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Rupesh Kotecha, Martin C. Tom, Mihir Naik, Lilyana Angelov, Edward C. Benzel, Chandana A. Reddy, Richard A. Prayson, Iain Kalfas, Richard Schlenk, Ajit Krishnaney, Michael P. Steinmetz, William Bingaman, John H. Suh and Samuel T. Chao

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to describe the long-term recurrence patterns, prognostic factors, and effect of adjuvant or salvage radiotherapy (RT) on treatment outcomes for patients with spinal myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE).

METHODS

The authors reviewed a tertiary institution IRB-approved database and collected data regarding patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics for all patients treated consecutively from 1974 to 2015 for histologically confirmed spinal MPE. Key outcomes included relapse-free survival (RFS), postrecurrence RFS, failure patterns, and influence of timing of RT on recurrence patterns. Cox proportional hazards regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses were utilized.

RESULTS

Of the 59 patients included in the study, the median age at initial surgery was 34 years (range 12–74 years), 30 patients (51%) were female, and the most common presenting symptom was pain (n = 52, 88%). Extent of resection at diagnosis was gross-total resection (GTR) in 39 patients (66%), subtotal resection (STR) in 15 (25%), and unknown in 5 patients (9%). After surgery, 10 patients (17%) underwent adjuvant RT (5/39 GTR [13%] and 5/15 STR [33%] patients). Median follow-up was 6.2 years (range 0.1–35.3 years). Overall, 20 patients (34%) experienced recurrence (local, n = 15; distant, n = 5). The median RFS was 11.2 years (95% CI 77 to not reached), and the 5- and 10-year RFS rates were 72.3% (95% CI 59.4–86.3) and 54.0% (95% CI, 36.4–71.6), respectively.

STR was associated with a higher risk of recurrence (HR 6.45, 95% CI 2.15–19.23, p < 0.001) than GTR, and the median RFS after GTR was 17.2 years versus 5.5 years after STR. Adjuvant RT was not associated with improved RFS, regardless of whether it was delivered after GTR or STR. Of the 20 patients with recurrence, 12 (60%) underwent salvage treatment with surgery alone (GTR, n = 6), 4 (20%) with RT alone, and 4 (20%) with surgery and RT. Compared to salvage surgery alone, salvage RT, with or without surgery, was associated with a significantly longer postrecurrence RFS (median 9.5 years vs 1.6 years; log-rank, p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS

At initial diagnosis of spinal MPE, GTR is key to long-term RFS, with no benefit to immediate adjuvant RT observed in this series. RT at the time of recurrence, however, is associated with a significantly longer time to second disease recurrence. Surveillance imaging of the entire neuraxis remains crucial, as distant failure is not uncommon in this patient population.

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Baha’eddin A. Muhsen, Krishna C. Joshi, Bryan S. Lee, Bicky Thapa, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Xuefei Jia, Gene H. Barnett, Samuel T. Chao, Alireza M. Mohammadi, John H. Suh, Michael A. Vogelbaum and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) as monotherapy is an option for the treatment of large (≥ 2 cm) posterior fossa brain metastases (LPFMs). However, there is concern regarding possible posttreatment increase in peritumoral edema (PTE) and associated compression of the fourth ventricle. This study evaluated the effects and safety of GKRS on tumor and PTE control in LPFM.

METHODS

The authors performed a single-center retrospective review of 49 patients with 51 LPFMs treated with GKRS. Patients with at least 1 clinical and radiological follow-up visit were included. Tumor, PTE, and fourth ventricle volumetric measurements were used to assess efficacy and safety. Overall survival was a secondary outcome.

RESULTS

Fifty-one lesions in 49 consecutive patients were identified; 57.1% of patients were male. At the time of GKRS, the median age was 61.5 years, and the median Karnofsky Performance Status score was 90. The median number of LPFMs and overall brain metastases were 1 and 2, respectively. The median overall tumor, PTE, and fourth ventricle volumes at diagnosis were 4.96 cm3 (range 1.4–21.1 cm3), 14.98 cm3 (range 0.6–71.8 cm3), and 1.23 cm3 (range 0.3–3.2 cm3), respectively, and the median lesion diameter was 2.6 cm (range 2.0–5.07 cm). The median follow-up time was 7.3 months (range 1.6–57.2 months). At the first follow-up, 2 months posttreatment, the median tumor volume decreased by 58.66% (range −96.95% to +48.69%, p < 0.001), median PTE decreased by 78.10% (range −99.92% to +198.35%, p < 0.001), and the fourth ventricle increased by 24.97% (range −37.96% to +545.6%, p < 0.001). The local control rate at first follow-up was 98.1%. The median OS was 8.36 months. No patient required surgical intervention, external ventricular drainage, or shunting between treatment and first follow-up. However, 1 patient required a ventriculoperitoneal shunt at 23 months from treatment. Posttreatment, 65.30% received our general steroid taper, 6.12% received no steroids, and 28.58% required prolonged steroid treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective analysis, patients with LPFMs treated with GKRS had a statistically significant posttreatment reduction in tumor size and PTE and marked opening of the fourth ventricle (all p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that GKRS is well tolerated and can be considered in the management of select cases of LPFMs, especially in patients who are poor surgical candidates.

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Krishna C. Joshi, Alankrita Raghavan, Baha’eddin Muhsen, Jason Hsieh, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Samuel T. Chao, Gene H. Barnett, John H. Suh, Gennady Neyman, Varun R. Kshettry, Pablo F. Recinos, Alireza M. Mohammadi and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been successfully used for the treatment of intracranial meningiomas given its steep dose gradients and high-dose conformality. However, treatment of skull base meningiomas (SBMs) may pose significant risk to adjacent radiation-sensitive structures such as the cranial nerves. Fractionated GKRS (fGKRS) may decrease this risk, but until recently it has not been practical with traditional pin-based systems. This study reports the authors’ experience in treating SBMs with fGKRS, using a relocatable, noninvasive immobilization system.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent fGKRS for SBMs between 2013 and 2018 delivered using the Extend relocatable frame system or the Icon system. Patient demographics, pre- and post-GKRS tumor characteristics, perilesional edema, prior treatment details, and clinical symptoms were evaluated. Volumetric analysis of pre-GKRS, post-GKRS, and subsequent follow-up visits was performed.

RESULTS

Twenty-five patients met inclusion criteria. Nineteen patients were treated with the Icon system, and 6 patients were treated with the Extend system. The mean pre-fGKRS tumor volume was 7.62 cm3 (range 4.57–13.07 cm3). The median margin dose was 25 Gy delivered in 4 (8%) or 5 (92%) fractions. The median follow-up time was 12.4 months (range 4.7–17.4 months). Two patients (9%) experienced new-onset cranial neuropathy at the first follow-up. The mean postoperative tumor volume reduction was 15.9% with 6 patients (27%) experiencing improvement of cranial neuropathy at the first follow-up. Median first follow-up scans were obtained at 3.4 months (range 2.8–4.3 months). Three patients (12%) developed asymptomatic, mild perilesional edema by the first follow-up, which remained stable subsequently.

CONCLUSIONS

fGKRS with relocatable, noninvasive immobilization systems is well tolerated in patients with SBMs and demonstrated satisfactory tumor control as well as limited radiation toxicity. Future prospective studies with long-term follow-up and comparison to single-session GKRS or fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy are necessary to validate these findings and determine the efficacy of this approach in the management of SBMs.

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Mayur Sharma, Jason L. Schroeder, Paul Elson, Antonio Meola, Gene H. Barnett, Michael A. Vogelbaum, John H. Suh, Samuel T. Chao, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Glen H. J. Stevens, Erin S. Murphy and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant form of astrocytoma. The average survival is 6–10 months in patients with recurrent GBM (rGBM). In this study, the authors evaluated the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with rGBMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of their brain tumor database (1997–2016). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) after salvage SRS were the primary endpoints evaluated. Response to SRS was assessed using volumetric MR images.

RESULTS

Fifty-three patients with rGBM underwent salvage SRS targeting 75 lesions. The median tumor diameter and volume were 2.55 cm and 3.80 cm3, respectively. The median prescription dose was 18 Gy (range 12–24 Gy) and the homogeneity index was 1.90 (range 1.11–2.02). The median OS after salvage SRS was estimated to be 11.0 months (95% CI 7.1–12.2) and the median PFS after salvage SRS was 4.4 months (95% CI 3.7–5.0). A Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≥ 80 was independently associated with longer OS, while small tumor volume (< 15 cm3) and less homogeneous treatment plans (homogeneity index > 1.75) were both independently associated with longer OS (p = 0.007 and 0.03) and PFS (p = 0.01 and 0.002, respectively). Based on these factors, 2 prognostic groups were identified for PFS (5.4 vs 3.2 months), while 3 were identified for OS (median OS of 15.2 vs 10.5 vs 5.2 months).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is associated with longer OS and/or PFS in patients with good performance status, small-volume tumor recurrences, and heterogeneous treatment plans. The authors propose a prognostic model to identify a cohort of rGBM patients who may benefit from SRS.

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Jacob A. Miller, Ehsan H. Balagamwala, Camille A. Berriochoa, Lilyana Angelov, John H. Suh, Edward C. Benzel, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Todd Emch, Anthony Magnelli, Andrew Godley, Peng Qi and Samuel T. Chao

OBJECTIVE

Spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a safe and effective treatment for spinal metastases. However, it is unknown whether this highly conformal radiation technique is suitable at instrumented sites given the potential for microscopic disease seeding. The authors hypothesized that spinal decompression with instrumentation is not associated with increased local failure (LF) following SRS.

METHODS

A 2:1 propensity-matched retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing SRS for spinal metastasis was conducted. Patients with less than 1 month of radiographic follow-up were excluded. Each SRS treatment with spinal decompression and instrumentation was propensity matched to 2 controls without decompression or instrumentation on the basis of demographic, disease-related, dosimetric, and treatment-site characteristics. Standardized differences were used to assess for balance between matched cohorts.

The primary outcome was the 12-month cumulative incidence of LF, with death as a competing risk. Lesions demonstrating any in-field progression were considered LFs. Secondary outcomes of interest were post-SRS pain flare, vertebral compression fracture, instrumentation failure, and any Grade ≥ 3 toxicity. Cumulative incidences analysis was used to estimate LF in each cohort, which were compared via Gray’s test. Multivariate competing-risks regression was then used to adjust for prespecified covariates.

RESULTS

Of 650 candidates for the control group, 166 were propensity matched to 83 patients with instrumentation. Baseline characteristics were well balanced. The median prescription dose was 16 Gy in each cohort. The 12-month cumulative incidence of LF was not statistically significantly different between cohorts (22.8% [instrumentation] vs 15.8% [control], p = 0.25). After adjusting for the prespecified covariates in a multivariate competing-risks model, decompression with instrumentation did not contribute to a greater risk of LF (HR 1.21, 95% CI 0.74–1.98, p = 0.45). The incidences of post-SRS pain flare (11% vs 14%, p = 0.55), vertebral compression fracture (12% vs 22%, p = 0.04), and Grade ≥ 3 toxicity (1% vs 1%, p = 1.00) were not increased at instrumented sites. No instrumentation failures were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

In this propensity-matched analysis, LF and toxicity were similar among cohorts, suggesting that decompression with instrumentation does not significantly impact the efficacy or safety of spine SRS. Accordingly, spinal instrumentation may not be a contraindication to SRS. Future studies comparing SRS to conventional radiotherapy at instrumented sites in matched populations are warranted.

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Lilyana Angelov, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Mahmoud Abbassy, Paul Elson, Samuel T. Chao, Joshua S. Montgomery, Ghaith Habboub, Michael A. Vogelbaum, John H. Suh, Erin S. Murphy, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Sean J. Nagel and Gene H. Barnett

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the primary modality for treating brain metastases. However, effective radiosurgical control of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm in maximum diameter remains challenging and is associated with suboptimal local control (LC) rates of 37%–62% and an increased risk of treatment-related toxicity. To enhance LC while limiting adverse effects (AEs) of radiation in these patients, a dose-dense treatment regimen using 2-staged SRS (2-SSRS) was used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of this treatment strategy.

METHODS

Fifty-four patients (with 63 brain metastases ≥ 2 cm) treated with 2-SSRS were evaluated as part of an institutional review board–approved retrospective review. Volumetric measurements at first-stage stereotactic radiosurgery (first SSRS) and second-stage SRS (second SSRS) treatments and on follow-up imaging studies were determined. In addition to patient demographic data and tumor characteristics, the study evaluated 3 primary outcomes: 1) response at first follow-up MRI, 2) time to local progression (TTP), and 3) overall survival (OS) with 2-SSRS. Response was analyzed using methods for binary data, TTP was analyzed using competing-risks methods to account for patients who died without disease progression, and OS was analyzed using conventional time-to-event methods. When needed, analyses accounted for multiple lesions in the same patient.

RESULTS

Among 54 patients, 46 (85%) had 1 brain metastasis treated with 2-SSRS, 7 patients (13%) had 2 brain metastases concurrently treated with 2-SSRS, and 1 patient underwent 2-SSRS for 3 concurrent brain metastases ≥ 2 cm. The median age was 63 years (range 23–83 years), 23 patients (43%) had non–small cell lung cancer, and 14 patients (26%) had radioresistant tumors (renal or melanoma). The median doses at first and second SSRS were 15 Gy (range 12–18 Gy) and 15 Gy (range 12–15 Gy), respectively. The median duration between stages was 34 days, and median tumor volumes at the first and second SSRS were 10.5 cm3 (range 2.4–31.3 cm3) and 7.0 cm3 (range 1.0–29.7 cm3). Three-month follow-up imaging results were available for 43 lesions; the median volume was 4.0 cm3 (range 0.1–23.1 cm3). The median change in volume compared with baseline was a decrease of 54.9% (range −98.2% to 66.1%; p < 0.001). Overall, 9 lesions (14.3%) demonstrated local progression, with a median of 5.2 months (range 1.3–7.4 months), and 7 (11.1%) demonstrated AEs (6.4% Grade 1 and 2 toxicity; 4.8% Grade 3). The estimated cumulative incidence of local progression at 6 months was 12% ± 4%, corresponding to an LC rate of 88%. Shorter TTP was associated with greater tumor volume at baseline (p = 0.01) and smaller absolute (p = 0.006) and relative (p = 0.05) decreases in tumor volume from baseline to second SSRS. Estimated OS rates at 6 and 12 months were 65% ± 7% and 49% ± 8%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

2-SSRS is an effective treatment modality that resulted in significant reduction of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm, with excellent 3-month (95%) and 6-month (88%) LC rates and an overall AE rate of 11%. Prospective studies with larger cohorts and longer follow-up are necessary to assess the durability and toxicities of 2-SSRS.

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Rupesh Kotecha, Jacob A. Miller, Vyshak A. Venur, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Samuel T. Chao, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett, Erin S. Murphy, Pauline Funchain, Jennifer S. Yu, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov and Manmeet S. Ahluwalia

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), BRAF status, and targeted and immune-based therapies on the recurrence patterns and factors associated with overall survival (OS) among patients with melanoma brain metastasis (MBM).

METHODS

A total of 366 patients were treated for 1336 MBMs; a lesion-based analysis was performed on 793 SRS lesions. The BRAF status was available for 78 patients: 35 had BRAF mut and 43 had BRAF wild-type (BRAF-WT) lesions. The Kaplan-Meier method evaluated unadjusted OS; cumulative incidence analysis determined the incidences of local failure (LF), distant failure, and radiation necrosis (RN), with death as a competing risk.

RESULTS

The 12-month OS was 24% (95% CI 20%–29%). On multivariate analysis, younger age, lack of extracranial metastases, better Karnofsky Performance Status score, and fewer MBMs, as well as treatment with BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi), anti–PD-1/CTLA-4 therapy, or cytokine therapy were significantly associated with OS. For patients who underwent SRS, the 12-month LF rate was lower among those with BRAF mut lesions (6%, 95% CI 2%–11%) compared with those with BRAF-WT lesions (22%, 95% CI 13%–32%; p < 0.01). The 12-month LF rates among lesions treated with BRAFi and PD-1/CTLA-4 agents were 1% (95% CI 1%–4%) and 7% (95% CI 1%–13%), respectively. On multivariate analysis, BRAF inhibition within 30 days of SRS was protective against LF (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01–0.55; p = 0.01). The 12-month rates of RN were low among lesions treated with BRAFi (0%, 95% CI 0%–0%), PD-1/CTLA-4 inhibitors (2%, 95% CI 1%–5%), and cytokine therapies (6%, 95% CI 1%–13%).

CONCLUSIONS

Prognostic schema should incorporate BRAFi or immunotherapy status and use of targeted therapies. Treatment with a BRAF inhibitor within 4 weeks of SRS improves local control without an increased risk of RN.

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Alireza M. Mohammadi, Jason L. Schroeder, Lilyana Angelov, Samuel T. Chao, Erin S. Murphy, Jennifer S. Yu, Gennady Neyman, Xuefei Jia, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett and Michael A. Vogelbaum

OBJECTIVE

The impact of the stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) prescription dose (PD) on local progression and radiation necrosis for small (≤ 2 cm) brain metastases was evaluated.

METHODS

An institutional review board–approved retrospective review was performed on 896 patients with brain metastases ≤ 2 cm (3034 tumors) who were treated with 1229 SRS procedures between 2000 and 2012. Local progression and/or radiation necrosis were the primary end points. Each tumor was followed from the date of radiosurgery until one of the end points was reached or the last MRI follow-up. Various criteria were used to differentiate tumor progression and radiation necrosis, including the evaluation of serial MRIs, cerebral blood volume on perfusion MR, FDG-PET scans, and, in some cases, surgical pathology. The median radiographic follow-up per lesion was 6.2 months.

RESULTS

The median patient age was 56 years, and 56% of the patients were female. The most common primary pathology was non–small cell lung cancer (44%), followed by breast cancer (19%), renal cell carcinoma (14%), melanoma (11%), and small cell lung cancer (5%). The median tumor volume and median largest diameter were 0.16 cm3 and 0.8 cm, respectively. In total, 1018 lesions (34%) were larger than 1 cm in maximum diameter. The PD for 2410 tumors (80%) was 24 Gy, for 408 tumors (13%) it was 19 to 23 Gy, and for 216 tumors (7%) it was 15 to 18 Gy. In total, 87 patients (10%) had local progression of 104 tumors (3%), and 148 patients (17%) had at least radiographic evidence of radiation necrosis involving 199 tumors (7%; 4% were symptomatic). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for local progression and radiation necrosis. For local progression, tumors less than 1 cm (subhazard ratio [SHR] 2.32; p < 0.001), PD of 24 Gy (SHR 1.84; p = 0.01), and additional whole-brain radiation therapy (SHR 2.53; p = 0.001) were independently associated with better outcome. For the development of radiographic radiation necrosis, independent prognostic factors included size greater than 1 cm (SHR 2.13; p < 0.001), location in the corpus callosum (SHR 5.72; p < 0.001), and uncommon pathologies (SHR 1.65; p = 0.05). Size (SHR 4.78; p < 0.001) and location (SHR 7.62; p < 0.001)—but not uncommon pathologies—were independent prognostic factors for the subgroup with symptomatic radiation necrosis.

CONCLUSIONS

A PD of 24 Gy results in significantly better local control of metastases measuring < 2 cm than lower doses. In addition, tumor size is an independent prognostic factor for both local progression and radiation necrosis. Some tumor pathologies and locations may also contribute to an increased risk of radiation necrosis.

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Jacob A. Miller, Ehsan H. Balagamwala, Samuel T. Chao, Todd Emch, John H. Suh, Toufik Djemil and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to define symptomatic and radiographic outcomes following spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

METHODS

All patients with pathological diagnoses of myeloma undergoing spine SRS at a single institution were included. Patients with less than 1 month of follow-up were excluded. The primary outcome measure was the cumulative incidence of pain relief after spine SRS, while secondary outcomes included the cumulative incidences of radiographic failure and vertebral fracture. Pain scores before and after treatment were prospectively collected using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), a validated questionnaire used to assess severity and impact of pain upon daily functions.

RESULTS

Fifty-six treatments (in 38 patients) were eligible for inclusion. Epidural disease was present in nearly all treatment sites (77%). Moreover, preexisting vertebral fracture (63%), thecal sac compression (55%), and neural foraminal involvement (48%) were common. Many treatment sites had undergone prior local therapy, including external beam radiation therapy (EBRT; 30%), surgery (23%), and kyphoplasty (21%). At the time of consultation for SRS, the worst, current, and average BPI pain scores at these treatment sites were 6, 4, and 4, respectively. The median prescription dose was 16 Gy in a single fraction. The median clinical follow-up duration after SRS was 26 months. The 6- and 12-month cumulative incidences of radiographic failure were 6% and 9%, respectively. Among painful treatment sites, 41% achieved pain relief adjusted for narcotic usage, with a median time to relief of 1.6 months. The 6- and 12-month cumulative incidences of adjusted pain progression were 13% and 15%, respectively. After SRS, 1-month and 3-month worst, current, and average BPI scores all significantly decreased (p < 0.01). Vertebral fracture occurred following 12 treatments (21%), with an 18% cumulative incidence of fracture at 6 and 12 months. Two patients (4%) developed pain flare following spine SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

This study reports the largest series of myeloma lesions treated with spine SRS. A rapid and durable symptomatic response was observed, with a median time to pain relief of 1.6 months. This response was durable among 85% of patients at 12 months following treatment, with 91% local control. The efficacy and minimal toxicity of spine SRS is likely related to the delivery of ablative and conformal radiation doses to the target. SRS should be considered with doses of 14–16 Gy in a single fraction for patients with multiple myeloma and limited spinal disease, myelosuppression requiring “marrow-sparing” radiation therapy, or recurrent disease after EBRT.

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Mayur Sharma, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Gazanfar Rahmathulla, Samuel T. Chao, Hilary K. Koech, Stephanie N. Gregory, Todd Emch, Anthony Magnelli, Antonio Meola, John H. Suh and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of the spine is a conformal method of delivering a high radiation dose to a target in a single or few (usually ≤ 5) fractions with a sharp fall-off outside the target volume. Although efforts have been focused on evaluating spinal cord tolerance when treating spinal column metastases, no study has formally evaluated toxicity to the surrounding organs at risk (OAR), such as the brachial plexus or the oropharynx, when performing SRS in the cervicothoracic region. The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiation dosimetry and the acute and delayed toxicities of SRS on OAR in such patients.

METHODS

Fifty-six consecutive patients (60 procedures) with a cervicothoracic spine tumor involving segments within C5–T1 who were treated using single-fraction SRS between February 2006 and July 2014 were included in the study. Each patient underwent CT simulation and high-definition MRI before treatment. The clinical target volume and OAR were contoured on BrainScan and iPlan software after image fusion. Radiation toxicity was evaluated using the common toxicity criteria for adverse events and correlated to the radiation doses delivered to these regions. The incidence of vertebral body compression fracture (VCF) before and after SRS was evaluated also.

RESULTS

Metastatic lesions constituted the majority (n = 52 [93%]) of tumors treated with SRS. Each patient was treated with a median single prescription dose of 16 Gy to the target. The median percentage of tumor covered by SRS was 93% (maximum target dose 18.21 Gy). The brachial plexus received the highest mean maximum dose of 17 Gy, followed by the esophagus (13.8 Gy) and spinal cord (13 Gy). A total of 14 toxicities were encountered in 56 patients (25%) during the study period. Overall, 14% (n = 8) of the patients had Grade 1 toxicity, 9% (n = 5) had Grade 2 toxicity, 2% (n = 1) had Grade 3 toxicity, and none of the patients had Grade 4 or 5 toxicity. The most common (12%) toxicity was dysphagia/odynophagia, followed by axial spine pain flare or painful radiculopathy (9%). The maximum radiation dose to the brachial plexus showed a trend toward significance (p = 0.066) in patients with worsening post-SRS pain. De novo and progressive VCFs after SRS were noted in 3% (3 of 98) and 4% (4 of 98) of vertebral segments, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

From the analysis, the current SRS doses used at the Cleveland Clinic seem safe and well tolerated at the cervicothoracic junction. These preliminary data provide tolerance benchmarks for OAR in this region. Because the effect of dose-escalation SRS strategies aimed at improving local tumor control needs to be balanced carefully with associated treatment-related toxicity on adjacent OAR, larger prospective studies using such approaches are needed.