A phase II multi-institutional study assessing simultaneous in-field boost helical tomotherapy for 1-3 brain metastases Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Our research group has previously published a dosimetric planning study that demonstrated that a 60 Gy/10 fractions intralesional boost with whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) to 30 Gy/10 fractions was biologically equivalent with a stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) boost of 18 Gy/1 fraction with 30 Gy/10 fractions WBRT. Helical tomotherapy (HT) was found to be dosimetrically equivalent to SRS in terms of target coverage and superior to SRS in terms of normal tissue tolerance. A phase I trial has been now completed at our institution with a total of 60 enrolled patients and 48 evaluable patients. The phase II dose has been determined to be the final phase I cohort dose of 60 Gy/10 fractions. METHODS/DESIGN: The objective of this clinical trial is to subject the final phase I cohort dose to a phase II assessment of the endpoints of overall survival, intracranial control (ICC) and intralesional control (ILC). We hypothesize HT would be considered unsuitable for further study if the median OS for patients treated with the HT SIB technique is degraded by 2 months, or the intracranial progression-free rates (ICC and ILC) are inferior by 10% or greater compared to the expected results with treatment by whole brain plus SRS as defined by the RTOG randomized trial. A sample size of 93 patients was calculated based on these parameters as well as the statistical assumptions of alpha = 0.025 and beta = 0.1 due to multiple statistical testing. Secondary assessments of toxicity, health-related quality-of-life, cognitive changes, and tumor response are also integrated into this research protocol. DISCUSSION: To summarize, the purpose of this phase II trial is to assess this non-invasive alternative to SRS in terms of central nervous system (CNS) control when compared to SRS historical controls. A follow-up phase III trial may be required depending on the results of this trial in order to definitively assess non-inferiority/superiority of this approach. Ultimately, the purpose of this line of research is to provide patients with metastatic disease to the brain a shorter course, dose intense, non-invasive radiation treatment with equivalent or improved CNS control/survival and health-related quality-of-life/toxicity profile when compared to SRS radiotherapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov - NCT01543542.


  • Rodrigues, George
  • Yartsev, Slav
  • Tay, Keng Yeow
  • Pond, Gregory
  • Lagerwaard, Frank
  • Bauman, Glenn

publication date

  • December 2012