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Three decades of progress from surgery to medical therapy for isolated neuroaxis BRAF V600E–positive Langerhans cell histiocytosis management: illustrative case

Nallammai Muthiah, Kamil W. Nowicki, Jennifer L. Picarsic, Michael P. D’Angelo, Daniel F. Marker, Edward G. Andrews, Edward A. Monaco III, and Ajay Niranjan


“Langerhans cell histiocytosis” (LCH) is a term that encompasses single-system or multisystem disorders traditionally characterized by a proliferation of clonal CD1a+/CD207+ myeloid-derived histiocytes. In most cases of LCH, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway somatic mutations lead to near universal upregulation of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase expression. The clinical manifestations of LCH are numerous, but bone involvement is common. Intracranial lesions, especially as isolated manifestations, are rare.


The authors presented the case of a long-term survivor of exclusive intracranial LCH that manifested with isolated craniofacial bone and intraparenchymal central nervous system recurrences, which were managed with 3 decades of multimodal therapy. The patient was initially diagnosed with LCH at age 2 years, and the authors documented the manifestations of disease and treatment for 36 years. Most of the patient’s treatment course occurred before the discovery of BRAF V600E. Treatments initially consisted of chemotherapy, radiosurgery, and open resections for granulomatous LCH lesions. Into young adulthood, the patient had a minimal disease burden but still required additional radiosurgical procedures and open resections.


Surgical treatments alleviated the patient’s immediate symptoms and allowed for tumor burden control. However, surgical interventions did not cure the underlying, aggressive disease. In the current era, access to systemic MAPK inhibitor therapy for histiocytic lesions may offer improved outcomes.