Purpose: To determine if temozolomide reduces the risk of distant brain failure (DBF, metachronous brain metastases) in patients with 1 to 4 brain metastases treated with radiosurgery without whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). Methods and materials: Twenty-five patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases were enrolled in a single institution phase 2 trial of radiosurgery (15-24 Gy) and adjuvant temozolomide. Temozolomide was continued for a total of 12 cycles unless the patient developed DBF, unacceptable toxicity, or systemic progression requiring other therapy. Results: Twenty-five patients were enrolled between 2002 and 2005; 3 were not evaluable for determining DBF. Of the remaining 22 patients, tumor types included non-small cell lung cancer (n = 8), melanoma (n = 7), and other (n = 7). Extracranial disease was present in 10 (45%) patients. The median number of tumors at the time of radiosurgery was 3 (range, 1-6). The median overall survival was 31 weeks. The median radiographic follow-up for patients who did not develop DBF was 33 weeks. Six patients developed DBF. The 1-year actuarial risk of DBF was 37%. Conclusions: In this study, there was a relatively low risk of distant brain failure observed in the nonmelanoma subgroup receiving temozolamide. However, patient selection factors rather than chemotherapy treatment efficacy are more likely the reason for the relatively low risk of distant brain failure observed in this study. Future trial design should account for these risk factors.