Immune Checkpoint Inhibition and Single Fraction Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Brain Metastases from Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: An International Multicenter Study of 395 Patients


Purpose: Approximately 80% of brain metastases originate from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are frequently utilized in this setting. However, concerns remain regarding the risk of radiation necrosis (RN) when SRS and ICI are administered concurrently.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted through the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. Logistic regression models and competing risks analyses were utilized to identify predictors of any grade RN and symptomatic RN (SRN).

Results: The study included 395 patients with 2,540 brain metastases treated with single fraction SRS and ICI across 11 institutions in four countries with a median follow-up of 14.2 months. The median age was 67 years. The median margin SRS dose was 19 Gy; 36.5% of patients had a V12 Gy ≥ 10 cm3. On multivariable analysis, V12 Gy ≥ 10 cm3 was a significant predictor of developing any grade RN (OR: 2.18) and SRN (OR: 3.95). At 1-year, the cumulative incidence of any grade and SRN for all patients was 4.8% and 3.8%, respectively. For concurrent and non-concurrent groups, the cumulative incidence of any grade RN was 3.8% versus 5.3%, respectively (p = 0.35); and for SRN was 3.8% vs. 3.6%, respectively (p = 0.95).

Conclusion: The risk of any grade RN and symptomatic RN following single fraction SRS and ICI for NSCLC brain metastases increases as V12 Gy exceeds 10 cm3. Concurrent ICI and SRS do not appear to increase this risk. Radiosurgical planning techniques should aim to minimize V12 Gy.

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