DOI: 10.1200/jco.2011.38.0527 ISSN:

Summary Report on the Graded Prognostic Assessment: An Accurate and Facile Diagnosis-Specific Tool to Estimate Survival for Patients With Brain Metastases

Paul W. Sperduto, Norbert Kased, David Roberge, Zhiyuan Xu, Ryan Shanley, Xianghua Luo, Penny K. Sneed, Samuel T. Chao, Robert J. Weil, John Suh, Amit Bhatt, Ashley W. Jensen, Paul D. Brown, Helen A. Shih, John Kirkpatrick, Laurie E. Gaspar, John B. Fiveash, Veronica Chiang, Jonathan P.S. Knisely, Christina Maria Sperduto, Nancy Lin, Minesh Mehta
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Our group has previously published the Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA), a prognostic index for patients with brain metastases. Updates have been published with refinements to create diagnosis-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment indices. The purpose of this report is to present the updated diagnosis-specific GPA indices in a single, unified, user-friendly report to allow ease of access and use by treating physicians.


A multi-institutional retrospective (1985 to 2007) database of 3,940 patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases underwent univariate and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors associated with outcomes by primary site and treatment. Significant prognostic factors were used to define the diagnosis-specific GPA prognostic indices. A GPA of 4.0 correlates with the best prognosis, whereas a GPA of 0.0 corresponds with the worst prognosis.


Significant prognostic factors varied by diagnosis. For lung cancer, prognostic factors were Karnofsky performance score, age, presence of extracranial metastases, and number of brain metastases, confirming the original Lung-GPA. For melanoma and renal cell cancer, prognostic factors were Karnofsky performance score and the number of brain metastases. For breast cancer, prognostic factors were tumor subtype, Karnofsky performance score, and age. For GI cancer, the only prognostic factor was the Karnofsky performance score. The median survival times by GPA score and diagnosis were determined.


Prognostic factors for patients with brain metastases vary by diagnosis, and for each diagnosis, a robust separation into different GPA scores was discerned, implying considerable heterogeneity in outcome, even within a single tumor type. In summary, these indices and related worksheet provide an accurate and facile diagnosis-specific tool to estimate survival, potentially select appropriate treatment, and stratify clinical trials for patients with brain metastases.

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