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Alana Tooze and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Pituitary adenomas and the treatment required for the underlying neuropathology have frequently been associated with cognitive dysfunction. However, the mechanisms for these impairments remain the subject of much debate. The authors evaluated cognitive outcomes in patients treated with or without Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for an underlying pituitary adenoma.

METHODS

This was a retrospective, institutional review board–approved, single-institution study. A total of 51 patients (23 male, 28 female) treated for pituitary adenoma were included in this neurocognitive study. Twenty-one patients underwent GKRS following transsphenoidal surgery, 22 patients were treated with transsphenoidal surgery alone, and eight patients were conservatively managed or were treated with medical management alone. Comparisons using psychometric tests of general intellectual abilities, memory, and executive functions were made between the treatment groups, between male and female patients, and between patients with Cushing’s disease and those with nonfunctioning adenoma (NFA).

RESULTS

The entire patient sample, the NFA group, and the GKRS group scored significantly below expected on measures of both immediate and delayed memory, particularly for visually presented information (p ≤ 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the patients with Cushing’s disease and those with NFA (t ≤ 0.56, p ≥ 0.52). In those who underwent GKRS, memory scores were not significantly different from those in the patients who did not undergo GKRS (t ≤ 1.32, p ≥ 0.19). Male patients across the sample were more likely to demonstrate impairments in both immediate memory (t = −3.41, p = 0.003) and delayed memory (t = −3.80, p = 0.001) than were female patients (t ≤ 1.09, p ≥ 0.29). There were no impairments on measures of general intellectual functioning or executive functions in any patient group. The potential contributions of tumor size and hormone levels are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, pituitary adenoma patients demonstrated relative impairment in anterograde memory. However, GKRS did not lead to adverse effects for immediate or delayed memory in pituitary adenoma patients. Cognitive assessment of pituitary adenoma patients is important in their longitudinal care.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Han-Hsun Shih, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Melanoma represents the third most common cause of CNS metastases. Immunotherapy has evolved as a treatment option for patients with Stage IV melanoma. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) also elicits an immune response within the brain and may interact with immunotherapy. The authors report on a cohort of patients treated for brain metastases with immunotherapy and evaluate the effect of SRS timing on the intracranial response.

METHODS

All consecutively treated melanoma patients receiving ipilimumab and SRS for treatment of brain metastases at the University of Virginia between 2009 and 2014 were included in this retrospective analysis; data from 46 patients harboring 232 brain metastases were reviewed. The median duration of clinical follow-up was 7.9 months (range 3–42.6 months). The median age of the patients was 63 years (range 24.3–83.6 years). Thirty-two patients received SRS before or during ipilimumab cycles (Group A), whereas 14 patients received SRS after ipilimumab treatment (Group B). Radiographic and clinical responses were assessed at approximately 3-month intervals after SRS.

RESULTS

The 2 cohorts were comparable in pertinent baseline characteristics with the exception of SRS timing relative to ipilimumab. Local recurrence–free duration (LRFD) was significantly longer in Group A (median 19.6 months, range 1.1–34.7 months) than in Group B patients (median 3 months, range 0.4–20.4 months) (p = 0.002). Post-SRS perilesional edema was more significant in Group A.

CONCLUSIONS

The effect of SRS and ipilimumab on LRFD seems greater when SRS is performed before or during ipilimumab treatments. The timing of immunotherapy and SRS may affect LRFD and postradiosurgical edema. The interactions between immunotherapy and SRS warrant further investigation so as to optimize the therapeutic benefits and mitigate the risks associated with multimodality, targeted therapy.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Gabriella Paisan, Hideyuki Kano, Paul P. Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

The goal of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is complete nidus obliteration, thereby eliminating the risk of future hemorrhage. This outcome can be observed within the first 18 months, although documentation of AVM obliteration can extend to as much as 5 years after SRS is performed. A shorter time to obliteration may impact the frequency and effect of post-SRS complications and latency hemorrhage. The authors' goal in the present study was to determine predictors of early obliteration (18 months or less) following SRS for cerebral AVM.

METHODS

Eight centers participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) obtained institutional review board approval to supply de-identified patient data. From a cohort of 2231 patients, a total of 1398 patients had confirmed AVM obliteration. Patients were sorted into early responders (198 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration at or prior to 18 months after SRS, and late responders (1200 patients), defined as those with confirmed nidus obliteration more than 18 months after SRS. The median clinical follow-up time was 63.7 months (range 7–324.7 months).

RESULTS

Outcome parameters including latency interval hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcome were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Radiologically demonstrated radiation-induced changes were noted more often in the late responder group (376 patients [31.3%] vs 39 patients [19.7%] for early responders, p = 0.005). Multivariate independent predictors of early obliteration included a margin dose > 24 Gy (p = 0.031), prior surgery (p = 0.002), no prior radiotherapy (p = 0.025), smaller AVM nidus (p = 0.002), deep venous drainage (p = 0.039), and nidus location (p < 0.0001). Basal ganglia, cerebellum, and frontal lobe nidus locations favored early obliteration (p = 0.009). The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (VRAS) score was significantly different between the 2 responder groups (p = 0.039). The VRAS score was also shown to be predictive of early obliteration on univariate analysis (p = 0.009). For early obliteration, such prognostic ability was not shown for other SRS- and AVM-related grading systems.

CONCLUSIONS

Early obliteration (≤ 18 months post-SRS) was more common in patients whose AVMs were smaller, located in the frontal lobe, basal ganglia, or cerebellum, had deep venous drainage, and had received a margin dose > 24 Gy.

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James P. Caruso and Jason P. Sheehan

At the peak of his career, Walter J. Freeman II was a celebrated physician and scientist. He served as the first chairman of the Department of Neurology at George Washington University and was a tireless advocate of surgical treatment for mental illness. His eccentric appearance, engaging personality during interviews, and theatrical demonstrations of his surgical techniques gained him substantial popularity with local and national media, and he performed more than 3000 prefrontal and transorbital lobotomies between 1930 and 1960. However, poor patient outcomes, unfavorable portrayals of the lobotomy in literature and film, and increased regulatory scrutiny contributed to the lobotomy’s decline in popularity. The development of antipsychotic medications eventually relegated the lobotomy to rare circumstances, and Freeman’s reputation deteriorated. Today, despite significant advancements in technique, oversight, and ethical scrutiny, neurosurgical treatment of mental illness still carries a degree of social stigma.

This review presents a historical account of Walter Freeman’s life and career, and the popularization of the lobotomy in the US. Additionally, the authors pay special attention to the influence of popular literature and film on the public’s perception of psychosurgery. Aided by an understanding of this pivotal period in medical history, neurosurgeons are poised to confront the ethical and sociological questions facing psychosurgery as it continues to evolve.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, Paul Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent the majority of infratentorial AVMs and frequently have a hemorrhagic presentation. In this multicenter study, the authors review outcomes of cerebellar AVMs after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

Eight medical centers contributed data from 162 patients with cerebellar AVMs managed with SRS. Of these patients, 65% presented with hemorrhage. The median maximal nidus diameter was 2 cm. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent radiation-induced complications (RICs). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically, with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 7–325 months).

RESULTS

The overall actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 38.3%, 74.2%, 81.4%, and 86.1%, respectively, after single-session SRS. Obliteration and a favorable outcome were more likely to be achieved in patients treated with a margin dose greater than 18 Gy (p < 0.001 for both), demonstrating significantly better rates (83.3% and 79%, respectively). The rate of latency preobliteration hemorrhage was 0.85%/year. Symptomatic post-SRS RICs developed in 4.5% of patients (n = 7). Predictors of a favorable outcome were a smaller nidus (p = 0.0001), no pre-SRS embolization (p = 0.003), no prior hemorrhage (p = 0.0001), a higher margin dose (p = 0.0001), and a higher maximal dose (p = 0.009). The Spetzler-Martin grade was not found to be predictive of outcome. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) and the Radiosurgery-Based AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) were predictive of a favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS results in successful obliteration and a favorable outcome in the majority of patients with cerebellar AVMs. Most patients will require a nidus dose of higher than 18 Gy to achieve these goals. Radiosurgical and not microsurgical scales were predictive of clinical outcome after SRS.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Jason P. Sheehan, Hideyuki Kano, Berkcan Akpinar, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Wan-Yuo Guo, L. Dade Lunsford and Kang-Du Liu

OBJECTIVE

Cavernous sinus hemangiomas (CSHs) are rare vascular tumors. A direct microsurgical approach usually results in massive hemorrhage and incomplete tumor resection. Although stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has emerged as a therapeutic alternative to microsurgery, outcome studies are few. Authors of the present study evaluated the role of SRS for CSH.

METHODS

An international multicenter study was conducted to review outcome data in 31 patients with CSH. Eleven patients had initial microsurgery before SRS, and the other 20 patients (64.5%) underwent Gamma Knife SRS as the primary management for their CSH. Median age at the time of radiosurgery was 47 years, and 77.4% of patients had cranial nerve dysfunction before SRS. Patients received a median tumor margin dose of 12.6 Gy (range 12–19 Gy) at a median isodose of 55%.

RESULTS

Tumor regression was confirmed by imaging in all 31 patients, and all patients had greater than 50% reduction in tumor volume at 6 months post-SRS. No patient had delayed tumor growth, new cranial neuropathy, visual function deterioration, adverse radiation effects, or hypopituitarism after SRS. Twenty-four patients had presented with cranial nerve disorders before SRS, and 6 (25%) of them had gradual improvement. Four (66.7%) of the 6 patients with orbital symptoms had symptomatic relief at the last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery was effective in reducing the volume of CSH and attaining long-term tumor control in all patients at a median of 40 months. The authors' experience suggests that SRS is a reasonable primary and adjuvant treatment modality for patients in whom a CSH is diagnosed.

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Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Arjun Ramesh, Adam C. Mueller, David Schlesinger, Or Cohen-Inbar, Han-Hsun Shih and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Recent advancements in molecular biology have identified the BRAF mutation as a common mutation in melanoma. The wide use of BRAF kinase inhibitor (BRAFi) in patients with metastatic melanoma has been established. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of BRAF mutation status and use of BRAFi in conjunction with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

This was a single-center retrospective study. Patient's charts and electronic records were reviewed for date of diagnosis of primary malignancy, BRAF mutation status, chemotherapies used, date of the diagnosis of CNS metastases, date of SRS, survival, local tumor control after SRS, and adverse events. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group A, those with mutant BRAF without BRAFi treatment (13 patients); Group B, those with mutant BRAF with BRAFi treatment (17 patients); and Group C, those with wild-type BRAF (35 patients). Within a cohort of 65 patients with the known BRAF mutation status and treated with SRS between 2010 and 2014, 436 individual brain metastases (BMs) were identified. Kaplan-Meier methodology was then used to compare survival based on each binary parameter.

RESULTS

Median survival times after the diagnosis of melanoma BM and after SRS were favorable in patients with a BRAF mutation and treated with SRS in conjunction with BRAFi (Group B) compared with the patients with wild-type BRAF (Group C, 23 vs 8 months and 13 vs 5 months, respectively; p < 0.01, log-rank test). SRS provided a local tumor control rate of 89.4% in the entire cohort of patients. Furthermore, the local control rate was improved in the patients treated with SRS in conjunction with BRAFi (Group B) compared with patients with wild-type (Group C) or with BRAF mutation but no BRAFi (Group A) as an adjunct treatment for BMs.

CONCLUSIONS

BRAF mutation status appears to play an important role as a potent prognostic factor in patients harboring melanoma BM. BRAFi in conjunction with SRS may benefit this group of patients in terms of BM survival and SRS with an acceptable safety profile.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, John Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Because of the angioarchitectural diversity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions is incompletely defined. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade III AVMs and to determine the factors predicting these outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed and pooled data from patients with SM Grade III AVMs treated with SRS at 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with these AVMs and a minimum follow-up length of 12 months were included in the study cohort. An optimal outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses.

RESULTS

The SM Grade III AVM cohort comprised 891 patients with a mean age of 34 years at the time of SRS. The mean nidus volume, radiosurgical margin dose, and follow-up length were 4.5 cm3, 20 Gy, and 89 months, respectively. The actuarial obliteration rates at 5 and 10 years were 63% and 78%, respectively. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.2%. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 11% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Optimal outcome was achieved in 56% of the patients and was significantly more frequent in cases of unruptured AVMs (OR 2.3, p < 0.001). The lack of a previous hemorrhage (p = 0.037), absence of previous AVM embolization (p = 0.002), smaller nidus volume (p = 0.014), absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (p = 0.023), and higher margin dose (p < 0.001) were statistically significant independent predictors of optimal outcome in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery provided better outcomes for patients with small, unruptured SM Grade III AVMs than for large or ruptured SM Grade III nidi. A prospective trial or registry that facilitates a comparison of SRS with conservative AVM management might further clarify the authors' observations for these often high-risk AVMs.