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Fu-Chou Cheng, Meei-Ling Sheu, Hong-Lin Su, Ying-Ju Chen, Chun-Jung Chen, Wen-Ta Chiu, Jason Sheehan, and Hung-Chuan Pan

Object

Mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) from bone marrow involved in the process of peripheral nerve regeneration occurs mostly through deposits of CD34+ cells. Treadmill exercise, with either differing intensity or duration, has been shown to increase axon regeneration and sprouting, but the effect of mobilization of HPCs on peripheral nerve regeneration due to treadmill exercise has not yet been elucidated.

Methods

Peripheral nerve injury was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by crushing the left sciatic nerve using a vessel clamp. The animals were categorized into 2 groups: those with and without treadmill exercise (20 m/min for 60 minutes per day for 7 days). Cytospin and flow cytometry were used to determine bone marrow progenitor cell density and distribution. Neurobehavioral analysis, electrophysiological study, and regeneration marker expression were investigated at 1 and 3 weeks after exercise. The accumulation of HPCs, immune cells, and angiogenesis factors in injured nerves was determined. A separate chimeric mice study was conducted to assess CD34+ cell distribution according to treadmill exercise group.

Results

Treadmill exercise significantly promoted nerve regeneration. Increased Schwann cell proliferation, increased neurofilament expression, and decreased Schwann cell apoptosis were observed 7 days after treadmill exercise. Elevated expression of S100 and Luxol fast blue, as well as decreased numbers of vacuoles, were identified in the crushed nerve 3 weeks after treadmill exercise. Significantly increased numbers of mononuclear cells, particularly CD34+ cells, were induced in bone marrow after treadmill exercise. The deposition of CD34+ cells was abolished by bone marrow irradiation. In addition, deposits of CD34+ cells in crushed nerves paralleled the elevated expressions of von Willebrand factor, isolectin B4, and vascular endothelial growth factor.

Conclusions

Bone marrow HPCs, especially CD34+ cells, were able to be mobilized by low-intensity treadmill exercise, and this effect paralleled the significant expression of angiogenesis factors. Treadmill exercise stimulation of HPC mobilization during peripheral nerve regeneration could be used as a therapy in human beings.

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Stephen Monteith, Jason Sheehan, Ricky Medel, Max Wintermark, Matthew Eames, John Snell, Neal F. Kassell, and W. Jeff Elias

Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) has the potential to create a shift in the treatment paradigm of several intracranial disorders. High-resolution MRI guidance combined with an accurate method of delivering high doses of transcranial ultrasound energy to a discrete focal point has led to the exploration of noninvasive treatments for diseases traditionally treated by invasive surgical procedures. In this review, the authors examine the current intracranial applications under investigation and explore other potential uses for MRgFUS in the intracranial space based on their initial cadaveric studies.

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L. Dade Lunsford, Veronica Chiang, John R. Adler, Jason Sheehan, William Friedman, and Douglas Kondziolka

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David Weintraub, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Jesse Savage, Brian Williams, and Jason Sheehan

Object

While some low-grade pediatric gliomas may be cured with resection, many patients harbor tumors that cannot be completely resected safely, are difficult to access via an open surgical approach, or recur. Gamma Knife surgery may be beneficial in the treatment of these tumors.

Methods

The authors reviewed a consecutive series of 24 pediatric patients treated at the authors' institution between 1989 and 2011. All patients harbored tumors that were either surgically inaccessible or had evidence of residual or recurrent growth after resection. Progression-free survival was evaluated and correlated with clinical variables. Additional outcomes evaluated were clinical outcome, imaging response, and overall survival.

Results

Between 1989 and 2011, 13 male and 11 female patients (median age 11 years, range 4–18 years) with gliomas were treated. Tumor pathology was pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO Grade I) in 15 patients (63%), WHO Grade II in 4 (17%), and WHO Grade III in 1 (4%). The tumor pathology was not confirmed in 4 patients (17%). The mean tumor volume at the time of treatment was 2.4 cm3. Lesions were treated with a median maximum dose of 36 Gy, median of 3 isocenters, and median marginal dose of 15 Gy.

The median duration of imaging follow-up was 74 months, and the median duration of clinical follow-up was 144 months. The tumors responded with a median decrease in volume of 71%. At last follow up, a decrease in tumor size of at least 50% was demonstrated in 18 patients (75%) and complete tumor resolution was achieved in 5 (21%). Progression-free survival at last follow-up was achieved in 20 patients (83%). Progression was documented in 4 patients (17%), with 3 patients requiring repeat resection and 1 patient dying. The initial tumor volume was significantly greater in patients with disease progression (mean volume 4.25 vs 2.0 cm3, p < 0.001). Age, tumor pathology, tumor location, previous radiation, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, symptom duration, and target dosage did not differ significantly between the 2 groups.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery can provide good clinical control of residual or recurrent gliomas in pediatric patients. Worse outcomes in the present series were associated with larger tumor volumes at the time of treatment.

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David Schlesinger, Zhiyuan Xu, Frances Taylor, Chun-Po Yen, and Jason Sheehan

Object

The Extend system for the Gamma Knife Perfexion makes possible multifractional Gamma Knife treatments. The Extend system consists of a vacuum-monitored immobilization frame and a positioning measurement system used to determine the location of the patient's head within the frame at the time of simulation imaging and before each treatment fraction. The measurement system consists of a repositioning check tool (RCT), which attaches to the Extend frame, and associated digital measuring gauges. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of the Extend system for patient repositioning before each treatment session (fraction) and patient immobilization between (interfraction) and during (intrafraction) each session in the first 10 patients (36 fractional treatments) treated at the University of Virginia.

Methods

The RCT was used to acquire a set of reference measurements for each patient position at the time of CT simulation. Repositioning measurements were acquired before each fraction, and the patient position was adjusted until the residual radial difference from the reference position measurements was less than 1 mm. After treatment, patient position measurements were acquired, and the difference between those measurements and the ones obtained for patient position before the fraction was calculated as a measure of immobilization capability.

Analysis of patient setup and immobilization performance included calculation of the group mean, standard deviation (SD), and distribution of systematic (components affecting all fractions) and random (per fraction) uncertainty components.

Results

Across all patients and fractions, the mean radial setup difference from the reference measurements was 0.64 mm, with an SD of 0.24 mm. The distribution of systematic uncertainty (Σ) was 0.17 mm, and the distribution of random uncertainty (σ) was 0.16 mm. The root mean square (RMS) differences for each plate of the RCT were as follows: right = 0.35 mm; left = 0.41 mm; superior = 0.28 mm; and anterior = 0.20 mm.

The mean intrafractional positional difference across all treatments was 0.47 mm, with an SD of 0.30 mm. The distribution of systematic uncertainty was 0.18 mm, and the distribution of random uncertainty was 0.22 mm. The RMS differences for each plate of the RCT were 0.24 mm for the right plate, 0.22 mm for the left plate, 0.24 mm for the superior plate, and 0.34 mm for the anterior plate. Data from 1 fraction were excluded from the analysis because the vacuum-monitoring interlock detected patient motion, which in turn required repositioning in the middle of the fraction.

Conclusions

The Extend system can be used to reposition and immobilize patients in a radiosurgical setting. However, care should be taken to acquire measurements that can implicitly account for rotations of the patient's head. Further work is required to determine the sensitivity of the vacuum interlock to detect patient motion.

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Hung-Chuan Pan, Jason Sheehan, Meei-Ling Sheu, Wen-Ta Chiu, and Dar-Yu Yang

Object

Microsurgery is the primary treatment used for patients harboring a large vestibular schwannoma (VS). However, its outcome may lead to hearing impairment and facial nerve dysfunction particularly when resection is extended outside the tumor capsule. When surgery for a large VS consists of intracapsular resection and decompression, better preservation of facial and hearing function are obtained. In this study, the authors compared outcomes of intracapsular decompression followed by Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) with outcomes of standard microsurgery followed by radiosurgery.

Methods

Between August 2003 and October 2008, 35 patients harboring large VSs (> 3 cm in diameter) were enrolled in this study. Eighteen patients underwent intracapsular decompression followed by GKS (Group I), and 17 patients underwent radical extracapsular resection followed by GKS (Group II). In all cases GKS was performed with a margin dose of 12 Gy. All patients were followed up for at least 3 years. All patients also underwent periodic audiography, electroneuronography (ENoG), MR imaging, and testing with the SF-36 form. The Student t-test and repeated ANOVA were used for statistical analysis.

Results

The mean ages of the patients (± SEM) in Groups I and II were 50 ± 3.0 and 49 ± 2.3 years, respectively. The female/male ratios were 8:10 in Group I and 7:10 in Group II. All patients had excellent facial function as measured according to the House-Brackmann Facial Grading System (Grade I or II) preoperatively. After the operation, 16 patients (89%) in Group I retained excellent facial function, whereas only 6 patients (35%) in Group II had excellent facial function (p < 0.01). In Group I, 11 patients had serviceable hearing, and all 11 (100%) retained hearing function after the operation. In Group II, 11 patients had serviceable hearing, but none retained hearing function postoperatively (p < 0.001). In Group I, the mean tumor volume (± SEM) was 17.5 ± 1.1 cm3, and the postoperative volume was 9.35 ± 1.02 cm3. In Group II, the mean tumor volume was 16.4 ± 0.95 cm3, whereas the postoperative volume was 1.1 ± 0.14 cm3 (p < 0.001). After GKS, the tumor volume was reduced to 5.12 ± 1.1 cm3 and 0.9 ± 0.1 cm3 in Groups I and II, respectively. No patients experienced adverse effects after GKS. The mean return-to-work times were 2.4 ± 0.16 and 33.4 ± 4.3 weeks in Groups I and II, respectively (p < 0.001). According to the results obtained using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), patients in Group I enjoyed more significant improvements in quality of life than patients in Group II (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Intracapsular decompression followed by GKS afforded a better neurological outcome and quality of life than radical extracapsular resection followed by GKS. Further application of this approach in patients harboring large VSs seems warranted.

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Introduction

Leksell Gamma Knife Conference in the land down under

Jason Sheehan

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Jason Sheehan and Chun Po Yen

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Jason Sheehan and David Schlesinger

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Dar-Yu Yang, Meei-Ling Sheu, Hong-Lin Su, Fu-Chou Cheng, Ying-Ju Chen, Chun-Jung Chen, Wen-Ta Chiu, Jia-Jean Yiin, Jason Sheehan, and Hung-Chuan Pan

Object

Human amniotic fluid–derived mesenchymal stem cells (AFMSCs) have been shown to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. The expression of stromal cell–derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) in the injured nerve exerts a trophic effect by recruiting progenitor cells that promote nerve regeneration. In this study, the authors investigated the feasibility of intravenous administration of AFMSCs according to SDF-1α expression time profiles to facilitate neural regeneration in a sciatic nerve crush injury model.

Methods

Peripheral nerve injury was induced in 63 Sprague-Dawley rats by crushing the left sciatic nerve using a vessel clamp. The animals were randomized into 1 of 3 groups: Group I, crush injury as the control; Group II, crush injury and intravenous administration of AFMSCs (5 × 106 cells for 3 days) immediately after injury (early administration); and Group III, crush injury and intravenous administration of AFMSCs (5 × 106 cells for 3 days) 7 days after injury (late administration). Evaluation of neurobehavior, electrophysiological study, and assessment of regeneration markers were conducted every week after injury. The expression of SDF-1α and neurotrophic factors and the distribution of AFMSCs in various time profiles were also assessed.

Results

Stromal cell–derived factor-1α increased the migration and wound healing of AFMSCs in vitro, and the migration ability was dose dependent. Crush injury induced the expression of SDF-1α at a peak of 10–14 days either in nerve or muscle, and this increased expression paralleled the expression of its receptor, chemokine receptor type-4 (CXCR-4). Most AFMSCs were distributed to the lung during early or late administration. Significant deposition of AFMSCs in nerve and muscle only occurred in the late administration group. Significantly enhanced neurobehavior, electrophysiological function, nerve myelination, and expression of neurotrophic factors and acetylcholine receptor were demonstrated in the late administration group.

Conclusions

Amniotic fluid–derived mesenchymal stem cells can be recruited by expression of SDF-1α in muscle and nerve after nerve crush injury. The increased deposition of AFMSCs paralleled the expression profiles of SDF-1α and its receptor CXCR-4 in either muscle or nerve. Administration of AFMSCs led to improvements in neurobehavior and expression of regeneration markers. Intravenous administration of AFMSCs may be a promising alternative treatment strategy in peripheral nerve disorder.