Efficacy of laser interstitial thermal therapy for biopsy-proven radiation necrosis in radiographically recurrent brain metastases

Michael Chan, Steven Tatter, Veronica Chiang, Peter Fecci, Roy Strowd, Sujit Prabhu, Constantinos Hadjipanayis, John Kirkpatrick, David Sun, Kaylyn Sinicrope, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Parag Sevak, Steven Abram, Albert H. Kim, Eric Leuthardt, Samuel Chao, John Phillips, Michel Lacroix, Brian Williams, Dimitris PlacantonakisJoshua Silverman, James Baumgartner, David Piccioni, Adrian Laxton

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Background: Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) in the setting of post-SRS radiation necrosis (RN) for patients with brain metastases has growing evidence for efficacy. However, questions remain regarding hospitalization, local control, symptom control, and concurrent use of therapies. Methods: Demographics, intraprocedural data, safety, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), and survival data were prospectively collected and then analyzed on patients who consented between 2016-2020 and who were undergoing LITT for biopsy-proven RN at one of 14 US centers. Data were monitored for accuracy. Statistical analysis included individual variable summaries, multivariable Fine and Gray analysis, and Kaplan-Meier estimated survival. Results: Ninety patients met the inclusion criteria. Four patients underwent 2 ablations on the same day. Median hospitalization time was 32.5 hours. The median time to corticosteroid cessation after LITT was 13.0 days (0.0, 1229.0) and cumulative incidence of lesional progression was 19% at 1 year. Median post-procedure overall survival was 2.55 years [1.66, infinity] and 77.1% at one year as estimated by KaplanMeier. Median KPS remained at 80 through 2-year follow-up. Seizure prevalence was 12% within 1-month post-LITT and 7.9% at 3 months; down from 34.4% within 60-day prior to procedure. Conclusions: LITT for RN was not only again found to be safe with low patient morbidity but was also a highly effective treatment for RN for both local control and symptom management (including seizures). In addition to averting expected neurological death, LITT facilitates ongoing systemic therapy (in particular immunotherapy) by enabling the rapid cessation of steroids, thereby facilitating maximal possible survival for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbervdad031
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT)
  • brain metastasis
  • radiation necrosis (RN)
  • radiographic progression
  • stereotactic laser ablation (SLA)


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