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Association Between Radiation Necrosis and Tumor Biology After Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastasis.

BACKGROUND: The primary dose-limiting toxicity of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is radiation necrosis (RN), which occurs after approximately 5% to 10% of treatments. This adverse event may worsen neurologic deficits, increase the frequency and cost of imaging, and necessitate prolonged treatment with steroids or antiangiogenic agents. Previous investigations have primarily identified lesion size and dosimetric constraints as risk factors for RN in small populations. We hypothesized that disease histology, receptor status, and mutational status are associated with RN.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: All patients presenting with brain metastasis between 1997 and 2015 who underwent SRS and subsequent radiographic follow-up at a single tertiary-care institution were eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of radiographic RN. Multivariate competing risks regression was used to identify biological risk factors for RN.

RESULTS: 1939 patients (5747 lesions) were eligible for inclusion; 285 patients (15%) experienced radiographic RN after the treatment of 427 (7%) lesions. After SRS, the median time to RN was 7.6 months. After multivariate analysis, graded prognostic assessment, renal pathology, lesion diameter, and the heterogeneity index remained independently predictive of RN in the pooled cohort. In subset analyses of individual pathologies, HER2-amplified status (hazard ratio [HR] 2.05, P=.02), BRAF V600+ mutational status (HR 0.33, P=.04), lung adenocarcinoma histology (HR 1.89, P=.04), and ALK rearrangement (HR 6.36, P<.01) were also associated with RN.

CONCLUSIONS: In the present investigation constituting the largest series of RN, several novel risk factors were identified, including renal histology, lung adenocarcinoma histology, HER2 amplification, and ALK/BRAF mutational status. These risk factors may be used to guide clinical trial design incorporating biological risk stratification or dose escalation. Future studies determining the optimal timing of targeted therapies are warranted to further define the risk of RN.

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