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Arvind C. Mohan, Howard L. Weiner, Carrie A. Mohila, Adekunle Adesina, Murali Chintagumpala, Daniel Curry, Andrew Jea, Jonathan J. Lee, Sandi K. Lam, William E. Whitehead, Robert Dauser, Daniel Yoshor, and Guillermo Aldave


The indication for and timing of surgery for epilepsy associated with low-grade mixed neuronal-glial tumors may be controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of resection and associated variables on epilepsy and on progression-free survival (PFS).


A retrospective chart review of patients treated between 1992 and 2016 was conducted to identify individuals with epilepsy and low-grade gliomas or neuronal-glial tumors who underwent resective surgery. Data analyzed included age at epilepsy onset, age at surgery, extent of resection, use of electrocorticography, the number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) before and after surgery, the presence of dysplasia, Engel class, histological findings, and PFS. The institutional review board protocol was specifically approved to conduct this study.


A total of 107 patients were identified. The median follow-up was 4.9 years. The most common pathology was dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (36.4%), followed by ganglioglioma (31.8%). Eighty-four percent of patients had Engel class I outcomes following surgery. Gross-total resection was associated with a higher likelihood of an Engel class I outcome (90%) as compared to subtotal resection (58%) (p = 0.0005). Surgery reduced the AED burden, with 40% of patients requiring no AEDs after surgery (p < 0.0001). Children with neurodevelopmental comorbidities (n = 5) uniformly did not experience seizure improvement following resection (0% vs 83% overall; p < 0.0001). Electrocorticography was used in 33% of cases and did not significantly increase class I outcomes. PFS was 90% at 5 years. Eleven percent of tumors recurred, with subtotal resection more likely to result in recurrence (hazard ratio 5.3, p = 0.02). Histological subtype showed no significant impact on recurrence.


Gross-total resection was strongly associated with Engel class I outcome and longer PFS. Further studies are needed to elucidate the suitable time for surgery and to identify factors associated with oncological transformation.

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Christina Sayama, Matthew Willsey, Murali Chintagumpala, Alison Brayton, Valentina Briceño, Sheila L. Ryan, Thomas G. Luerssen, Steven W. Hwang, and Andrew Jea


The aim of this study was to determine the safety of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 (rhBMP-2) use in posterior instrumented fusions in the pediatric population, focusing on cancer risk. In a previous study, the authors reported the short-term (mean follow-up of 11 months) safety and efficacy of rhBMP-2 in the pediatric age group. The present study reports their results with a minimum of 24 months' follow-up.


The authors retrospectively reviewed 57 consecutive cases involving pediatric patients who underwent posterior occiptocervical, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or lumbosacral spine fusion from October 1, 2007, to June 30, 2011, at Texas Children's Hospital. Seven cases were excluded from further analysis because of loss to follow-up. Three patients died during the follow-up period and were placed in a separate cohort.


The patients' average age at the time of surgery was 11 years, 4 months (range 9 months to 20 years). The mean duration of follow-up was 48.4 months (range 24–70 months). Cancer status was determined at the most recent encounter with the patient and/or caretaker(s) in person, or in telephone follow-up. Twenty-four or more months after administration of rhBMP-2, there were no cases of new malignancy, degeneration, or metastasis of existing tumors. The cause of death of the patients who died during the study period was not related to BMP or to the development, degeneration, or metastasis of cancer.


Despite the large number of adult studies reporting increased cancer risk associated with BMP use, the authors' outcomes with rhBMP-2 in the pediatric population suggest that it is a safe adjunct to posterior spine fusions of the occipitocervical, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and lumbosacral spine. There were no new cases of cancer, or degeneration or metastasis of existing malignancies in this series.

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William E. Humphries III, Krishna B. Satyan, Katherine Relyea, Eugene S. Kim, Adekunle M. Adesina, Murali Chintagumpala, and Andrew Jea

Myofibroblastic tumors are soft-tissue neoplasms arising from myofibroblasts, ubiquitous cells sharing ultrastructural features of muscular and fibroblastic cells. Vasudev and Harris described a malignant counterpart of these benign tumors in 1978. Most reported cases of myofibroblastic sarcoma have arisen in the head and neck region and the soft tissues of the extremities. To the best of the authors' knowledge, there have been only 8 previous reports on primary myofibroblastic sarcoma of the bone. The authors report a new case of this rare tumor affecting the sacrum and ilium of a 15-year-old girl and discuss the role of total sacrectomy and lumbopelvic reconstruction for treatment of this disease.

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Andrew Jea, Ernesto Coscarella, Murali Chintagumpala, Meena Bhattacharjee, William E. Whitehead, Daniel J. Curry, and Thomas G. Luerssen

Multiple metastatic brain tumors and multifocal primary brain tumors of a single histological type have been published in the adult and pediatric literature. However, the simultaneous occurrence of multiple primary brain tumors with different cell types is rare. Even more rare is the pediatric presentation of multiple primary brain tumors with different cell types.

The authors describe the case of an 8-year-old boy who presented with a 2-week history of progressive headache, nausea and vomiting, and imbalance. Brain MR imaging demonstrated a heterogeneously enhancing mixed solid/cystic mass of the left cerebellar hemisphere and a larger, midline, more homogeneously enhancing lesion of the superior vermis. Spinal MR imaging was unremarkable.

The patient underwent a suboccipital craniotomy and subsequent gross-total resection of both mass lesions. Pathological examination revealed the left cerebellar and superior vermian lesions to be a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma and a medulloblastoma, respectively. The patient did well in the immediate postoperative period, was discharged home, and underwent neurooncological follow-up.

To the best of the authors' knowledge, they describe the first known pediatric case in which a medulloblastoma and a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma presented as synchronous primary brain tumors. They review the literature on multiple primary brain tumors with different histological characteristics and rehash potential mechanisms for their development.