Role of radiotherapy in the management of brain metastases of NSCLC - Decision criteria in clinical routine

M. Glatzer*, C. Faivre-Finn, D. De Ruysscher, J. Widder, P. Van Houtte, E.G.C. Troost, B. Slotman, S. Ramella, C. Pottgen, S.T.H. Peeters, U. Nestle, F. McDonald, C. Le Pechoux, R. Dziadziuszko, J. Belderbos, U. Ricardi, F. Manapov, Y. Lievens, X. Geets, K. DieckmannM. Guckenberger, N. Andratschke, K. Suveg, P.M. Putora

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) is a common treatment option for brain metastases secondary to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Data from the QUARTZ trial suggest that WBRT can be omitted in selected patients and treated with optimal supportive care alone. Nevertheless, WBRT is still widely used to treat brain metastases secondary to NSCLC. We analysed decision criteria influencing the selection for WBRT among European radiation oncology experts.Methods: Twenty-two European radiation oncology experts in lung cancer as selected by the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ESTRO) for previous projects and by the Advisory Committee on Radiation Oncology Practice (ACROP) for lung cancer were asked to describe their strategies in the management of brain metastases of NSCLC. Treatment strategies were subsequently converted into decision trees and analysed for agreement and discrepancies.Results: Eight decision criteria (suitability for SRS, performance status, symptoms, eligibility for targeted therapy, extra-cranial tumour control, age, prognostic scores and "Zugzwang" (the compulsion to treat)) were identified. WBRT was recommended by a majority of the European experts for symptomatic patients not suitable for radiosurgery or fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. There was also a tendency to use WBRT in the ALK/EGFR/ROS1 negative NSCLC setting.Conclusion: Despite the results of the QUARTZ trial WBRT is still widely used among European radiation oncology experts. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Decision tree
  • Decision-making
  • PHASE-3
  • WBRT


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of radiotherapy in the management of brain metastases of NSCLC - Decision criteria in clinical routine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this