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Ezequiel Goldschmidt, Wendy Fellows-Mayle, Rachel Wolfe, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford, and Peter C. Gerszten

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat trigeminal neuralgia by targeting the cisternal segment of the trigeminal nerve, which in turn triggers changes in the gasserian ganglion. In the lumbar spine, the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) is responsible for transmitting pain sensitivity and is involved in the pathogenesis of peripheral neuropathic pain. Therefore, radiosurgery to the DRG might improve chronic peripheral pain. This study evaluated the clinical and histological effects of high-dose radiosurgery to the DRG in a rodent model.

METHODS

Eight Sprague-Dawley rats received either 40- or 80-Gy SRS to the fifth and sixth lumbar DRGs using the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon. Animals were euthanized 3 months after treatment, and the lumbar spine was dissected and taken for analysis. Simple histology was used to assess collagen deposition and inflammatory response. GFAP, Neu-N, substance P, and internexin were used as a measure of peripheral glial activation, neurogenesis, pain-specific neurotransmission, and neurotransmission in general, respectively. The integrity of the spinothalamic tract was assessed by means of the von Frey test.

RESULTS

The animals did not exhibit any signs of motor or sensory deficits during the experimentation period. Edema, fibrosis, and vascular sclerotic changes were present on the treated, but not the control, side. SRS reduced the expression of GFAP without affecting the expression of Neu-N, substance P, or internexin. The von Frey sensory perception elicited equivalent results for the control side and both radiosurgical doses.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS did not alter sensory or motor function but reduced the activation of satellite glial cells, a pathway for DRG-mediated pain perpetuation. Radiosurgery provoked changes equivalent to the effects of focal radiation on the trigeminal ganglion after SRS for trigeminal neuralgia, suggesting that radiosurgery could be successful in relieving radiculopathic pain.

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Stephen Johnson, Hideyuki Kano, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Optimizing outcomes in the management of patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs) requires consideration of the patient’s goals. Earlier recognition of VS by imaging has led to an evolution in management. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has emerged as a frequently used strategy designed to reduce management risks, obtain long-term tumor control, and preserve current neurological function. The authors analyzed features that impact hearing preservation rates in patients with serviceable hearing prior to SRS.

METHODS

The study included 307 patients who had serviceable hearing (Gardner-Robertson hearing scale [GR] grade 1 or 2, speech discrimination score ≥ 50%, pure tone average ≤ 50 dB) at the time of SRS. The authors evaluated parameters that included age, tumor volume, hearing status, disequilibrium, tinnitus, Koos class, sex, and tumor margin dose. The Pittsburgh Hearing Prediction Score (PHPS) was evaluated as a method to predict long-term hearing outcomes in these cases.

RESULTS

At a median of 7.6 years after SRS (range 1–23 years), tumor control was achieved in 95% of patients. The overall serviceable hearing preservation rate was 77.8% at 3 years, 68.8% at 5 years, and 51.8% at 10 years. The PHPS assigns a total of 5 points based on patient age (1 point if < 45 years, 2 points if 45–59 years, and 3 points if ≥ 60 years), tumor volume (0 points if < 1.2 cm3, 1 point if ≥ 1.2 cm3), and GR grade (0 points if grade 1 hearing, 1 point if grade 2 hearing) The serviceable hearing preservation rate was 92.3% at 10 years in patients whose score total was 1. In contrast, none of the patients whose PHPS was 5 maintained serviceable hearing at 10 years (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS resulted in a high rate of long-term tumor control and cranial nerve preservation. The PHPS helped to predict long-term hearing preservation rates in patients who underwent SRS when they still had serviceable hearing. The best long-term hearing preservation rates were found in younger patients with smaller tumor volumes.

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Yi-Chieh Hung, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Nasser Mohammed, Kathryn N. Kearns, Ahmed M. Nabeel, Khaled Abdel Karim, Reem M. Emad Eldin, Amr M. N. El-Shehaby, Wael A. Reda, Sameh R. Tawadros, Roman Liscak, Jana Jezkova, L. Dade Lunsford, Hideyuki Kano, Nathaniel D. Sisterson, Roberto Martínez Álvarez, Nuria E. Martínez Moreno, Douglas Kondziolka, John G. Golfinos, Inga Grills, Andrew Thompson, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Tanmoy Kumar Maiti, Gene H. Barnett, James McInerney, Brad E. Zacharia, Zhiyuan Xu, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The most common functioning pituitary adenoma is prolactinoma. Patients with medically refractory or residual/recurrent tumors that are not amenable to resection can be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The aim of this multicenter study was to evaluate the role of SRS for treating prolactinomas.

METHODS

This retrospective study included prolactinomas treated with SRS between 1997 and 2016 at ten institutions. Patients’ clinical and treatment parameters were investigated. Patients were considered to be in endocrine remission when they had a normal level of prolactin (PRL) without requiring dopamine agonist medications. Endocrine control was defined as endocrine remission or a controlled PRL level ≤ 30 ng/ml with dopamine agonist therapy. Other outcomes were evaluated including new-onset hormone deficiency, tumor recurrence, and new neurological complications.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 289 patients. The endocrine remission rates were 28%, 41%, and 54% at 3, 5, and 8 years after SRS, respectively. Following SRS, 25% of patients (72/289) had new hormone deficiency. Sixty-three percent of the patients (127/201) with available data attained endocrine control. Three percent of patients (9/269) had a new visual complication after SRS. Five percent of the patients (13/285) were recorded as having tumor progression. A pretreatment PRL level ≤ 270 ng/ml was a predictor of endocrine remission (p = 0.005, adjusted HR 0.487). An increasing margin dose resulted in better endocrine control after SRS (p = 0.033, adjusted OR 1.087).

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with medically refractory prolactinomas or a residual/recurrent prolactinoma, SRS affords remarkable therapeutic effects in endocrine remission, endocrine control, and tumor control. New-onset hypopituitarism is the most common adverse event.

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Diogo Cordeiro, Zhiyuan Xu, Chelsea E. Li, Christian Iorio-Morin, David Mathieu, Nathaniel D. Sisterson, Hideyuki Kano, Luca Attuati, Piero Picozzi, Kimball A. Sheehan, Cheng-chia Lee, Roman Liscak, Jana Jezkova, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Nelson’s syndrome is a rare and challenging neuroendocrine disorder, and it is associated with elevated adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) level, skin hyperpigmentation, and pituitary adenoma growth. Management options including resection and medical therapy are traditional approaches. Ionizing radiation in the form of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is also being utilized to treat Nelson’s syndrome. In the current study the authors sought to better define the therapeutic role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in Nelson’s syndrome.

METHODS

Study patients with Nelson’s syndrome were treated with single-fraction GKRS (median margin dose of 25 Gy) at 6 different centers as part of an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF) investigation. Data including neurological function, endocrine response, and radiological tumor response were collected and sent to the study-coordinating center for review. Fifty-one patients with median endocrine and radiological follow-ups of 91 and 80.5 months from GKRS, respectively, were analyzed for endocrine remission, tumor control, and neurological outcome. Statistical methods were used to identify prognostic factors for these endpoints.

RESULTS

At last follow-up, radiological tumor control was achieved in 92.15% of patients. Endocrine remission off medical management and reduction in pre-SRS ACTH level were achieved in 29.4% and 62.7% of patients, respectively. Improved remission rates were associated with a shorter time interval between resection and GKRS (p = 0.039). Hypopituitarism was seen in 21.6% and new visual deficits were demonstrated in 15.7% of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

GKRS affords a high rate of pituitary adenoma control and improvement in ACTH level for the majority of Nelson’s syndrome patients. Hypopituitarism is the most common adverse effect from GKRS in Nelson’s syndrome patients and warrants longitudinal follow-up for detection and endocrine replacement.

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Nasser Mohammed, Dale Ding, Yi-Chieh Hung, Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Hideyuki Kano, Roberto Martínez-Álvarez, Nuria Martínez-Moreno, David Mathieu, Mikulas Kosak, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gennadiy A. Katsevman, L. Dade Lunsford, Mary Lee Vance, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The role of primary stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with medically refractory acromegaly who are not operative candidates or who refuse resection is poorly understood. The aim of this multicenter, matched cohort study was to compare the outcomes of primary versus postoperative SRS for acromegaly.

METHODS

The authors reviewed an International Radiosurgery Research Foundation database of 398 patients with acromegaly who underwent SRS and categorized them into primary or postoperative cohorts. Patients in the primary SRS cohort were matched, in a 1:2 ratio, to those in the postoperative SRS cohort, and the outcomes of the 2 matched cohorts were compared.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 78 patients (median follow-up 66.4 months), including 26 and 52 in the matched primary and postoperative SRS cohorts, respectively. In the primary SRS cohort, the actuarial endocrine remission rates at 2 and 5 years were 20% and 42%, respectively. The Cox proportional hazards model showed that a lower pre-SRS insulin-like growth factor–1 level was predictive of initial endocrine remission (p = 0.03), whereas a lower SRS margin dose was predictive of biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.01). There were no differences in the rates of radiological tumor control (p = 0.34), initial endocrine remission (p = 0.23), biochemical recurrence after initial remission (p = 0.33), recurrence-free survival (p = 0.32), or hypopituitarism (p = 0.67) between the 2 matched cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary SRS has a reasonable benefit-to-risk profile for patients with acromegaly in whom resection is not possible, and it has similar outcomes to endocrinologically comparable patients who undergo postoperative SRS. SRS with medical therapy in the latent period can be used as an alternative to surgery in selected patients who cannot or do not wish to undergo resection.

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Robert M. Starke, David J. McCarthy, Ching-Jen Chen, Hideyuki Kano, Brendan J. McShane, John Lee, Mohana Rao Patibandla, David Mathieu, Lucas T. Vasas, Anthony M. Kaufmann, Wei Gang Wang, Inga S. Grills, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gabriella Paisan, John Vargo, Tomas Chytka, Ladislava Janouskova, Caleb E. Feliciano, Nanthiya Sujijantarat, Charles Matouk, Veronica Chiang, Judith Hess, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Daniel A. Tonetti, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The authors performed a study to evaluate the hemorrhagic rates of cerebral dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) and the risk factors of hemorrhage following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS).

METHODS

Data from a cohort of patients undergoing GKRS for cerebral dAVFs were compiled from the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation. The annual posttreatment hemorrhage rate was calculated as the number of hemorrhages divided by the patient-years at risk. Risk factors for dAVF hemorrhage prior to GKRS and during the latency period after radiosurgery were evaluated in a multivariate analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 147 patients with dAVFs were treated with GKRS. Thirty-six patients (24.5%) presented with hemorrhage. dAVFs that had any cortical venous drainage (CVD) (OR = 3.8, p = 0.003) or convexity or torcula location (OR = 3.3, p = 0.017) were more likely to present with hemorrhage in multivariate analysis. Half of the patients had prior treatment (49.7%). Post-GRKS hemorrhage occurred in 4 patients, with an overall annual risk of 0.84% during the latency period. The annual risks of post-GKRS hemorrhage for Borden type 2–3 dAVFs and Borden type 2–3 hemorrhagic dAVFs were 1.45% and 0.93%, respectively. No hemorrhage occurred after radiological confirmation of obliteration. Independent predictors of hemorrhage following GKRS included nonhemorrhagic neural deficit presentation (HR = 21.6, p = 0.027) and increasing number of past endovascular treatments (HR = 1.81, p = 0.036).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients have similar rates of hemorrhage before and after radiosurgery until obliteration is achieved. dAVFs that have any CVD or are located in the convexity or torcula were more likely to present with hemorrhage. Patients presenting with nonhemorrhagic neural deficits and a history of endovascular treatments had higher risks of post-GKRS hemorrhage.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Kathryn N. Kearns, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Inga S. Grills, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus are associated with elevated risks of both hemorrhage if left untreated and neurological morbidity after resection. Therefore, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become a mainstay in the management of these lesions, although its safety and efficacy remain incompletely understood. The aim of this retrospective multicenter cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for BG and thalamic AVMs and determine predictors of successful endpoints and adverse radiation effects.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data on patients with BG or thalamic AVMs who had undergone SRS at eight institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) from 1987 to 2014. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Multivariable models were developed to identify independent predictors of outcome.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 363 patients with BG or thalamic AVMs. The mean AVM volume and SRS margin dose were 3.8 cm3 and 20.7 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 86.5 months. Favorable outcome was achieved in 58.5% of patients, including obliteration in 64.8%, with rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and permanent RIC in 11.3% and 5.6% of patients, respectively. Independent predictors of favorable outcome were no prior AVM embolization (p = 0.011), a higher margin dose (p = 0.008), and fewer isocenters (p = 0.044).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is the preferred intervention for the majority of BG and thalamic AVMs. Patients with morphologically compact AVMs that have not been previously embolized are more likely to have a favorable outcome, which may be related to the use of a higher margin dose.

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Robert M. Starke, David J. McCarthy, Ching-Jen Chen, Hideyuki Kano, Brendan McShane, John Lee, David Mathieu, Lucas T. Vasas, Anthony M. Kaufmann, Wei Gang Wang, Inga S. Grills, Mohana Rao Patibandla, Christopher P. Cifarelli, Gabriella Paisan, John A. Vargo, Tomas Chytka, Ladislava Janouskova, Caleb E. Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Daniel A. Tonetti, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

In this multicenter study, the authors reviewed the results obtained in patients who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) and determined predictors of outcome.

METHODS

Data from a cohort of 114 patients who underwent GKRS for cerebral dAVFs were compiled from the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Favorable outcome was defined as dAVF obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent symptomatic radiation-induced complications. Patient and dAVF characteristics were assessed to determine predictors of outcome in a multivariate logistic regression analysis; dAVF-free obliteration was calculated in a competing-risk survival analysis; and Youden indices were used to determine optimal radiosurgical dose.

RESULTS

A mean margin dose of 21.8 Gy was delivered. The mean follow-up duration was 4 years (range 0.5–18 years). The overall obliteration rate was 68.4%. The postradiosurgery actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 41.3%, 61.1%, 70.1%, and 82.0%, respectively. Post-GRKS hemorrhage occurred in 4 patients (annual risk of 0.9%). Radiation-induced imaging changes occurred in 10.4% of patients; 5.2% were symptomatic, and 3.5% had permanent deficits. Favorable outcome was achieved in 63.2% of patients. Patients with middle fossa and tentorial dAVFs (OR 2.4, p = 0.048) and those receiving a margin dose greater than 23 Gy (OR 2.6, p = 0.030) were less likely to achieve a favorable outcome. Commonly used grading scales (e.g., Borden and Cognard) were not predictive of outcome. Female sex (OR 1.7, p = 0.03), absent venous ectasia (OR 3.4, p < 0.001), and cavernous carotid location (OR 2.1, p = 0.019) were predictors of GKRS-induced dAVF obliteration.

CONCLUSIONS

GKRS for cerebral dAVFs achieved obliteration and avoided permanent complications in the majority of patients. Those with cavernous carotid location and no venous ectasia were more likely to have fistula obliteration following radiosurgery. Commonly used grading scales were not reliable predictors of outcome following radiosurgery.

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Ajay Niranjan, Ahmed Kashkoush, Hideyuki Kano, Edward A. Monaco III, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Seizures are the second-most common presenting symptom in patients with lobar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). However, few studies have assessed the long-term effect of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on seizure control. The authors of this study assess the outcome of SRS for these patients to identify prognostic factors associated with seizure control.

METHODS

Patients with AVM who presented with a history of seizure and underwent SRS at the authors’ institution between 1987 and 2012 were retrospectively assessed. The total cohort included 155 patients with a mean follow-up of 86 months (range 6–295 months). Primary outcomes assessed were seizure frequency, antiepileptic drug regimen, and seizure freedom for 6 months prior to last follow-up.

RESULTS

Seizure-free status was achieved in 108 patients (70%), with an additional 23 patients (15%) reporting improved seizure frequency as compared to their pre-SRS status. The median time to seizure-free status was estimated to be 12 months (95% CI 0–27 months) as evaluated via Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. The mean seizure frequency prior to SRS was 14.2 (95% CI 5.4–23.1) episodes per year. Although not all patients tried, the proportion of patients successfully weaned off all antiepileptic drugs was 18% (28/155 patients). On multivariate logistic regression, focal impaired awareness seizure type (also known as complex partial seizures) and superficial venous drainage were significantly associated with a decreased odds ratio for seizure-free status at last follow-up (OR 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.92] for focal impaired awareness seizures; OR 0.36 [95% CI 0.16–0.81] for superficial venous drainage). The effects of superficial venous drainage on seizure outcome were nonsignificant when excluding patients with < 2 years of follow-up. AVM obliteration did not correlate with long-term seizure freedom (p = 0.202, chi-square test).

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that SRS improves long-term seizure control and increases the likelihood of being medication free, independently of AVM obliteration. Patients with focal impaired awareness seizures were less likely to obtain long-term seizure relief.

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Gary K. Steinberg, Douglas Kondziolka, Lawrence R. Wechsler, L. Dade Lunsford, Anthony S. Kim, Jeremiah N. Johnson, Damien Bates, Gene Poggio, Casey Case, Michael McGrogan, Ernest W. Yankee, and Neil E. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes associated with stereotactic surgical implantation of modified bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (SB623) in patients with stable chronic ischemic stroke.

METHODS

This was a 2-year, open-label, single-arm, phase 1/2a study; the selected patients had chronic motor deficits between 6 and 60 months after nonhemorrhagic stroke. SB623 cells were administered to the target sites surrounding the subcortical stroke region using MRI stereotactic image guidance.

RESULTS

A total of 18 patients were treated with SB623 cells. All experienced at least 1 treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE). No patients withdrew due to adverse events, and there were no dose-limiting toxicities or deaths. The most frequent TEAE was headache related to the surgical procedure (88.9%). Seven patients experienced 9 serious adverse events, which resolved without sequelae. In 16 patients who completed 24 months of treatment, statistically significant improvements from baseline (mean) at 24 months were reported for the European Stroke Scale (ESS) score, 5.7 (95% CI 1.4–10.1, p < 0.05); National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, −2.1 (95% CI −3.3 to −1.0, p < 0.01), Fugl-Meyer (F-M) total score, 19.4 (95% CI 9.9–29.0, p < 0.01); and F-M motor scale score, 10.4 (95% CI 4.0–16.7, p < 0.01). Measures of efficacy reached plateau by 12 months with no decline thereafter. There were no statistically significant changes in the modified Rankin Scale score. The size of transient lesions detected by T2-weighted FLAIR imaging in the ipsilateral cortex at weeks 1–2 postimplantation significantly correlated with improvement in ESS (0.619, p < 0.05) and NIHSS (−0.735, p < 0.01) scores at 24 months.

CONCLUSIONS

In this completed 2-year phase 1/2a study, implantation of SB623 cells in patients with stable chronic stroke was safe and was accompanied by improvements in clinical outcomes.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01287936 (clinicaltrials.gov)