Disease presentation and outcome in very young patients with brain metastases from breast cancer

Tumori. Sep-Oct 2008;94(5):691-3.


Aims and background: Little information is available on disease presentation and treatment outcome in very young patients with brain metastases from breast cancer. Therefore, we evaluated our results in this group.

Methods: In our database, 7/74 breast cancer patients treated for brain metastases were < 40 years old. All received whole-brain radiation therapy plus individual local or systemic measures.

Results: In patients with information available, tumors were poorly differentiated and metastatic to the axillary lymph nodes at primary diagnosis. All patients had extracranial metastases. Two died from their brain disease within 5 months. Five patients died from extracranial progression after 3-84 months (2 long-term survivors beyond 2 years, characterized by single brain lesions and high performance status).

Conclusions: Very young patients did not achieve a better outcome than intermediate age groups. Whole-brain radiation therapy plus surgery or radiosurgery provided durable CNS control in most of the patients. Improved systemic therapy appears to represent the key to a better outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Axilla
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Cranial Irradiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiosurgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome