BACKGROUND: To investigate the hospital frequency and natural history of patients with cerebral metastases (CM). METHODS: A retrospective study of patients seen because of CM from 1984 to 1989. They were identified from the discharge reports and the cancer registry (CR). Data of interest were taken from the clinical record and the CR. RESULTS: 105 patients were identified. Mean age was 60 years. There were 77 males. In 44 patients cancer past history was present, in 33 lung cancer was simultaneously diagnosed and in 28 there was no past cancer history and the primary neoplasm was not identified. CM were multiple in 49 patients. In 18 patients CM was single, with no extracerebral neoplasia. Craniotomy was carried out in 22 patients and 11 received postoperative radiotherapy. The probability of one-year survival in the operated and nonoperated group was 27% and 1.5%, respectively (27 +/- 20% and 1.5% +/- 1.5%; 95% confidence intervals). CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of the diagnosis of CM is not negligible and its occurrence virtually always represents a fatal prognosis. About one half are caused by a lung cancer that may have clinically presented with CM. Poor general condition, multiple CM or extracerebral neoplastic disease prevent radical therapeutic intervention in nearly 80% of these patients. Survival with palliative therapy is shorter than that with surgical treatment.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1991|