The presence of brain metastases in patients with nonmetastatic lung cancer is associated with worse survival for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) but not those with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a study published in the journal Cancer has shown.1

Because brain metastases remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with lung cancer, researchers in the Department of Oncology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, sought to evaluate population-based incidence and outcomes of brain metastases in patients with nonmetastatic disease.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from patients with nonmetastatic first primary lung cancer diagnosed between 1973 and 2011 and included in the Metropolitan Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry.


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Results showed that 9% of patients with nonmetastatic NSCLC and 18% of those with SCLC had brain metastases.

In addition, the incidence of brain metastases varied by histology in patients with NSCLC. Researchers found that the incidence of brain metastases was higher in patients younger than 60 years for both NSCLC and SCLC; however, race was not associated with brain metastases incidence for either histological group.

With regard to sex, female patients with NSCLC had a higher likelihood of brain metastases than male patients.

The study further demonstrated that the risk of death was significantly higher for patients with NSCLC and brain metastases, but was not significantly elevated in patients with SCLC and brain metastases.

REFERENCE

1. Goncalves PH, Peterson SL, Vigneau JD, et al. Risk of brain metastases in patients with nonmetastatic lung cancer: analysis of the Metropolitan Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data [published online ahead of print April 8, 2016]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.30000.