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Extent of extracranial disease is a powerful predictor of survival in patients with brain metastases from gynecological cancer
  1. W. B. Growdon*,
  2. E. Lopez-Varela*,
  3. R. Littell*,
  4. E. Oliva,
  5. M. Seiden*,
  6. C. Krasner*,
  7. H. Lee and
  8. A. Fuller*
  1. * Division of Gynecology Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts;
  2. Division of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; and
  3. Divison of Clinical Biostatistics, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Arlan F. Fuller, MD, Chief, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Massachusetts General Hospital, 32 Fruit Street, Boston 02114, MA. Email: afuller{at}


Central nervous system metastasis from gynecological malignancy is a rare phenomenon that has been described in the past 30 years. The objective of this study is to analyze the treatment modalities and prognostic factors for brain metastases from gynecological tumors that predict prolonged survival. A retrospective chart and pathology review of 47 patients diagnosed with a gynecological tumor with brain metastasis in 1994–2004 was performed. Thirty patients had undergone initial diagnosis and treatment at our institution, and 17 patients were referred following primary treatment at an outside institution. Adjusted Chi-square, Kaplan–Meier survival estimates, log-rank tests, and Cox regression analysis were utilized for statistical analysis of the total cohort. Of the 3146 patients with newly diagnosed gynecological cancer in this 10-year period, 30 developed brain metastasis demonstrating an incidence of 0.95%. Overall median survival from the time of diagnosis of brain metastasis was 7.5 months (95% CI 4–15, range 9 days–64 months) and 40% survival at 1 year. Multivariate analysis revealed evidence of extracranial disease at time of metastasis diagnosis predicted decreased survival (hazard ratio 6.207), while papillary serous histology (hazard ratio 0.42), and use of any chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0.24) predicted longer survival. No other patient or tumor characteristics were found to be independent prognostic indicators affecting survival. Despite the ominous prognosis associated with the development of brain metastasis, these retrospective data suggest that multimodal therapy with whole brain radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgical resection of metastases in selected patients without evidence of extracranial and with solitary or multiple lesions can prolong survival.

  • brain metastasis
  • gynecological malignancy
  • retrospective cohort
  • survival

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