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Daniel Tonetti, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The presentation for patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is often intracranial hemorrhage; for women, this frequently occurs during the prime childbearing years. Although previous studies have addressed the risk for AVM hemorrhage during pregnancy, such studies have not assessed the risk for hemorrhage among women who become pregnant during the latency interval between stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and documented obliteration of the lesion. The authors sought to evaluate the risk for hemorrhage in patients who become pregnant during the latency interval after SRS.

Methods

This single-institution retrospective analysis reviewed the authors' experience with Gamma Knife SRS during 1987–2012. During this time, 253 women of childbearing age (median age 30 years, range 15–40 years) underwent SRS for intracranial AVM. The median target volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 0.1–27.1 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 20 Gy (range 14–38 Gy). For all patients, the date of AVM obliteration was recorded and the latency interval was calculated. Information about subsequent pregnancies and/or bleeding events during the latency interval was retrieved from the medical records and supplemented by telephone contact.

Results

AVM obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography at a median follow-up time of 39.3 months (range 10–174 months). There were 828.7 patient-years of follow-up within the latency interval between SRS and the date of confirmed AVM obliteration. Among nonpregnant women, 20 hemorrhages occurred before AVM obliteration, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women during the latency interval. Among women who became pregnant during the latency interval, 2 hemorrhages occurred over the course of 18 pregnancies, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 11.1% for women who become pregnant during the latency interval. For the 2 pregnant patients who experienced hemorrhage, the bleeding occurred during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Conclusions

The authors present the first series of data for women with intracranial AVMs who became pregnant during the latency interval after SRS. Hemorrhage during the latency interval occurred at an annual rate of 2.5% for nonpregnant women and 11.1% for pregnant women. The data suggest that pregnancy might be a risk factor for AVM hemorrhage during the interval between SRS and AVM obliteration. However, this suggestion is not statistically significant because only 18 patients in the study population became pregnant during the latency interval. To mitigate any increased risk for hemorrhage, patients should consider deferring pregnancy until treatment conclusion and AVM obliteration.

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Greg Bowden, Hideyuki Kano, Daniel Tonetti, Ajay Niranjan, John Flickinger, Yoshio Arai, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Sylvian fissure arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) present substantial management challenges because of the critical adjacent blood vessels and functional brain. The authors investigated the outcomes, especially hemorrhage and seizure activity, after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of AVMs within or adjacent to the sylvian fissure.

Methods

This retrospective single-institution analysis examined the authors' experiences with Gamma Knife surgery for AVMs of the sylvian fissure in cases treated from 1987 through 2009. During this time, 87 patients underwent SRS for AVMs in the region of the sylvian fissure. Before undergoing SRS, 40 (46%) of these patients had experienced hemorrhage and 36 (41%) had had seizures. The median target volume of the AVM was 3.85 cm3 (range 0.1–17.7 cm3), and the median marginal dose of radiation was 20 Gy (range 13–25 Gy).

Results

Over a median follow-up period of 64 months (range 3–275 months), AVM obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography for 43 patients. The actuarial rates of confirmation of total obliteration were 35% at 3 years, 60% at 4 and 5 years, and 76% at 10 years. Of the 36 patients who had experienced seizures before SRS, 19 (53%) achieved outcomes of Engel class I after treatment. The rate of seizure improvement was 29% at 3 years, 36% at 5 years, 50% at 10 years, and 60% at 15 years. No seizures developed after SRS in patients who had been seizure free before treatment. The actuarial rate of AVM hemorrhage after SRS was 5% at 1, 5, and 10 years. This rate equated to an annual hemorrhage rate during the latency interval of 1%; no hemorrhages occurred after confirmed obliteration. No permanent neurological deficits developed as an adverse effect of radiation; however, delayed cyst formation occurred in 3 patients.

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery was an effective treatment for AVMs within the region of the sylvian fissure, particularly for smaller-volume AVMs. After SRS, a low rate of hemorrhage and improved seizure control were also evident.

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Aditya Iyer, Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory M. Weiner, Neal Luther, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford, and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging response of brain metastases after radiosurgery and to correlate the response with tumor type and patient survival.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery for brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer, or melanoma. The imaging volumetric response by tumor type was plotted at 3-month intervals and classified as a sustained decrease in tumor volume (Type A), a transient decrease followed by a delayed increase in tumor volume (Type B), or a sustained increase in tumor volume (Type C). These imaging responses were then compared with patient survival and tumor type.

Results

Two hundred thirty-three patients with metastases from NSCLC (96 patients), breast cancer (98 patients), and melanoma (39 patients) were eligible for inclusion in this study. The patients with NSCLC were most likely to exhibit a Type A response; those with breast cancer, a Type B response; and those with melanoma, a Type C response. Among patients with NSCLC, the median overall survival was 11.2 months for those with a Type A response (76 patients), 8.6 months for those with a Type B response (6 patients), and 10.5 months for those with a Type C response (14 patients). Among patients with breast cancer, the median overall survival was 16.6 months in those with a Type A response (65 patients), 18.1 months in those with a Type B response (20 patients), and 7.5 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). For patients with melanoma, the median overall survival was 5.2 months in those with a Type A response (26 patients) and 6.7 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). None of the patients with melanoma had a Type B response. The imaging response was significantly associated with survival only in patients with breast cancer.

Conclusions

The various types of imaging responses of metastatic brain tumors after stereotactic radiosurgery depend in part on tumor type. However, the type of response only correlates with survival in patients with breast cancer.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Anthony M. Kaufmann, David Mathieu, Fred A. Zeiler, Michael West, Samuel T. Chao, Gandhi Varma, Veronica L. S. Chiang, James B. Yu, Heyoung L. McBride, Peter Nakaji, Emad Youssef, Norissa Honea, Stephen Rush, Douglas Kondziolka, John Y. K. Lee, Robert L. Bailey, Sandeep Kunwar, Paula Petti, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Parasellar and sellar meningiomas are challenging tumors owing in part to their proximity to important neurovascular and endocrine structures. Complete resection can be associated with significant morbidity, and incomplete resections are common. In this study, the authors evaluated the outcomes of parasellar and sellar meningiomas managed with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) both as an adjunct to microsurgical removal or conventional radiation therapy and as a primary treatment modality.

Methods

A multicenter study of patients with benign sellar and parasellar meningiomas was conducted through the North American Gamma Knife Consortium. For the period spanning 1988 to 2011 at 10 centers, the authors identified all patients with sellar and/or parasellar meningiomas treated with GKRS. Patients were also required to have a minimum of 6 months of imaging and clinical follow-up after GKRS. Factors predictive of new neurological deficits following GKRS were assessed via univariate and multivariate analyses. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox multivariate regression analysis were used to assess factors predictive of tumor progression.

Results

The authors identified 763 patients with sellar and/or parasellar meningiomas treated with GKRS. Patients were assessed clinically and with neuroimaging at routine intervals following GKRS. There were 567 females (74.3%) and 196 males (25.7%) with a median age of 56 years (range 8–90 years). Three hundred fifty-five patients (50.7%) had undergone at least one resection before GKRS, and 3.8% had undergone prior radiation therapy. The median follow-up after GKRS was 66.7 months (range 6–216 months). At the last follow-up, tumor volumes remained stable or decreased in 90.2% of patients. Actuarial progression-free survival rates at 3, 5, 8, and 10 years were 98%, 95%, 88%, and 82%, respectively. More than one prior surgery, prior radiation therapy, or a tumor margin dose < 13 Gy significantly increased the likelihood of tumor progression after GKRS.

At the last clinical follow-up, 86.2% of patients demonstrated no change or improvement in their neurological condition, whereas 13.8% of patients experienced symptom progression. New or worsening cranial nerve deficits were seen in 9.6% of patients, with cranial nerve (CN) V being the most adversely affected nerve. Functional improvements in CNs, especially in CNs V and VI, were observed in 34% of patients with preexisting deficits. New or worsened endocrinopathies were demonstrated in 1.6% of patients; hypothyroidism was the most frequent deficiency. Unfavorable outcome with tumor growth and accompanying neurological decline was statistically more likely in patients with larger tumor volumes (p = 0.022) and more than 1 prior surgery (p = 0.021).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery provides a high rate of tumor control for patients with parasellar or sellar meningiomas, and tumor control is accompanied by neurological preservation or improvement in most patients.

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Mohamed Samy Elhammady and Roberto C. Heros

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Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger, Huai-che Yang, Thomas J. Flannery, Daniel Tonetti, Ajay Niranjan, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The purpose of this study was to define the outcomes and risks of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

Methods

Between 1987 and 2009, SRS was performed in 474 patients with SM Grade III AVMs. The AVMs were categorized by scoring the size (S), drainage (D), and location (L): IIIa was a small AVM (S1D1L1, N = 282); IIIb was a medium/deep AVM (S2D1L0, N = 44); and IIIc was a medium/eloquent AVM (S2D0L1, N = 148). The median target volume was 3.8 ml (range 0.1–26.3 ml) and the margin dose was 20 Gy (range 13–25 Gy). Eighty-one patients (17%) underwent prior embolization, and 58 (12%) underwent prior resection.

Results

At a mean follow-up of 89 months, the total obliteration rates documented by angiography or MRI for all SM Grade III AVMs increased from 48% at 3 years to 69% at 4 years, 72% at 5 years, and 77% at 10 years. The SM Grade IIIa AVMs were more likely to obliterate than other subgroups. The cumulative rate of hemorrhage was 2.3% at 1 year, 4.4% at 2 years, 5.5% at 3 years, 6.4% at 5 years, and 9% at 10 years. The SM Grade IIIb AVMs had a significantly higher cumulative rate of hemorrhage. Symptomatic adverse radiation effects were detected in 6%.

Conclusions

Treatment with SRS was an effective and relatively safe management option for SM Grade III AVMs. Although patients with residual AVMs remained at risk for hemorrhage during the latency interval, the cumulative 10-year 9% hemorrhage risk in this series may represent a significant reduction compared with the expected natural history.

Free access

Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Huai-Che Yang, Zhiyuan Xu, Chun-Po Yen, Wen-Yuh Chung, David Hung-Chi Pan, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFAs) are the most common type of pituitary adenoma and, when symptomatic, typically require surgical removal as an initial means of management. Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is an alternative therapeutic strategy for patients whose comorbidities substantially increase the risks of resection. In this report, the authors evaluated the efficacy and safety of initial GKRS for NFAs.

Methods

An international group of three academic Gamma Knife centers retrospectively reviewed outcome data in 569 patients with NFAs.

Results

Forty-one patients (7.2%) underwent GKRS as primary management for their NFAs because of an advanced age, multiple comorbidities, or patient preference. The median age at the time of radiosurgery was 69 years. Thirty-seven percent of the patients had hypopituitarism before GKRS. Patients received a median tumor margin dose of 12 Gy (range 6.2–25.0 Gy) at a median isodose of 50%. The overall tumor control rate was 92.7%, and the actuarial tumor control rate was 94% and 85% at 5 and 10 years postradiosurgery, respectively. Three patients with tumor growth or symptom progression underwent resection at 3, 3, and 96 months after GKRS, respectively. New or worsened hypopituitarism developed in 10 patients (24%) at a median interval of 37 months after GKRS. One patient suffered new-onset cranial nerve palsy. No other radiosurgical complications were noted. Delayed hypopituitarism was observed more often in patients who had received a tumor margin dose > 18 Gy (p = 0.038) and a maximum dose > 36 Gy (p = 0.025).

Conclusions

In this study, GKRS resulted in long-term control of NFAs in 85% of patients at 10 years. This experience suggests that GKRS provides long-term tumor control with an acceptable risk profile. This approach may be especially valuable in older patients, those with multiple comorbidities, and those who have endocrine-inactive tumors without visual compromise due to mass effect of the adenoma.

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Greg Bowden, Hideyuki Kano, Daniel Tonetti, Ajay Niranjan, John Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the posterior fossa have an aggressive natural history and propensity for hemorrhage. Although the cerebellum accounts for the majority of the posterior fossa volume, there is a paucity of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) outcome data for AVMs of this region. The authors sought to evaluate the long-term outcomes and risks of cerebellar AVM radiosurgery.

Methods

This single-institution retrospective analysis reviewed the authors' experience with Gamma Knife surgery during the period 1987–2007. During this time 64 patients (median age 47 years, range 8–75 years) underwent SRS for a cerebellar AVM. Forty-seven patients (73%) presented with an intracranial hemorrhage. The median target volume was 3.85 cm3 (range 0.2–12.5 cm3), and the median marginal dose was 21 Gy (range 15–25 Gy).

Results

Arteriovenous malformation obliteration was confirmed by MRI or angiography in 40 patients at a median follow-up of 73 months (range 4–255 months). The actuarial rates of total obliteration were 53% at 3 years, 69% at 4 years, and 76% at 5 and 10 years. Elevated obliteration rates were statistically higher in patients who underwent AVM SRS without prior embolization (p = 0.005). A smaller AVM volume was also associated with a higher rate of obliteration (p = 0.03). Four patients (6%) sustained a hemorrhage during the latency period and 3 died. The cumulative rates of AVM hemorrhage after SRS were 6% at 1, 5, and 10 years. This correlated with an overall annual hemorrhage rate of 2.0% during the latency interval. One patient experienced a hemorrhage 9 years after confirmed MRI and angiographic obliteration. A permanent neurological deficit due to adverse radiation effects developed in 1 patient (1.6%) and temporary complications were seen in 2 additional patients (3.1%).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery proved to be most effective for patients with smaller and previously nonembolized cerebellar malformations. Hemorrhage during the latency period occurred at a rate of 2.0% per year until obliteration occurred.

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Seong-Hyun Park, Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

To assess the long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for cerebellopontine angle (CPA) meningiomas, the authors retrospectively reviewed data from a 20-year experience. They evaluated progression-free survival as well as improvement, stabilization, or deterioration in clinical symptoms.

Methods

Seventy-four patients with CPA meningiomas underwent SRS involving various Gamma Knife technologies between 1990 and 2010. The most common presenting symptoms were dizziness or disequilibrium, hearing loss, facial sensory dysfunction, and headache. The median tumor volume was 3.0 cm3 (range 0.3–17.1 cm3), and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 13 Gy (range 11–16 Gy). The median follow-up period was 40 months (range 4–147 months).

Results

At last imaging follow-up, the tumor volume had decreased in 46 patients (62%), remained stable in 26 patients (35%), and increased in 2 patients (3%). The progression-free survival after SRS was 98% at 1 year, 98% at 3 years, and 95% at 5 years. At the last clinical follow-up, 23 patients (31%) showed neurological improvement, 43 patients (58%) showed no change in symptoms or signs, and 8 patients (11%) had worsening symptoms or signs. The neurological improvement rate after SRS was 16% at 1 year, 31% at 3 years, and 40% at 5 years. The post-SRS deterioration rate was 5% at 1 year, 10% at 3 years, and 16% at 5 years. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that trigeminal neuralgia was the symptom most likely to worsen after SRS (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.02–0.31; p = 0.001). Asymptomatic peritumoral edema occurred in 4 patients (5%) after SRS, and symptomatic adverse radiation effects developed in 7 patients (9%).

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery for CPA meningiomas provided a high tumor control rate and relatively low risk of ARE. Tumor compression of the trigeminal nerve by a CPA meningioma resulted in an increased rate of facial pain worsening in this patient experience.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Phillip V. Parry, L. Dade Lunsford, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger, Susan Rakfal, Yoshio Arai, Jay S. Loeffler, Stephen Rush, Jonathan P. S. Knisely, Jason Sheehan, William Friedman, Ahmad A. Tarhini, Lanie Francis, Frank Lieberman, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Mark E. Linskey, Michael McDermott, Paul Sperduto, and Roger Stupp

Object

Estimating survival time in cancer patients is crucial for clinicians, patients, families, and payers. To provide appropriate and cost-effective care, various data sources are used to provide rational, reliable, and reproducible estimates. The accuracy of such estimates is unknown.

Methods

The authors prospectively estimated survival in 150 consecutive cancer patients (median age 62 years) with brain metastases undergoing radiosurgery. They recorded cancer type, number of brain metastases, neurological presentation, extracranial disease status, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, Recursive Partitioning Analysis class, prior whole-brain radiotherapy, and synchronous or metachronous presentation. Finally, the authors asked 18 medical, radiation, or surgical oncologists to predict survival from the time of treatment.

Results

The actual median patient survival was 10.3 months (95% CI 6.4–14). The median physician-predicted survival was 9.7 months (neurosurgeons = 11.8 months, radiation oncologists = 11.0 months, and medical oncologist = 7.2 months). For patients who died before 10 months, both neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists generally predicted survivals that were more optimistic and medical oncologists that were less so, although no group could accurately predict survivors alive at 14 months. All physicians had individual patient survival predictions that were incorrect by as much as 12–18 months, and 14 of 18 physicians had individual predictions that were in error by more than 18 months. Of the 2700 predictions, 1226 (45%) were off by more than 6 months and 488 (18%) were off by more than 12 months.

Conclusions

Although crucial, predicting the survival of cancer patients is difficult. In this study all physicians were unable to accurately predict longer-term survivors. Despite valuable clinical data and predictive scoring techniques, brain and systemic management often led to patient survivals well beyond estimated survivals.