Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021. Vol. 66. № 6. P. 71–74

Total Brain Irradiation for Metastatic Lesions in Breast Cancer Patients

A.S. Balkanov, V.В. Metelin, I.A. Vasilenko

M. F. Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Research Clinical Institute, Moscow Russia 

Contact person: Andrey Sergeevich Balkanov, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Purpose: Brain metastasis (BM) has a significant negative impact on the survival of breast cancer patients. An intensive search is underway for a multi-modal approach to identify the most effective methods of treating such patients. 

Material and methods: The study included 40 patients with breast cancer who were diagnosed with BM on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. Total brain irradiation (TBI) up to 30 Gy (3 Gy) was used as the main treatment method. The median age was 48 (31–70) years. In 75 % of cases, a nonluminal subtype of breast cancer was found, in 57.5 % of cases–T2 breast cancer, in 70 % of cases–N0-1.

Results: The median survival after TBI was 12 months, 6-month survival rate was 70 %, and 12 – month survival rate was 47.5 %. The risk of death was significantly increased (HR=3.309; 95 % CI: 1,184 – 9,250, p=0.023) in patients whose time interval from the manifestation of 1 relapse to BM was ≤24 months. In these patients, the survival was only 9.5 months and was significantly lower (p=0.0136) than in the patients with the same time interval was >24 months – 30 months.

Conclusions: It was found that the effectiveness of total brain irradiation in patients with breast cancer brain metastasis is the highest if the time interval from the moment of manifestation of first relapse to brain metastasis is more than 24 months.

Keyword: breast cancer, brain metastases, total brain irradiation, time interval to brain metastasis, survival

For citation: Balkanov AS, Metelin VВ, Vasilenko IA. Total Brain Irradiation for Metastatic Lesions in Breast Cancer Patients. Medical Radiology and Radiation Safety. 2021;66(6):71–74.

DOI: 10.12737/1024-6177-2021-66-6-71-74


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Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Financing. The study had no sponsorship.

Contribution. Article was prepared with equal participation of the authors.

Article received: 07.06.2021. 

Accepted for publication: 20.09.2021.