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Jason Sheehan, Douglas Kondziolka, John Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. Glomus jugulare tumors are rare tumors that commonly involve the middle ear, temporal bone, and lower cranial nerves. Resection, embolization, and radiation therapy have been the mainstays of treatment. Despite these therapies, tumor control can be difficult to achieve particularly without undo risk of patient morbidity or mortality. The authors examine the safety and efficacy of gamma knife surgery (GKS) for glomus jugulare tumors.

Methods. A retrospective review was undertaken of the results obtained in eight patients who underwent GKS for recurrent, residual, or unresectable glomus jugulare tumors. The median radiosurgical dose to the tumor margin was 15 Gy (range 12–18 Gy). The median clinical follow-up period was 28 months, and the median period for radiological follow up was 32 months.

All eight patients demonstrated neurological stability or improvement. No cranial nerve palsies arose or deteriorated after GKS. In the seven patients in whom radiographic follow up was obtained, the tumor size decreased in four and remained stable in three.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery would seem to afford effective local tumor control and preserves neurological function in patients with glomus jugulare tumors. If long-term results with GKS are equally efficacious, the role of stereotactic radiosurgery will expand.

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Jason Sheehan, Douglas Kondziolka, John Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. Lung carcinoma is the leading cause of death from cancer. More than 50% of those with small cell lung cancer develop a brain metastasis. Corticosteroid agents, radiotherapy, and resection have been the mainstays of treatment. Nonetheless, median survival for patients with small cell lung carcinoma metastasis is approximately 4 to 5 months after cranial irradiation. In this study the authors examine the efficacy of gamma knife surgery for treating recurrent small cell lung carcinoma metastases to the brain following tumor growth in patients who have previously undergone radiation therapy, and they evaluate factors affecting survival.

Methods. A retrospective review of 27 patients (47 recurrent small cell lung cancer brain metastases) undergoing radiosurgery was performed. Clinical and radiographic data obtained during a 14-year treatment period were collected. Multivariate analysis was utilized to determine significant prognostic factors influencing survival.

The overall median survival was 18 months after the diagnosis of brain metastases. In multivariate analysis, factors significantly affecting survival included: 1) tumor volume (p = 0.0042); 2) preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.0035); and 3) time between initial lung cancer diagnosis and development of brain metastasis (p = 0.0127). Postradiosurgical imaging of the brain metastases revealed that 62% decreased, 19% remained stable, and 19% eventually increased in size. One patient later underwent a craniotomy and tumor resection for a tumor refractory to radiosurgery and radiation therapy. In three patients new brain metastases were demonstrating on follow-up imaging.

Conclusions. Stereotactic radiosurgery for recurrent small cell lung carcinoma metastases provided effective local tumor control in the majority of patients. Early detection of brain metastases, aggressive treatment of systemic disease, and a therapeutic strategy including radiosurgery can extend survival.