Individual changes in neurocognitive functioning and health-related quality of life in patients with brain oligometastases treated with stereotactic radiotherapy

Pim B. van der Meer, Esther J.J. Habets, Ruud G. Wiggenraad, Antoinette Verbeek-de Kanter, Geert J. Lycklama à Nijeholt, Hanneke Zwinkels, Martin Klein, Linda Dirven, Martin J.B. Taphoorn

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© 2018, The Author(s). Background: Recently, it has been shown that at group level, patients with limited brain metastases treated with stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) maintain their pre-treatment levels of neurocognitive functioning (NCF) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study was to evaluate NCF and HRQoL changes over time at the individual patient level. Methods: NCF (seven domains assessed with a standardized test battery) and HRQoL (eight predetermined scales assessed with the EORTC QLQ-C30 and BN20 questionnaires) were measured prior to SRT and at 3 and/or 6 months follow-up. Changes in NCF and HRQoL were evaluated at (1) a domain/scale level and (2) patient level. Results: A total of 55 patients were examined, of which the majority showed stable NCF 3 months after SRT, on both the domain level (78–100% of patients) and patient level (67% of patients). This was different for HRQoL, where deterioration in the different scales was observed in 12–61% of patients, stable scores in 20–71%, and improvement in 16–40%, 3 months after SRT. At patient level, most patients (64%) showed both improvement and deterioration in different HRQoL scales. Results were similar between 3 and 6 months after SRT. Conclusion: In line with results at group level, most brain oligometastases patients with ≥ 6 months follow-up and treated with SRT maintained their pre-treatment level of NCF during this period. By contrast, changes in HRQoL scores differed considerably at domain and patient level, despite stable HRQoL scores at group level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-368
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Brain metastases
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Neurocognitive functioning
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy

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