Objectives: This study was performed to evaluate the addition of temozolomide (TMZ) to whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) for brain metastases from melanoma.
Methods: Seven patients with brain metastases from melanoma were treated on a North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) trial (N0274) of TMZ plus WBRT. TMZ was given orally in doses of 200 mg/m2 for 5 days every 4 weeks for up to 8 cycles. WBRT was started on the first day of TMZ and included the delivery of 3750 cGy in 15 fractions. In addition, separately analyzed was a cohort of 53 patients treated at the Mayo Clinic who received WBRT alone (39 patients) or WBRT plus TMZ (14 patients).
Results: The median survival of the 7 patients treated on N0274 was 3.6 months with 2 of 7 (29%) failing in brain and 5 of 7 (71%) failing elsewhere. For the other cohort of 53 patients, the median survival was 3.8 months with WBRT alone compared 4.3 months for WBRT plus TMZ (P = 0.5).
Conclusions: Patients did not appear to benefit from the addition of TMZ to WBRT for the treatment of their brain metastases. Further improvements in outcome will require research to discover more effective systemic therapy and RT techniques.