Disparities in the Use of Single-fraction Stereotactic Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Brain Metastases From Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

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PURPOSE: Radiation treatment patterns in patients with brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have not been well elucidated. The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was used to evaluate trends in the use of whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastasis from NSCLC.

METHODS: This NCDB study included patients > 18 years old with metastatic NSCLC treated with single-fraction SRS or WBRT between 2004 and 2014. Chi-square, t-test, and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors of SRS versus WBRT.

RESULTS: Of 40,803 patients, 34,183 (83.8%) received WBRT and 6,620 (16.2%) received SRS. SRS utilization increased from 7% (157 cases) in 2004 to 37% (1,346 cases) in 2014 (p < .001). SRS was utilized more by academic than community facilities (22% versus 13%, p < .001). The strongest independent predictors of SRS included year of diagnosis in 2010-2014 versus 2004-2009 (odds ratio [OR] 2.62, 95% CI 2.46-2.79, p < .0001), metropolitan versus rural (OR 2.26, CI 1.79-2.85, p < .0001), distance from cancer-reporting facility of ≥ 30 versus < 30 miles (OR 2.36, CI 2.18-2.56, p < .0001), private insurance versus non-insured patients (OR 1.96, CI 1.68-2.29, p < .0001), and academic versus community facility (OR 1.76, CI 1.66-1.87, p < .0001).

CONCLUSION: SRS for NSCLC brain metastases has steadily increased in the United States; however, WBRT remains the most commonly used. Wide geographic and socioeconomic variations exist in the utilization of SRS and WBRT for this patient population.

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