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Brain Metastases in Epithelial Ovarian and Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma
  1. Elena S. Ratner, MD*,
  2. Eugene Toy, MD,
  3. David M. O'Malley, MD,
  4. Jessica Mcalpine, MD§,
  5. Thomas J. Rutherford, MD*,
  6. Masoud Azodi, MD*,
  7. Susan A. Higgins, MD and
  8. Peter E. Schwartz, MD*
  1. *Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and the Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT;
  2. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry, and Medicine, University of Rochester Cancer Center, Rochester, NY;
  3. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Metro Health Medical Center, Cleveland, OH;
  4. §Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and the Reproductive Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and
  5. Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Elena Ratner, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and the Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, PO Box 208063, New Haven, CT 06520-8063. E-mail: elena.ratner{at}


Objectives: Central nervous system metastases are believed to be becoming more clinically evident as long-term survival for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and primary peritoneal cancer (PPC) has improved. Our objective was to report our experience with managing brain metastatic disease (BMD) in patients with EOC and PPC.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed on patients with EOC and PPC diagnosed with BMD from 1983 to 2007 at our institution.

Results: Twenty-four patients were identified. Patients with multiple brain lesions (n = 16) had a shorter median time to diagnosis of BMD than patients with single lesions (n = 8; 22.5 vs 39 months). Radiation therapy was included in the treatment of BMD for 19 patients (78%). Fourteen patients received whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) only (survival, 6 months [range, 1-51 months]). Three patients received a combination of gamma knife radiosurgery and WBRT (survival, 20 months [range, 17-67 months]), and 1 patient received gamma knife radiosurgery alone (survival, 10 months). Four patients underwent craniotomy with 3 receiving postoperative WBRT (survival, 8.5 months [range, 2-97 months]). Two patients elected for palliative care only. The median survival from the diagnosis of BMD was 8.5 months (range, 1-97 months) with a 42% 1-year survival and 16% 2-year survival. Patients with single lesions had a significantly longer survival than patients with multiple lesions (17 months [range, 3-97 months] vs 6 months [range, 3-67 months], respectively).

Conclusions: Our report provides the largest single-institution experience of brain metastasis from EOC and PPC in patients receiving predominantly platinum and paclitaxel therapy. Patients with BMD from EOC and PPC have a poor prognosis overall; however, prolonged survival is possible in a small subset of patients.

  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • Primary peritoneal carcinoma
  • Brain metastatic disease
  • Recurrence pattern

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