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Masaaki Yamamoto, Yoshihisa Kida, Seiji Fukuoka, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Hidefumi Jokura, Atsuya Akabane, and Toru Serizawa

Object

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is currently used for primary or postoperative management of cavernous sinus (CS) hemangiomas. The authors describe their experience with 30 cases of CS hemangioma successfully managed with GKS.

Methods

Thirty patients with CS hemangiomas, including 19 female and 11 male patients with a mean age of 53 years (range 19–78 years) underwent GKS at 7 facilities in Japan. Pathological entity was confirmed using surgical specimens in 17 patients, and neuroimaging diagnosis only in 13. Eight patients were asymptomatic before GKS, while 22 had ocular movement disturbances and/or optic nerve impairments. The mean tumor volume was 11.5 cm3 (range 1.5–51.4 cm3). The mean dose to the tumor periphery was 13.8 Gy (range 10.0–17.0 Gy).

Results

The mean follow-up period was 53 months (range 12–138 months). Among the 22 patients with symptoms prior to GKS, complete remission was achieved in 2, improvement in 13, and no change in 7. Hemifacial sensory disturbance developed following GKS in 1 patient. The most recent MR images showed remarkable shrinkage in 18, shrinkage in 11, and no change in 1 patient.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery proved to be an effective treatment strategy for managing CS hemangiomas. Given the diagnostic accuracy of recently developed neuroimaging techniques and the potentially serious bleeding associated with biopsy sampling or attempted surgical removal, the authors recommend that GKS be the primary treatment in most patients who have a clear neuroimaging diagnosis of this condition.

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Motohiro Hayashi, Takaomi Taira, Mikhail Chernov, Seiji Fukuoka, Roman Liscak, Chung Ping Yu, Robert T. K. Ho, Jean Regis, Yoko Katayama, Yoriko Kawakami, and Tomokatsu Hori

Object. The authors have treated intractable pain, particularly cancer pain related to bone metastasis, with various protocols. Cancer pain has been treated by gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS), targeted to the pituitary gland—stalk, as an alternative new pain control method. The purpose of this study was to investigate a prospective multicenter protocol to prove the efficacy and the safety of this treatment.

Methods. Indications for patient inclusion in this treatment protocol were: 1) pain related to bone metastasis; 2) no other effective pain treatment options; 3) general condition rated as greater than 40 on the Karnofsky Performance Scale; 4) morphine effective for pain control; and 5) no previous treatment with radiation (GKS or conventional radiotherapy) for brain metastasis. The authors at one institution have treated two patients, who suffered from severe cancer pain related to bone metastasis, by using GKS. The target was the pituitary gland. The maximum dose was 160 Gy with one isocenter of an 8-mm collimator, keeping the radiation dose to the optic nerve less than 8 Gy. At another institution two patients were treated in the same way; an additional five patients were treated similarly with targeting of the pituitary gland with two isocenters of 4-mm collimator.

In all nine cases, pain resolved without significant complication. Pain relief was observed within several days, and this effect was prolonged until the day that they died. At a follow up of 1 to 24 months, no recurrences and no hormonal dysfunction were observed.

Conclusions. Despite insufficient experience, the efficacy and the safety of GKS for intractable pain were demonstrated in nine patients. This treatment has the potential to ameliorate cancer-related pain, and GKS will play a more important role in the treatment of intractable pain. More experience and additional refined study protocols are needed to evaluate which parameters are important, to determine what treatment strategy is the best, and to clarify the safest option for patients with intractable cancer pain.