International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 1517–1523 | Cite as

Brain metastases in colorectal cancer: prognostic factors and survival analysis

  • Luis Del Carpio HuertaEmail author
  • Anna Cristina Virgili Manrique
  • Justyna Szafranska
  • Marta Martin-Richard
  • David Paez Lopez-Bravo
  • Ana Sebio Garcia
  • Iñigo Espinosa Mariscal
  • Paula Gomila Pons
  • Marta Andres Granyo
  • Andres Barba Joaquin
  • Agusti Barnadas Molins
  • Maria Tobeña PuyalEmail author
Original Article



Colorectal cancer (CRC) brain metastases (BM) are an uncommon and late event. We aim to investigate the impact of clinical factors, treatment modalities and RAS/BRAF status on the outcomes of CRC patients with BM.


We retrospectively analysed CRC patients who developed BM in our centre between January 1997 and June 2017. Clinical factors, treatment modalities, RAS/BRAF status and survival were evaluated.


Twenty-eight patients were recorded; 82% had left-sided (LS) CRC and 71% had lung metastases. Median time to BM diagnosis was 36 months (m) and 93% of patients received local treatment of BM (43% whole brain radiotherapy, 50% surgery). Right-sided (RS) CRC showed shorter time to BM, not previously described (9.3 vs 46.6 m for RS and LS CRC, respectively; HR = 4.7, p = 0.006). Median overall survival (mOS) from BM treatment was 9.5 m, better in patients who underwent surgery than those treated with radiotherapy alone (12.1 vs 4.6 m, respectively; HR = 0.3, p = 0.019) and in those without progressive metastatic extracranial disease (7.2 vs 20.9 m, for progressive and non-progressive, respectively; HR = 0.3, p = 0.056). Patients with two or more metastatic extracranial locations showed worse prognosis (5.9 vs 16.3 m, for > 2 vs 0–1, respectively; HR = 3.7, p = 0.015). RAS/BRAF status did not showed prognostic value.


Time to BM diagnosis is shorter in RS CRC. The presence of two or more metastatic extracranial locations and progressive metastatic extracranial disease at the time of BM diagnosis could be bad prognosis factors for CRC BM patients.


Colorectal cancer Brain metastases Colorectal cancer location Whole brain radiotherapy Surgery 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Del Carpio Huerta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Cristina Virgili Manrique
    • 1
  • Justyna Szafranska
    • 2
  • Marta Martin-Richard
    • 1
  • David Paez Lopez-Bravo
    • 1
  • Ana Sebio Garcia
    • 1
  • Iñigo Espinosa Mariscal
    • 2
  • Paula Gomila Pons
    • 1
  • Marta Andres Granyo
    • 1
  • Andres Barba Joaquin
    • 1
  • Agusti Barnadas Molins
    • 1
  • Maria Tobeña Puyal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Oncology DepartmentSanta Creu i Sant Pau HospitalBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Pathology DepartmentSanta Creu i Sant Pau HospitalBarcelonaSpain

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