Leptomeningeal disease following stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases from breast cancer

Daniel M. Trifiletti, Kara D. Romano, Zhiyuan Xu, Kelli A. Reardon, Jason Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Leptomeningeal disease (LMD) is a highly aggressive and usually rapidly fatal condition. The purpose of this study is to identify clinical factors that can serve to predict for LMD at the time of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases from breast carcinoma. We conducted a retrospective review of patients with brain metastases from breast cancer treated with SRS from 1995 to 2014 at our institution. Clinical, radiographic, and dosimetric data were collected. LMD was diagnosed by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology or MRI demonstrating CSF seeding. Comparative statistical analyses were conducted using Cox proportional hazards regression, binary logistic regression, and/or log-rank test. 126 patients met inclusion criteria. Eighteen patients (14 %) developed LMD following SRS. From the time of SRS, the actuarial rate of LMD at 12 months from diagnosis of brain metastasis was 9 % (11 patients). Active disease in the chest at the time of SRS was associated with development of LMD (p = 0.038). Factors including receptor status, tumor size, number of intra-axial tumors, cystic tumor morphology, prior WBRT, active bone metastases, and active liver metastases were not significantly associated with the development of LMD. In patients with brain metastasis from breast cancer that undergo SRS, there is a relatively low rate of LMD. We found that while tumor hormonal status, bone metastases, and hepatic metastases were not associated with the development of LMD, active lung metastases at SRS was associated with LMD. Further research may help to delineate a causative relationship between metastatic lung disease and LMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 30 2015


  • Brain metastases
  • Breast cancer
  • Leptomeningeal disease
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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