Estimating survival for renal cell carcinoma patients with brain metastases: An update of the Renal Graded Prognostic Assessment tool

Paul W. Sperduto, Brian J. Deegan, Jing Li, Krishan R. Jethwa, Paul D. Brown, Natalie Lockney, Kathryn Beal, Nitesh G. Rana, Albert Attia, Chia Lin Tseng, Arjun Sahgal, Ryan M Shanley, William A. Sperduto, Emil Lou, Amir Zahra, John M. Buatti, James B. Yu, Veronica Chiang, Jason K. Molitoris, Laura MasucciDavid Roberge, Diana D. Shi, Helen A. Shih, Adam Olson, John P. Kirkpatrick, Steve Braunstein, Penny Sneed, Minesh P. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background Brain metastases are a common complication of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Our group previously published the Renal Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) tool. In our prior RCC study (n = 286, 1985-2005), we found marked heterogeneity and variation in outcomes. In our recent update in a larger, more contemporary cohort, we identified additional significant prognostic factors. The purpose of this study is to update the original Renal-GPA based on the newly identified prognostic factors. Methods A multi-institutional retrospective institutional review board-approved database of 711 RCC patients with new brain metastases diagnosed from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015 was created. Clinical parameters and treatment were correlated with survival. A revised Renal GPA index was designed by weighting the most significant factors in proportion to their hazard ratios and assigning scores such that the patients with the best and worst prognoses would have a GPA of 4.0 and 0.0, respectively. Results The 4 most significant factors were Karnofsky performance status, number of brain metastases, extracranial metastases, and hemoglobin. The overall median survival was 12 months. Median survival for GPA groups 0-1.0, 1.5-2.0, 2.5-3, and 3.5-4.0 (% n = 25, 27, 30 and 17) was 4, 12, 17, and 35 months, respectively. Conclusion The updated Renal GPA is a user-friendly tool that will help clinicians and patients better understand prognosis, individualize clinical decision making and treatment selection, provide a means to compare retrospective literature, and provide more robust stratification of future clinical trials in this heterogeneous population. To simplify use of this tool in daily practice, a free online application is available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1652-1660
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 12 2018

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© The Author(s) 2018.


  • brain metastases
  • prognosis
  • renal cell carcinoma


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