Percentages 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(4):e1000267.
Jörg Kleef and colleagues systematically reviewed studies on neoadjuvant therapy and tumor response, toxicity, resection, and survival percentages in pancreatic cancer and suggest that patients with locally nonresectable tumors should be included in neoadjuvant protocols.
Background
Pancreatic cancer has an extremely poor prognosis and prolonged survival is achieved only by resection with macroscopic tumor clearance. There is a strong rationale for a neoadjuvant approach, since a relevant percentage of pancreatic cancer patients present with non-metastatic but locally advanced disease and microscopic incomplete resections are common. The objective of the present analysis was to systematically review studies concerning the effects of neoadjuvant therapy on tumor response, toxicity, resection, and survival percentages in pancreatic cancer.
Methods and Findings
Trials were identified by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1966 to December 2009 as well as through reference lists of articles and proceedings of major meetings. Retrospective and prospective studies analyzing neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy of pancreatic cancer patients, followed by re-staging, and surgical exploration/resection were included. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Pooled relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using random-effects models. Primary outcome measures were proportions of tumor response categories and percentages of exploration and resection. A total of 111 studies (n = 4,394) including 56 phase I–II trials were analyzed. A median of 31 (interquartile range [IQR] 19–46) patients per study were included. Studies were subdivided into surveys considering initially resectable tumors (group 1) and initially non-resectable (borderline resectable/unresectable) tumors (group 2). Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was given in 96.4% of the studies with the main agents gemcitabine, 5-FU (and oral analogues), mitomycin C, and platinum compounds. Neoadjuvant radiotherapy was applied in 93.7% of the studies with doses ranging from 24 to 63 Gy. Averaged complete/partial response probabilities were 3.6% (95% CI 2%–5.5%)/30.6% (95% CI 20.7%–41.4%) and 4.8% (95% CI 3.5%–6.4%)/30.2% (95% CI 24.5%–36.3%) for groups 1 and 2, respectively; whereas progressive disease fraction was estimated to 20.9% (95% CI 16.9%–25.3%) and 20.8% (95% CI 14.5%–27.8%). In group 1, resectability was estimated to 73.6% (95% CI 65.9%–80.6%) compared to 33.2% (95% CI 25.8%–41.1%) in group 2. Higher resection-associated morbidity and mortality rates were observed in group 2 versus group 1 (26.7%, 95% CI 20.7%–33.3% versus 39.1%, 95% CI 29.5%–49.1%; and 3.9%, 95% CI 2.2%–6% versus 7.1%, 95% CI 5.1%–9.5%). Combination chemotherapies resulted in higher estimated response and resection probabilities for patients with initially non-resectable tumors (“non-resectable tumor patients”) compared to monotherapy. Estimated median survival following resection was 23.3 (range 12–54) mo for group 1 and 20.5 (range 9–62) mo for group 2 patients.
Conclusions
In patients with initially resectable tumors (“resectable tumor patients”), resection frequencies and survival after neoadjuvant therapy are similar to those of patients with primarily resected tumors and adjuvant therapy. Approximately one-third of initially staged non-resectable tumor patients would be expected to have resectable tumors following neoadjuvant therapy, with comparable survival as initially resectable tumor patients. Thus, patients with locally non-resectable tumors should be included in neoadjuvant protocols and subsequently re-evaluated for resection.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It begins when a cell in the pancreas (an organ lying behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes and hormones such as insulin that controls blood sugar levels) acquires genetic changes that allow it to grow uncontrollably and, sometimes, to spread around the body (metastasize). Because pancreatic cancer rarely causes any symptoms early in its development, it is locally advanced in more than a third of patients and has already metastasized in another half of patients by the time it is diagnosed. Consequently, on average, people die within 5–8 months of a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. At present, the only chance for cure is surgical removal (resection) of the tumor, part of the pancreas, and other nearby digestive organs. This procedure—the Whipple procedure—is only possible in the fifth of patients whose tumor is found when it is small enough to be resectable, and even in these patients, the cure rate associated with surgery is less than 25%, although radiotherapy or chemotherapy after surgery (adjuvant therapy) can be beneficial.
Why Was This Study Done?
For patients whose tumor has metastasized, palliative chemotherapy to slow down tumor growth and to minimize pain is the only treatment option. But, for the many patients whose disease is locally advanced and unresectable at diagnosis, experts think that “neoadjuvant” therapy might be helpful. Neoadjuvant therapy—chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy given before surgery—aims to convert unresectable tumors into resectable tumors by shrinking the visible tumor and removing cancer cells that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Randomized phase III trials—studies in which groups of patients are randomly assigned to different interventions and specific outcomes measured—are the best way to determine whether an intervention has any clinical benefits, but no randomized phase III trials of neoadjuvant therapy for unresectable pancreatic cancer have been undertaken. Therefore, in this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and meta-analysis (a statistical method for combining the results of several studies), the researchers analyze data from other types of studies to investigate whether neoadjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer provides any clinical benefits.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In their systematic review, the researchers identified 111 studies involving 4,394 patients in which the effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy on tumor response, tumor resectability, and patient survival had been investigated. They subdivided the studies into two groups: group 1 studies included patients whose tumors were considered resectable on preoperative examination, and group 2 studies included patients whose tumors were borderline resectable or unresectable. In their meta-analysis, the researchers found that similar percentages of the tumors in both groups responded to neoadjuvant therapy by shrinking or regressing and that about a fifth of the tumors in each group grew larger or metastasized during neoadjuvant therapy. In the group 1 studies, three-quarters of the tumors were resectable after neoadjuvant therapy (a decrease in the proportion of tumors that could be treated surgically) whereas in the group 2 studies, a third of the tumors were resectable after neoadjuvant therapy (an increase in the proportion of tumors that could be treated surgically). After resection, the average survival time for group 1 patients was 23.3 months, a similar survival time to that seen in patients treated with surgery and adjuvant therapy. The average survival time for group 2 patients after resection was 20.5 months.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The finding that the average survival time after neoadjuvant therapy and surgery in patients whose tumor was judged resectable before neoadjuvant therapy was similar to that of patients treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy after surgery suggests that for patients with resectable tumors, neoadjuvant therapy will not provide any clinical benefit. By contrast, the finding that a third of patients initially judged unresectable were able to undergo resection after neoadjuvant therapy and then had a similar survival rate to patients judged resectable before neoadjuvant treatment strongly suggests that patients presenting with locally advanced/unresectable tumors should be offered neoadjuvant therapy and then re-evaluated for resection. Randomized trials are now needed to confirm this finding and to determine the optimum neoadjuvant therapy for this group of patients.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000267.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information for patients and health professionals about all aspects of pancreatic cancer (in English and Spanish), including a booklet for patients
The American Cancer Society also provides detailed information about pancreatic cancer
The UK National Health Service and Cancer Research UK include information for patients on pancreatic cancer on their Web sites
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources on pancreatic cancer (in English and Spanish)
Pancreatica.org, PancreaticDuct.org, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network give more information to pancreatic cancer patients, their families, and caregivers
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000267
PMCID: PMC2857873  PMID: 20422030
16.  A Call for the Aggressive Treatment of Oligometastatic and Oligo-Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Pulmonary Medicine  2012;2012:480961.
Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carries a dismal prognosis. Clinical evidence suggests the existence of an intermediate, or oligometastatic, state when metastases are limited in number and/or location. In addition, following initial curative therapy, many patients present with limited metastatic disease, or oligo-recurrence. Metastasis-directed, anti-cancer therapies may benefit these patients. A growing evidence-base supports the use of hypofractionated, image-guided radiotherapy (HIGRT) for a variety of malignant conditions including inoperable stage I NSCLC and many metastatic sites. When surgical resection is not possible, HIGRT offers an effective alternative for local treatment of limited metastatic disease. Early studies have produced promising results when HIGRT was delivered to all known sites of disease in patients with oligometastatic/oligo-recurrent NSCLC. In a population of patients formerly considered rapidly terminal, these studies report five year overall survival rates of 13–22%. HIGRT for metastatic NSCLC warrants further study. We call for large, intergroup, and even international randomized trials incorporating HIGRT and other metastasis-directed therapies into the treatment of patients with oligometastatic/oligo-recurrent NSCLC.
doi:10.1155/2012/480961
PMCID: PMC3483729  PMID: 23125927
17.  Comparison of outcomes in patients with stage III versus limited stage IV non-small cell lung cancer 
Background
Standard therapy for metastatic non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) includes palliative systemic chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Recent studies of patients with limited metastases treated with curative-intent stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) have shown encouraging survival. We hypothesized that patients treated with SBRT for limited metastases have comparable outcomes with those treated with curative-intent radiation for Stage III NSCLC.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the records of NSCLC patients treated with curative-intent radiotherapy at the University of Rochester from 2000-2008. We identified 3 groups of patients with NSCLC: stage III, stage IV, and recurrent stage IV (initial stage I-II). All stage IV NSCLC patients treated with SBRT had ≤ 8 lesions.
Results
Of 146 patients, 88% had KPS ≥ 80%, 30% had > 5% weight loss, and 95% were smokers. The 5-year OS from date of NSCLC diagnosis for stage III, initial stage IV and recurrent stage IV was 7%, 14%, and 27% respectively. The 5-year OS from date of metastatic diagnosis was significantly (p < 0.00001) superior among those with limited metastases (≤ 8 lesions) versus stage III patients who developed extensive metastases not amenable to SBRT (14% vs. 0%).
Conclusion
Stage IV NSCLC is a heterogeneous patient population, with a selected cohort apparently faring better than Stage III patients. Though patients with limited metastases are favorably selected by virtue of more indolent disease and/or less bulky disease burden, perhaps staging these patients differently is appropriate for prognostic and treatment characterization. Aggressive local therapy may be indicated in these patients, though prospective clinical studies are needed.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-6-80
PMCID: PMC3141527  PMID: 21718501
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy; Oligometastases; Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
18.  A Comprehensive Review of Contemporary Role of Local Treatment of the Primary Tumor and/or the Metastases in Metastatic Prostate Cancer 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:501213.
To provide an overview of the currently available literature regarding local control of primary tumor and oligometastases in metastatic prostate cancer and salvage lymph node dissection of clinical lymph node relapse after curative treatment of prostate cancer. Evidence Acquisition. A systematic literature search was conducted in 2014 to identify abstracts, original articles, review articles, research articles, and editorials relevant to the local control in metastatic prostate cancer. Evidence Synthesis. Local control of primary tumor in metastatic prostate cancer remains experimental with low level of evidence. The concept is supported by a growing body of genetic and molecular research as well as analogy with other cancers. There is only one retrospective observational population based study showing prolonged survival. To eradicate oligometastases, several options exist with excellent local control rates. Stereotactic body radiotherapy is safe, well tolerated, and efficacious treatment for lymph node and bone lesions. Both biochemical and clinical progression are slowed down with a median time to initiate ADT of 2 years. Salvage lymph node dissection is feasible in patients with clinical lymph node relapse after local curable treatment. Conclusion. Despite encouraging oncologic midterm results, a complete cure remains elusive in metastatic prostate cancer patients. Further advances in imaging are crucial in order to rapidly evolve beyond the proof of concept.
doi:10.1155/2014/501213
PMCID: PMC4251412  PMID: 25485280
19.  Management of single brain metastasis: a practice guideline 
Current Oncology  2007;14(4):131-143.
Questions
Should patients with confirmed single brain metastasis undergo surgical resection?
Should patients with single brain metastasis undergoing surgical resection receive adjuvant whole-brain radiation therapy (wbrt)?
What is the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (srs) in the management of patients with single brain metastasis?
Perspectives
Approximately 15%–30% of patients with cancer will develop cerebral metastases over the course of their disease. Patients identified as having single brain metastasis generally undergo more aggressive treatment than do those with multiple metastases; however, in the province of Ontario, management of patients with single brain metastasis varies. Given that conflicting evidence has been reported, the Neuro-oncology Disease Site Group (dsg) of the Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-based Care felt that a systematic review of the evidence and a practice guideline were warranted.
Outcomes
Outcomes of interest were survival, local control of disease, quality of life, and adverse effects.
Methodology
The medline, cancerlit, embase, and Cochrane Library databases and abstracts published in the proceedings of the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (1997–2005) and American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (1998–2004) were systematically searched for relevant evidence. The review included fully published reports or abstracts of randomized controlled trials (rcts), nonrandomized prospective studies, and retrospective studies.
The present systematic review and practice guideline has been reviewed and approved by the Neuro-oncology dsg, which comprises medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, neurologists, a nurse, and a patient representative. External review by Ontario practitioners was obtained through an electronic survey. Final approval of the guideline report was obtained from the Report Approval Panel and the Neuro-oncology dsg.
Results
Quality of Evidence
The literature search found three rcts that compared surgical resection plus wbrt with wbrt alone. In addition, a Cochrane review, including a meta-analysis of published data from those three rcts, was obtained.
One rct compared surgical resection plus wbrt with surgical resection alone. One rct compared wbrt plus srs with wbrt alone. Evidence comparing srs with surgical resection or examining srs with or without wbrt was limited to prospective case series and retrospective studies.
Benefits
Two of three rcts reported a significant survival benefit for patients who underwent surgical resection as compared with those who received wbrt alone. Pooled results of the three rcts indicated no significant difference in survival or likelihood of dying from neurologic causes; however, significant heterogeneity was detected between the trials. The rct that compared surgical resection plus wbrt with surgical resection alone reported no significant difference in overall survival or length of functional independence; however, tumour recurrence at the site of the metastasis and anywhere in the brain was less frequent in patients who received wbrt as compared with patients in the observation group. In addition, patients who received wbrt were less likely to die from neurologic causes.
Results of the rct that compared wbrt plus srs with wbrt alone indicated a significant improvement in median survival in patients who received srs. No quality evidence compares the efficacy of srs with surgical resection or examines the question of whether patients who receive srs should also receive wbrt.
Harms
Pooled results of the three rcts that examined surgical resection indicated no significant difference in adverse effects between groups. Postoperative complications included respiratory problems, intracerebral hemorrhage, and infection. One rct reported no significant difference in adverse effects between patients who received wbrt plus srs and those who received wbrt alone.
Practice Guideline
Target Population
The recommendations that follow apply to adults with confirmed cancer and a single brain metastasis. This practice guideline does not apply to patients with metastatic lymphoma, small-cell lung cancer, germ-cell tumour, leukemia, or sarcoma.
Recommendations
Surgical excision should be considered for patients with good performance status, minimal or no evidence of extracranial disease, and a surgically accessible single brain metastasis amenable to complete excision. Because treatment in cases of single brain metastasis is considered palliative, invasive local treatments must be individualized. Patients with lesions requiring emergency decompression because of intracranial hypertension were excluded from the rcts, but should be considered candidates for surgery.
To reduce the risk of tumour recurrence for patients who have undergone resection of a single brain metastasis, postoperative wbrt should be considered. The optimal dose and fractionation schedule for wbrt is 3000 cGy in 10 fractions or 2000 cGy in 5 fractions.
As an alternative to surgical resection, wbrt followed by srs boost should be considered for patients with single brain metastasis. The evidence is insufficient to recommend srs alone as a single-modality therapy.
Qualifying Statements
No high-quality data are available regarding the choice of surgery versus radiosurgery for single brain metastasis. In general, the size and location of the metastasis determine the optimal approach.
The standard wbrt regimen for management of patients with single brain metastasis in the United States is 3000 cGy in 10 fractions, and this treatment is usually the standard arm in randomized studies of radiation in patients with brain metastases. Based solely on evidence, the understanding that no reason exists to choose 3000 cGy in 10 fractions over 2000 cGy in 5 fractions is correct; however, fraction size is believed to be important, and therefore 300 cGy daily (3000/10) is believed to be associated with fewer long-term neurocognitive effects than 400 cGy daily (2000/5) in the occasional long-term survivor. For that reason, many radiation oncologists in Ontario prefer 3000 cGy in 10 fractions. No data exist to either support or refute that preference; therefore, finding a resolution to this issue is not currently possible. The Neuro-oncology dsg will update the recommendations as new evidence becomes available.
PMCID: PMC1948870  PMID: 17710205
Brain metastasis; surgery; radiotherapy; radiosurgery; systematic review; practice guideline
20.  Oligometastases and Oligo-recurrence: The New Era of Cancer Therapy 
Recurrence or metastasis of cancer has been considered to occur in the last stage of the patient's life. However, the new notions of oligometastases and oligo-recurrence have been proposed and the paradigm shift in the conceptualization of cancer metastasis or cancer recurrence. Oligometastases is the state in which the patient shows distant relapse in only a limited number of regions. Local therapy such as surgery, radiotherapy and radiofrequency ablation for the relapsed sites could thus improve patient's survival. On the other hand, oligo-recurrence is a notion similar to oligometastases. However, the conditions of oligo-recurrence has a primary site of the cancer controlled, meaning that all gross recurrent or metastatic sites could be treated using local therapy.
doi:10.1093/jjco/hyp167
PMCID: PMC2813545  PMID: 20047860
oligometastases; oligo-recurrence; local therapy; systemic therapy; paradigm shift
21.  Oligometastasis and oligo-recurrence: more than a mirage 
The standard treatment choice for cancer metastasis has been systemic management, including cytotoxic chemotherapy, hormonal manipulation, and targeted therapy. Emerging evidence has shown an oligometastatic state, an intermediate state between limited primary cancer and polymetastatic cancer, in which local therapy for metastatic lesions results in satisfactory survival comparable to non-metastatic disease. We provide a comprehensive introduction of evidence from experimental and clinical studies in favor of the oligometastatic phenotype, we review the efficacy and safety of surgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy in the treatment of oligometastases, and finally, we discuss the way to differentiate the oligometastatic state from polymetastasis.
doi:10.1186/s13014-014-0230-6
PMCID: PMC4222373  PMID: 25359216
Oligometastasis; Oligo-recurrence; Surgery; SBRT; Survival
22.  Local control rates with five-fraction stereotactic body radiotherapy for oligometastatic cancer to the lung 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(4):369-374.
Objective
To report our institutional experience with five fractions of daily 8-12 Gy stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for the treatment of oligometastatic cancer to the lung.
Methods
Thirty-four consecutive patients with oligometastatic cancers to the lung were treated with image-guided SBRT between 2008 and 2011. Patient age ranged from 38 to 81 years. There were 17 males and 17 females. Lung metastases were from the following primary cancer types: colon cancer (n=13 patients), head and neck cancer (n=6), breast cancer (n=4), melanoma (n=4), sarcoma (n=4) and renal cell carcinoma (n=3). The median prescription dose was 50 Gy in five fractions (range, 40-60 Gy) to the isocenter, with the 80% isodose line encompassing the planning target volume (PTV) [defined as gross tumor volume (GTV) + 7-11 mm volumetric expansion]. The follow-up interval ranged from 2.4-54 months, with a median of 16.7 months.
Results
The 1-, 2-, and 3-year patient local control (LC) rates for all patients were 93%, 88%, and 80% respectively. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year overall survival (OS) rates were 62%, 44%, and 23% respectively. The 1- and 2-year patient LC rates were 95% and 88% for tumor size 1-2 cm (n=25), and 86% for tumor size 2-3 cm (n=7). The majority (n=4) of local failures occurred within 12 months. No patient experienced local failure after 12 months except for one patient with colon cancer whose tumors progressed locally at 26 months. All five patients with local recurrences had colorectal cancer. Statistical analyses showed that age, gender, previous chemotherapy, previous surgery or radiation had no significant effect on LC rates. No patient was reported to have any symptomatic pneumonitis at any time point.
Conclusions
SBRT for oligometastatic disease to the lung using 8-12 Gy daily fractions over five treatments resulted in excellent 1- and 2-year LC rates. Most local failures occurred within the first 12 months, with five local failures associated with colorectal cancer. The treatment is safe using this radiation fractionation schedule with no therapy-related pneumonitis.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2013.12.03
PMCID: PMC3968553  PMID: 24688781
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT); lung cancer; oligometastases
23.  Particle beam radiation therapy using carbon ions and protons for oligometastatic lung tumors 
Background
A study was undertaken to analyze the efficacy and feasibility of particle beam radiation therapy (PBRT) using carbon ions and protons for the treatment of patients with oligometastatic lung tumors.
Methods
A total of 47 patients with 59 lesions who underwent PBRT for oligometastatic lung tumors between 2003 and 2011 were included in this study. Patient median age was 66 (range, 39–84) years. The primary tumor site was the colorectum in 11 patients (23.4%), lung in 10 patients (21.3%) and a variety of other sites in 26 patients (55.3%). Thirty-one patients (66%) received chemotherapy prior to PBRT. Thirty-three lesions were treated with 320-MeV carbon ions and 26 were treated with 150- or 210-Mev protons in 1–4 portals. A median total dose of 60 (range, 52.8–70.2) GyE was delivered at the isocenter in 8 (range, 4–26) fractions.
Results
The median follow-up time was 17 months. The local control, overall survival and progression-free survival rates at 2 years were 79%, 54 and 27% respectively. PBRT-related toxicities were observed; six patients (13%) had grade 2 toxicity (including grade 2 radiation pneumonitis in 2) and six patients (13%) had grade 3 toxicity. Univariate analysis indicated that patients treated with a biologically equivalent dose of 10 (BED10) <110 GyE10, had a significantly higher local recurrence rate. Local control rates were relatively lower in the subsets of patients with the colorectum as the primary tumor site. No local progression was observed in metastases from colorectal cancer irradiated with a BED10 ≥ 110 GyE10. There was no difference in treatment results between proton and carbon ion therapy.
Conclusions
PRBT is well tolerated and effective in the treatment of oligometastatic lung tumors. To further improve local control, high-dose PBRT with a BED10 ≥ 110 GyE10 may be promising. Further investigation of PBRT for lung oligometastases is warranted.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-9-183
PMCID: PMC4152565  PMID: 25127719
Oligometastases; Lung metastases; Particle therapy; Carbon ion therapy; Proton therapy
24.  Liver resection for colorectal cancer metastases 
Current Oncology  2013;20(3):e255-e265.
Questions
Should surgery be considered for colorectal cancer (crc) patients who have liver metastases plus (a) pulmonary metastases, (b) portal nodal disease, or (c) other extrahepatic metastases (ehms)?
What is the role of chemotherapy in the surgical management of crc with liver metastases in (a) patients with resectable disease in the liver, or (b) patients with initially unresectable disease in the liver that is downsized with chemotherapy (“conversion”)?
What is the role of liver resection when one or more crc liver metastases have radiographic complete response (rcr) after chemotherapy?
Perspectives
Advances in chemotherapy have improved survival in crc patients with liver metastases. The 5-year survival with chemotherapy alone is typically less than 1%, although two recent studies with folfox or folfoxiri (or both) reported rates of 5%–10%. However, liver resection is the treatment that is most effective in achieving long-term survival and offering the possibility of a cure in stage iv crc patients with liver metastases. This guideline deals with the role of chemotherapy with surgery, and the role of surgery when there are liver metastases plus ehms. Because only a proportion of patients with crc metastatic disease are considered for liver resection, and because management of this patient population is complex, multidisciplinary management is required.
Methodology
Recommendations in the present guideline were formulated based on a prepublication version of a recent systematic review on this topic. The draft methodology experts, and external review by clinical practitioners. Feedback was incorporated into the final version of the guideline.
Practice Guideline
These recommendations apply to patients with liver metastases from crc who have had or will have a complete (R0) resection of the primary cancer and who are being considered for resection of the liver, or liver plus specific and limited ehms, with curative intent.
1(a). Patients with liver and lung metastases should be seen in consultation with a thoracic surgeon. Combined or staged metastasectomy is recommended when, taking into account anatomic and physiologic considerations, the assessment is that all pulmonary metastases can also be completely removed. Furthermore, liver resection may be indicated in patients who have had a prior lung resection, and vice versa.
1(b). Routine liver resection is not recommended in patients with portal nodal disease. This group includes patients with radiologically suspicious portal nodes or malignant portal nodes found preoperatively or intraoperatively. Liver plus nodal resection, together with perioperative systemic therapy, may be an option—after a full discussion with the patient—in cases with limited nodal involvement and with metastases that can be completely resected.
1(c). Routine liver resection is not recommended in patients with nonpulmonary ehms. Liver plus extrahepatic resection, together with perioperative systemic therapy, may be an option—after a full discussion with the patient—for metastases that can be completely resected.
2(a). Perioperative chemotherapy, either before and after resection, or after resection, is recommended in patients with resectable liver metastatic disease. This recommendation extends to patients with ehms that can be completely resected (R0). Risks and potential benefits of perioperative chemotherapy should be discussed for patients with resectable liver metastases. The data on whether patients with previous oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy or a short interval from completion of adjuvant therapy for primary crc might benefit from perioperative chemotherapy are limited.
2(b). Liver resection is recommended in patients with initially unresectable metastatic liver disease who have a sufficient downstaging response to conversion chemotherapy. If complete resection has been achieved, postoperative chemotherapy should be considered.
3. Surgical resection of all lesions, including lesions with rcr, is recommended when technically feasible and when adequate functional liver can be left as a remnant. When a lesion with rcr is present in a portion of the liver that cannot be resected, surgery may still be a reasonable therapeutic strategy if all other visible disease can be resected. Postoperative chemotherapy might be considered in those patients. Close follow-up of the lesion with rcr is warranted to allow localized treatment or further resection for an in situ recurrence.
doi:10.3747/co.20.1341
PMCID: PMC3671032  PMID: 23737695
Colorectal cancer metastases; liver resection; hepatic resection; chemotherapy; complete response; downstaging
25.  Multi-disciplinary management for patients with oligometastases to the brain: results of a 5 year cohort study 
Background
The incidence of oligometastases to the brain in good performance status patients is increasing due to improvements in systemic therapy and MRI screening, but specific management pathways are often lacking.
Methods
We established a multi-disciplinary brain metastases clinic with specific referral guidelines and standard follow-up for good prognosis patients with the view that improving the process of care may improve outcomes. We evaluated patient demographic and outcome data for patients first seen between February 2007 and November 2011.
Results
The clinic was feasible to run and referrals were appropriate. 87% of patients referred received a localised therapy during their treatment course. 114 patients were seen and patient numbers increased during the 5 years that the clinic has been running as relationships between clinicians were developed. Median follow-up for those still alive was 23.1 months (6.1-79.1 months). Primary treatments were: surgery alone 52%, surgery plus whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) 9%, radiosurgery 14%, WBRT alone 23%, supportive care 2%. 43% received subsequent treatment for brain metastases. 25%, 11% and 15% respectively developed local neurological progression only, new brain metastases only or both. Median overall survival following brain metastases diagnosis was 16.0 months (range 1–79.1 months). Breast (32%) and NSCLC (26%) were the most common primary tumours with median survivals of 26 and 16.9 months respectively (HR 0.6, p=0.07). Overall one year survival was 55% and two year survival 31.5%. 85 patients died of whom 37 (44%) had a neurological death.
Conclusion
Careful patient selection and multi-disciplinary management identifies a subset of patients with oligometastatic brain disease who benefit from aggressive local treatment. A dedicated joint neurosurgical/ neuro-oncology clinic for such patients is feasible and effective. It also offers the opportunity to better define management strategies and further research in this field. Consideration should be given to defining specific management pathways for these patients within general oncology practice.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-156
PMCID: PMC3702492  PMID: 23806042
Brain; Oligometastases; Multidisciplinary specialist clinic

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