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Fred G. Barker II, Michael D. Prados, Susan M. Chang, Philip H. Gutin, Kathleen R. Lamborn, David A. Larson, Mary K. Malec, Michael W. McDermott, Penny K. Sneed, William M. Wara, and Charles B. Wilson

✓ To determine the value of radiographically assessed response to radiation therapy as a predictor of survival in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the authors studied a cohort of 301 patients who were initially treated according to uniform clinical protocols. All patients had newly diagnosed supratentorial GBM and underwent the maximum safe resection followed by external-beam radiation treatment (60 Gy in standard daily fractions or 70.4 Gy in twice-daily fractions of 160 cGy). The radiation response and survival rates were assessable in 222 patients. The extent of resection and the immediate response to radiation therapy were highly correlated with survival, both in a univariate analysis and after correction for age and Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) score in a multivariate Cox model (p < 0.001 for radiation response and p = 0.04 for extent of resection). A subgroup analysis suggested that neuroimaging obtained within 3 days after surgery served as a better baseline for assessment of radiation response than images obtained later. Imaging obtained within 3 days after completion of a course of radiation therapy also provided valid radiation response scores. The impact of the radiographically assessed radiation response on survival time was comparable to that of age or KPS score. This information is easily obtained early in the course of the disease, may be of value for individual patients, and may also have implications for the design and analysis of trials of adjuvant therapy for GBM, including volume-dependent therapies such as radiosurgery or brachytherapy.

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Steven G. Ojemann, Penny K. Sneed, David A. Larson, Philip H. Gutin, Mitchel S. Berger, Lynn Verhey, Vernon Smith, Paula Petti, William Wara, Elaine Park, and Michael W. McDermott

Object. The initial treatment of malignant meningiomas in the past has included surgical removal followed by fractionated external-beam radiotherapy. Radiosurgery has been added to the options for treatment of primary or recurrent tumors over the last 10 years. The authors report their results of using gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) to treat 22 patients over an 8-year period.

Methods. Twenty-two patients who underwent GKS for malignant meningioma between December 1991 and May 1999 were evaluated. Three patients were treated with GKS as a boost to radiotherapy and 19 for recurrence following radiotherapy. Outcome factors including patient survival, freedom from progression, and complications were analyzed. In addition, in the recurrent group, variables such as patient age, sex, tumor location, target volume, margin dose, and maximum dose were also analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.

Overall 5-year survival and progression-free survival estimates were 40% and 26%, respectively. Age (p ≤ 0.003) and tumor volume (p ≤ 0.05) were significant predictors of time to progression and survival in both univariate and multivariate analyses. Five patients (23%) developed radiation necrosis. Significant relationships between complications and treatment variables or patient characteristics could not be established.

Conclusions. Tumor control following GKS is greater in patients with smaller-sized tumors (< 8 cm3) and in younger patients. Gamma knife radiosurgery can be performed to treat malignant meningioma with acceptable toxicity. The efficacy of GKS relative to other therapies for recurrent malignant meningioma as well as the value of GKS as a boost to radiotherapy will require further evaluation.

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Tracy R. McKnight, Mary H. von dem Bussche, Daniel B. Vigneron, Ying Lu, Mitchel S. Berger, Michael W. McDermott, William P. Dillon, Edward E. Graves, Andrea Pirzkall, and Sarah J. Nelson

Object. Data obtained preoperatively from three-dimensional (3D)/proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy were compared with the results of histopathological assays of tissue biopsies obtained during surgery to verify the sensitivity and specificity of a choline-containing compound—N-acetylaspartate index (CNI) used to distinguish tumor from nontumorous tissue within T2 hyperintense and contrast-enhancing lesions of patients with untreated gliomas. The information gleaned from the biopsy correlation study was used to test the hypothesis that there is metabolically active tumor in nonenhancing regions of the T2-hyperintense lesion that can be detected using MR spectroscopy.

Methods. Patients suspected of harboring a glioma underwent 3D MR spectroscopy during their preoperative MR imaging examination. Surgical navigation techniques were used to record the location of tissue biopsies collected during open resection of the tumor. A receiver operating curve analysis of the CNI and histological characteristics of specimens at each biopsy location was performed to determine the optimal threshold of the CNI required to separate tumor from nontumorous tissue. Histograms of the CNIs within enhancing and nonenhancing regions of lesions appearing on MR images were generated to determine the spatial distribution of CNIs consistent with tumor.

Conclusions. Biopsy samples containing tumor were distinguished from those containing a mixture of normal, edematous, gliotic, and necrotic tissue with 90% sensitivity and 86% specificity by using a CNI threshold of 2.5. The CNIs of nontumorous specimens were significantly different from those of biopsy specimens containing Grade II (p < 0.03), Grade III (p < 0.005), and Grade IV (p < 0.01) tumors. On average, one third to one half of the T2-hyperintense lesion outside the contrast-enhancing lesion contained CNI greater than 2.5.

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Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Edward F. Chang, and Michael W. McDermott


Meningiomas arising from the falcotentorial junction are rare. As a result, their clinical presentation and surgical management are not well described. During the past 3 years, the authors have treated six patients with falcotentorial meningiomas.


Most patients presented with symptoms related to raised intracranial pressure, including headaches, papilledema, and visual and gait disturbances. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a smooth, oval, or round mass, which was typically homogeneously enhancing. Angiography was useful in evaluating arterial supply for embolization, when possible, and determining the status of venous collateral supply and sinus patency. The authors detail the surgical technique used in all six patients. Postoperatively, patients experienced transient cortical blindness, which in all cases spontaneously resolved during the course of several days to weeks. They provide a comprehensive description of the presentation and surgical management of falcotentorial meningiomas.


An excellent outcome can be expected when surgery is predicated on detailed preoperative neuroimaging and knowledge of the nuances of the surgical technique.

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Meic H. Schmidt, Mitchel S. Berger, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Ken Aldape, Michael W. McDermott, Michael D. Prados, and Susan M. Chang

Object. Progression of infiltrative low-grade gliomas (LGGs) has been reported previously. The limitations of such studies include diverse histological grading systems, intervening therapy, and the lack of histological confirmation of malignant tumor progression. The aim of this study was to determine tumor progression in adult patients with an initial diagnosis of infiltrative LGG who subsequently underwent a repeated operation, but no other intervening therapy. The authors examined factors that may be associated with tumor progression.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed a database of 300 patients with the initial diagnosis of LGG and who had been treated at their institution between 1990 and 2000. One hundred four of these patients had undergone a second surgery. Patients with infiltrative LGGs who had undergone two surgical procedures at least 3 months apart without intervening therapy were selected; the authors identified 40 patients who fit these criteria. Clinical, neuroimaging, and pathological data were centrally reviewed.

There were 29 men and 11 women in the study, whose median age was 35.5 years (range 23–48 years). At the time of the second surgery, 50% of patients had experienced tumor progression. Patients whose tumors had progressed had a longer median time to repeated operation (49 compared with 22.5 months). Patients who had undergone gross-total resection, as demonstrated on postoperative magnetic resonance images, had a median time to repeated operation of 49 compared with 25 and 24 months in patients who underwent subtotal resection and biopsy, respectively (p = 0.02). The extent of resection did not influence the likelihood of tumor progression (p > 0.3).

Conclusions. Fifty percent of patients with initially diagnosed infiltrative LGGs had tumor progression at the time of a repeated operation. A gross-total resection was associated with an increased time to repeated surgery. There was no statistically significant effect of gross-total resection as a predictor of tumor progression.

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John H. Chi and Michael W. McDermott

Tuberculum sellae meningiomas are a classic tumor of the anterior fossa that present in patients with gradual visual deterioration secondary to optic apparatus compression. If untreated, complete blindness can occur. Treatment involves tumor removal and decompression of the optic chiasm via several operative approaches. Gross-total resection (Simpson Grade I or II) is the goal of treatment and can usually be accomplished safely. Special excision-related considerations include appreciation of arachnoid planes separating the tumor from neural tissue, adequate drilling of osseous elements for optimal exposure, and intraoperative preservation of the vascular supply to the optic apparatus. The authors reviewed their experience at the University of California, San Francisco, in cases of tuberculum sellae meningiomas treated between 1992 and 2002. In most patients, improvement of vision can be achieved with minimal postoperative complications and morbidity.

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Antoinette A. Chan, Aubrey Lau, Andrea Pirzkall, Susan M. Chang, Lynn J. Verhey, David Larson, Michael W. McDermott, William P. Dillon, and Sarah J. Nelson

Object. The purpose of this study was to assess the differences in spatial extent and metabolic activity in a comparison of a radiosurgical target defined by conventional strategies that utilize the enhancing lesion and a metabolic lesion defined by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) imaging. The authors evaluated whether these differences manifest themselves in the clinical outcome of patients and assessed the value of incorporating 1H-MRS imaging—derived spatial information into the treatment planning process for gamma knife surgery (GKS).

Methods. Twenty-six patients harboring Grade IV gliomas who had previously been treated with external-beam radiation therapy were evaluated by comparing the radiosurgically treated lesion volume with the volume of metabolically active tumor defined on 1H-MRS imaging. The cohort was evenly divided into two groups based on the percentage of overlap between the radiosurgical target and the metabolic lesion volumes. Patients with a percentage of overlap greater than 50% with respect to the metabolic lesion volume were classified as low risk and those with an overlap less than 50% were classified as high risk.

Kaplan—Meier estimators were calculated using time to progression and survival as dependent variables. The metabolite levels within the metabolic lesion were significantly greater than those within the radiosurgical target (p ≤ 0.001). The median survival was 15.7 months for patients in the low-risk group and 10.4 months for those in the highrisk group. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01).

Conclusions. Analysis of the results of this study indicates that patients undergoing GKS may benefit from the inclusion of 1H-MRS imaging in the treatment planning process.

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Fred G. Barker II and Michael W. McDermott

An important goal of the Section on Tumors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) since its founding in 1985 has been to foster both education and research in the field of brain tumor treatment. As one means of achieving this, the Section awards a number of prizes, research grants, and named lectures at the annual meetings of the AANS and CNS. After a brief examination of similar honors that were given in recognition of pioneering work by Knapp, Cushing, and other early brain tumor researchers, the authors describe the various awards given by the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors since its founding, their philanthropic donors, and the recipients of the awards. The subsequent career of the recipients is briefly examined, in terms of the rate of full publication of award-winning abstracts and achievement of grant funding by awardees.

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Andrew T. Parsa, Scott Wachhorst, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Michael D. Prados, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Susan M. Chang

Object. The clinical outcome and treatment of adult patients with disseminated intracranial glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is unclear. The objective in the present study was to assess the prognostic significance of disseminated intracranial GBM in adults at presentation and at the time of tumor progression.

Methods. Clinical data from 1491 patients older than 17 years and harboring a GBM that had been diagnosed between 1988 and 1998 at the University of California at San Francisco neurooncology clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Dissemination of the GBM (126 patients) was determined based on Gd-enhanced magnetic resonance images. Classification of dissemination was as follows: Type I, single lesion with subependymal or subarachnoid spread; Type II, multifocal lesions without subependymal or subarachnoid spread; and Type III, multifocal lesions with subependymal or subarachnoid spread. Subgroups of patients were compared using Kaplan—Meier curves that depicted survival probability.

The median postprogression survival (PPS), defined according to neuroimaging demonstrated dissemination, was 37 weeks for Type I (23 patients), 25 weeks for Type II (50 patients), and 10 weeks for Type III spread (19 patients). Patients with dissemination at first tumor progression (52 patients) overall had a shorter PPS than those in a control group with local progression, after adjusting for age, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and time from tumor diagnosis to its progression (311 patients). When analyzed according to tumor dissemination type, PPS was significantly shorter in patients with Type II (33 patients, p < 0.01) and Type III spread (11 patients, p < 0.01) but not in those with Type I spread (eight patients, p = 0.18).

Conclusions. Apparently, the presence of intracranial tumor dissemination on initial diagnosis does not in itself preclude aggressive treatment if a patient is otherwise well. A single focus of GBM that later demonstrates Type I dissemination on progression does not have a worse prognosis than a lesion that exhibits only local recurrence.

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William T. Curry, Michael W. McDermott, Bob S. Carter, and Fred G. Barker II

Object. The goal of this study was to determine the risk of adverse outcomes after contemporary surgical treatment of meningiomas in the US and trends in patient outcomes and patterns of care.

Methods. The authors performed a retrospective cohort study by using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample covering the period of 1988 to 2000. Multivariate regression models with disposition end points of death and hospital discharge were used to test patient, surgeon, and hospital characteristics, including volume of care, as outcome predictors.

Multivariate analyses revealed that larger-volume centers had lower mortality rates for patients who underwent craniotomy for meningioma (odds ratio [OR] 0.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59–0.93, p = 0.01). Adverse discharge disposition was also less likely at high-volume hospitals (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62–0.80, p < 0.001). With respect to the surgeon caseload, there was a trend toward a lower rate of mortality after surgery when higher-caseload providers were involved, and a significantly less frequent adverse discharge disposition (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62–0.80, p <, 0.001).

The annual meningioma caseload in the US increased 83% between 1988 and 2000, from 3900 patients/year to 7200 patients/year. In-hospital mortality rates decreased 61%, from 4.5% in 1988 to 1.8% in 2000. Reductions in the mortality rates were largest at high-volume centers (a 72% reduction in the relative mortality rate at largest-volume-quintile centers, compared with a 6% increase in the relative mortality rate at lowest-volume-quintile centers). The number of US hospitals where craniotomies were performed for meningiomas increased slightly. Fewer centers hosted one meningioma resection annually, whereas the largest centers had disproportionate increases in their caseloads, indicating a modest centralization of meningioma surgery in the US during this interval.

Conclusions. The mortality and adverse hospital discharge disposition rates were lower when meningioma surgery was performed by high-volume providers. The annual US caseload increased, whereas the mortality rates decreased, especially at high-volume centers.