Survival analysis of patients with brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis over the last decade

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2024 Jun;205(3):579-587. doi: 10.1007/s10549-024-07290-1. Epub 2024 Mar 7.

Abstract

Purpose: There have been significant advances in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (BC) over the past years, and long-term outcomes after a diagnosis of brain metastases are lacking. We aimed to identify predictors of brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis, describe overall survival (OS) in the past decade, and identify factors associated with OS after brain metastases diagnosis.

Methods: We evaluated patients with de novo stage IV BC using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database from 2010 to 2019. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess predictors of brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis. OS was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank test was used to compare differences between groups. Cox regression was used to assess associations between several variables and OS.

Results: 1,939 patients with brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis were included. Factors associated with this presentation were grade III/IV tumors, ductal histology, hormone receptor (HR)-negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive subtype, and extracranial metastases. Patients with HR-positive/HER2-positive disease had the longest OS (median 18 months) and 12.2% were alive at 8 years. Factors associated with shorter OS included older age, lower income, triple-negative subtype, higher grade, and visceral metastases.

Conclusion: Over the last decade, the median OS of patients with brain metastases at initial breast cancer diagnosis remained poor; however, a substantial minority survive 5 or more years, with rates higher in patients with HER2-positive tumors. In addition to tumor subtype, OS varied according to age, extracranial metastases, and sociodemographic factors.

Keywords: Brain metastases; Breast cancer; Metastatic breast cancer; Overall survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • SEER Program*
  • Survival Analysis

Substances

  • ERBB2 protein, human