Preliminary experience of whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in breast cancer patients with brain metastases previously treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy

J Neurooncol. 2011 Nov;105(2):401-8. doi: 10.1007/s11060-011-0607-4. Epub 2011 Jun 5.


We report our experience of bevacizumab-based chemotherapy (BBCT) followed by whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) for breast cancer (BC) patients (pts) with inoperable brain metastases (BM) or who refused surgery. This is a retrospective study of seven metastatic BC pts treated at the Institut Curie with at least one course of BBCT before WBRT, with a delay of ≤ 12 months between the two treatments. Toxicity was scored according to the common terminology criteria for adverse events (v4. 2010). Median age was 56 years (41-65). Median follow-up was 5.9 months (0.4-24.6). The median dose of bevacizumab was 10 mg/kg. Median number of cycles BBCT was six (5-17). Different chemotherapy regimens were used, the most common combination was paclitaxel-bevacizumab. WBRT was delivered in ten fractions, five fractions/week, for two weeks, to a total of 30 Gy. One pt underwent stereotactic radio surgery (SRS) after WBRT. No pt received BBCT during RT. Most common reported side-effects were nausea (n = 4), headache (n = 3), vomiting (n = 1), and vertigo (n = 3). All pts had mild or moderate grade ≤ 2 neurologic toxicity. There were no radiological signs of necrosis or cerebral ischemia. BBCT before WBRT was not associated with severe brain toxicity. Because of the limited number of pts, the different BBCT regimens, and important delays between treatments, these results must be confirmed prospectively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy*
  • Cranial Irradiation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bevacizumab
  • Paclitaxel