Purpose: To explore whether gender and race influence survival in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with brain metastases, using our large single-institution brain tumor database and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) brain metastases classification.
Methods and materials: A retrospective review of a single-institution brain metastasis database for the interval January 1982 to September 2004 yielded 835 NSCLC patients with brain metastases for analysis. Patient subsets based on combinations of gender, race, and RPA class were then analyzed for survival differences.
Results: Median follow-up was 5.4 months (range, 0-122.9 months). There were 485 male patients (M) (58.4%) and 346 female patients (F) (41.6%). Of the 828 evaluable patients (99%), 143 (17%) were black/African American (B) and 685 (83%) were white/Caucasian (W). Median survival time (MST) from time of brain metastasis diagnosis for all patients was 5.8 months. Median survival time by gender (F vs. M) and race (W vs. B) was 6.3 months vs. 5.5 months (p = 0.013) and 6.0 months vs. 5.2 months (p = 0.08), respectively. For patients stratified by RPA class, gender, and race, MST significantly favored BFs over BMs in Class II: 11.2 months vs. 4.6 months (p = 0.021). On multivariable analysis, significant variables were gender (p = 0.041, relative risk [RR] 0.83) and RPA class (p < 0.0001, RR 0.28 for I vs. III; p < 0.0001, RR 0.51 for II vs. III) but not race.
Conclusions: Gender significantly influences NSCLC brain metastasis survival. Race trended to significance in overall survival but was not significant on multivariable analysis. Multivariable analysis identified gender and RPA classification as significant variables with respect to survival.