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How long do people survive if they have brain metastases?

The answer depends on four things:

1. The functional status and age of the person (if they are functioning well and young they do better)
2. The extent of the disease (if the cancer is controlled elsewhere in the body  and there is only a single brain lesion, they do much better than people with cancer in multiple sites throughout the body)
3. The extent of treatment (patients who are candidates to have surgery or radiosurgery on the brain do better than those who are not treated as aggressively.)
4. The response to treatment (if there are small lesions or they are sensitive to brain radiation, like small cell and a repeat MRI after radiation shows a marked reduction in the size of the lesions, the patient may live many months or even years after treatment)

The  most common classification now used is the RTOG RPA Classification (recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) classes see survival data)

Class 1 = young (under 65y),  good performance score (KPS or Karnofsky Score of 70 or higher, i.e. Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or do active work), have the primary controlled and the brain as the only site of disease

Class 2
= KPS at least 70 but do not meet all the other criteria of class 1

Class 3 = KPS less than 70

Perhaps better is the Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) from the RTOG data here and improved GPA here and even more detailed here