Effects of whole brain radiation on blood counts

Kalvin Foo, Ashish Patel, Gregory Richards, Ben Goldsmith, Alan Turtz, Piya Saraiya, Robert Somer, Nati Lerman, Howard Warren Goldman, Gregory J. Kubicek


Background: Whole brain radiation therapy is commonly used in the treatment of patients with CNS metastatic disease. Radiation to other areas of the body is associated with decrease in bone marrow proliferation. It is unclear what the effects ofWBRT have on blood counts.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients with brain metastases treated with WBRT with recorded hematologic valuesbefore and after treatment. Univariate analysis was performed to identify statistical differences in outcome via paired t-testing.

Results: Forty-nine patients were analyzed. Median age was 61 and 36 subjects were female. Analysis revealed significantly amedian decrease of 0.87 g/dL in hemoglobin values (p < .01) and 34 in platelet counts (p < .01) after treatment, but no significantdecrease in WBC values (p > .05).

Conclusion: WBRT leads to a decrease in Hgb and platelets but does not appear to affect WBC counts. Physicians and patientsshould be aware of this side effect of WBRT.KeyWords: Whole brain radiotherapy, Anemia, Metastatic brain cancer

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jst.v7n1p23

Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

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