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Bhuvaneswara R. Basina, Claire Olson, Dibyendu Kumar Roy, Chun-Po Yen, David Schlesinger, Kazuki Nagayama, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is frequently used to treat patients with metastasis to the brain. Radiosurgery seeks to limit radiation to the brain tissue surrounding the metastatic deposits. In patients with such lesions, a low radiation dose to the eloquent brain may help to prevent adverse effects. In this study the authors aimed to quantify the radiosurgical dose delivered to the anterior temporal structures in cases of metastatic brain lesions. They also evaluated the incidence and timing of new metastases in the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs) in patient cohorts that underwent GKS with or without whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT).

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed 100 patients with metastatic brain lesions treated with GKS at the University of Virginia Health System. The anterior 5 cm of the temporal lobes and the hippocampi within the ATLs were contoured on the Gamma Knife planning station. Using the dose-volume histogram function in GammaPlan, treatment parameters for the metastases as well as radiation doses to the contoured ATLs and hippocampi were measured. Patients had clinical and MR imaging follow-ups at 3-month intervals. The ATLs and hippocampal regions were evaluated for the formation of new metastases on follow-up imaging.

Results

The demographic data—age, sex, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, number of temporal metastases at the time of GKS, total volume of metastatic tumors per patient, and number of intracranial metastatic deposits—were similar in the 2 cohorts. In patients without an ATL metastasis at the time of GKS, the mean maximum, 50% volume, and integral doses of radiation to the anterior temporal structures were very low: 2.6 Gy, 0.6 Gy, and 36.3 mJ in the GKS cohort and 2.1 Gy, 0.6 Gy, and 40.9 mJ in the GKS+WBRT cohort, respectively. Among the ATLs that had not shown a brain metastasis at the time of GKS, 8 of 92 temporal lobes in the GKS cohort and 10 of 89 in the GKS+WBRT cohort demonstrated a new anterior temporal lesion on follow-up MR imaging.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery delivered a low dose of background radiation to the ATLs and hippocampi. The incidence of a new ATL metastasis in the GKS cohort was not higher than in the GKS+WBRT cohort. Gamma Knife surgery in the management of brain metastases limits the delivery of radiation to eloquent brain tissue without evidence of an appreciable propensity to develop new metastatic disease in the ATLs or hippocampi. This therapeutic approach may help to avoid unintended neurological dysfunction due to nonspecific delivery of radiation to eloquent brain tissues.

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Arnaldo Neves Da Silva, Kazuki Nagayama, David J. Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Brain metastases from gastrointestinal cancers are rare. However, the incidence is increasing because patients with gastrointestinal carcinoma tend to live longer due to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of systemic disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for the treatment of brain metastases from gastrointestinal cancers.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 40 patients (18 women and 22 men) who had undergone GKS to treat a total of 118 metastases from gastrointestinal cancers between January 1996 and December 2006. The mean patient age was 58.7 years, and the mean Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score was 70. There were 7 patients with esophageal cancer, 25 with colon cancer, 5 with rectal cancer, 2 with pancreatic cancer, and 1 with gastric cancer. Nineteen patients were treated with whole-brain radiotherapy and/or local brain radiotherapy before GKS. Twenty-four patients had extracranial metastases, and 3 had an additional primary cancer. The mean metastatic brain tumor volume was 4.3 cm3, and the mean maximum tumor dose varied from 17.1 to 76.7 Gy (mean 41.8 Gy).

Results

Follow-up imaging studies were available in 25 patients with a total of 90 treated metastases. The results demonstrate a tumor control rate of 91%. The median survival time was 6.7 months, and the 6-month and 1-year survival rates were 55 and 25%, respectively. A univariate analysis revealed that the KPS score (≤ 70 vs ≥ 80) was significant (p = 0.018) for improved survival.

Conclusions

Results in this series suggest that GKS can be an effective tool for the treatment of brain metastases from gastrointestinal cancer.

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Arnaldo Neves Da Silva, Kazuki Nagayama, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Unlike whole-brain radiation therapy, Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is delivered in a single session for the treatment of brain metastases. The extent to which GKS can facilitate early tumor control was the focus of this study.

Methods

The authors reviewed 134 metastatic lesions in 82 patients treated with GKS at the University of Virginia who underwent follow-up MR imaging within 30 days or less of GKS. For accurate volumetry only tumors measuring 0.5 cm3 or greater in volume were included. Radiological review as well as tumor volumetry was performed to assess the tumor's response to GKS. Tumors were characterized as either enlarged (> 15% volume increase), stable (follow-up volume ± 15% of the initial volume), or decreased (> 15% volume decrease). A multivariate analysis was performed to determine factors related to each volume outcome group.

Results

Within the first month following GKS, a decrease was observed in 47.8% of the tumors. Tumor reduction varied according to carcinoma histopathological subtype, with 46.4% of non–small cell lung carcinomas, 70% of breast carcinomas, and 22.6% of melanomas showing volume reduction within 30 days after GKS. The mean volume decrease was 41.7%. For the remaining tumors, 41% were stable and 11.2% increased in volume. The overall analysis showed that there was a significant difference in percentage tumor change according to histopathological type (p < 0.001). There was a trend toward increased tumor reduction in those carcinoma types that are traditionally viewed as radiation sensitive (breast and non–small cell lung carcinomas).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery can offer patients early substantial volume reduction in many brain metastases. In instances in which early volume reduction of limited intracranial disease is desired, GKS may be used alone or before whole brain radiation therapy.