Introduction: Whole brain irradiation (WBRT) remains a recommended treatment for patients with brain metastases from malignant melanoma in terms of symptom palliation, especially when extracranial systemic disease is present. Temozolomide (TMZ) has shown efficacy in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The objective was to evaluate the potential benefit in survival of two different schedules of total dose and fractionation (20 Gy/5 fractions vs 30 Gy/10 fractions) and further TMZ based chemotherapy.
Materials and method: We have conducted a retrospective study in a group of twenty-one patients (RTOG Recursive Partitioning Analysis class II) of the use of WBRT with 20 Gy/5 fractions (n = 11) and 30 Gy/10 fractions (n = 10). All patients received further TMZ based chemotherapy administered as a single chemotherapeutic agent or in combination with chemo-immunotherapy.
Results: Prognostic variables such as: age, Karnofsky performance status, extracranial metastases and number of brain metastases, were analyzed in both groups of treatment without statistically significant differences. The median survival time (MST) for WBRT 20 Gy group was 4 months (CI 95%: range 2- 6 months) and for WBRT 30 Gy group was 4 months (CI 95%: range 0-7 months) without statistically significant differences (Log rank p = 0.74). There was one complete response and two partial responses.
Conclusions: The results suggest that MST was not significantly affected by the total dose/fractionation schedule.