Navigating Post-Operative Outcomes: A Comprehensive Reframing of an Original Graded Prognostic Assessment in Patients with Brain Metastases

Maria Goldberg, Michel G. Mondragon-Soto, Laura Dieringer, Ghaith Altawalbeh, Paul Pöser, Lea Baumgart, Benedikt Wiestler, Jens Gempt, Bernhard Meyer, Amir Kaywan Aftahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) has been proposed for various brain metastases (BMs) tailored to the primary histology and molecular profiles. However, it does not consider whether patients have been operated on or not and does not include surgical outcomes as prognostic factors. The residual tumor burden (RTB) is a strong predictor of overall survival. We validated the GPA score and introduced “volumetric GPA” in the largest cohort of operated patients and further explored the role of RTB as an additional prognostic factor. Methods: A total of 630 patients with BMs between 2007 and 2020 were included. The four GPA components were analyzed. The validity of the original score was assessed using Cox regression, and a modified index incorporating RTB was developed by comparing the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, F1-score, and AUC parameters. Results: GPA categories showed an association with survival: age (p < 0.001, hazard ratio (HR) 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.5–3.3), Karnofsky performance status (KPS) (p < 0.001, HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2–1.5), number of BMs (p = 0.019, HR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1–1.8), and the presence of extracranial manifestation (p < 0.001, HR 3, 95% CI 1.6–2.5). The median survival for GPA 0–1 was 4 months; for GPA 1.5–2, it was 12 months; for GPA 2.5–3, it was 21 months; and for GPA 3.5–4, it was 38 months (p < 0.001). RTB was identified as an independent prognostic factor. A cut-off of 2 cm3 was used for further analysis, which showed a median survival of 6 months (95% CI 4–8) vs. 13 months (95% CI 11–14, p < 0.001) for patients with RTB > 2 cm3 and <2 cm3, respectively. RTB was added as an additional component for a modified volumetric GPA score. The survival rates with the modified GPA score were: GPA 0–1: 4 months, GPA 1.5–2: 7 months, GPA 2.5–3: 18 months, and GPA 3.5–4: 34 months. Both scores showed good stratification, with the new score showed a trend towards better discrimination in patients with more favorable prognoses. Conclusion: The prognostic value of the original GPA was confirmed in our cohort of patients who underwent surgery for BM. The RTB was identified as a parameter of high prognostic significance and was incorporated into an updated “volumetric GPA”. This score provides a novel tool for prognosis and clinical decision making in patients undergoing surgery. This method may be useful for stratification and patient selection for further treatment and in future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number291
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • GPA
  • brain metastasis
  • prognostic assessment
  • rest tumor volume
  • surgery


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