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Thomas Flannery, Hideyuki Kano, Juan J. Martin, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

The aim in this study was to determine the outcomes of boost stereotactic radiosurgery, specifically Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), for recurrent primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) in children in whom initial multimodality management had failed.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 7 patients who underwent a total of 15 GKS procedures for locally recurrent or metastatic PNETs. Nine procedures were directed at the primary site, whereas 6 were directed at distant brain sites. All patients received multimodality therapy, including resection, fractionated radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The mean interval from diagnosis to first stereotactic radiosurgery was 25.8 months (range 11–35 months). The mean tumor volume was 3.9 cm3 (range 1.1–13.1 cm3), and an average marginal dose of 14.5 Gy (range 9–20 Gy) was administered.

Results

Following salvage GKS, 2 patients had early disease progression (median survival of 5 months after GKS). Five patients had late disease progression (complete response in 3, partial response in 1, and stable disease in 1) and a median survival of 30 months after GKS. Four of the 5 patients who had late progression underwent repeat GKS for marginal recurrence. No adverse radiation effects were observed in these 7 patients.

Conclusions

The GKS modality was a well-tolerated and useful boost strategy in pediatric patients with PNET and a poor prognosis in whom initial multimodality management had failed. However, local or distant disease progression or diffuse leptomeningeal spread ultimately proved fatal to these patients.

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Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Aftab Khan, John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka, Frank Lieberman and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

In this study the authors evaluated the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of progressive or newly diagnosed small-volume oligodendrogliomas. Tumor control, survival, and complications were assessed in patients with oligodendroglioma who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery as a primary or adjuvant procedure.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 30 patients with oligodendroglioma (12 Grade II and 18 Grade III) who underwent SRS between 1992 and June 2006 at the University of Pittsburgh. The median patient age was 43.2 years (range 10.8–75.4 years). Twenty-four patients had previously undergone resection of the tumor, whereas tumors in 6 were diagnosed based on biopsy findings. The SRS was performed in 25 patients who had imaging-defined tumor progression despite prior fractionated radiation (22 patients) and/or chemotherapy (20 patients). The median target volume was 15.4 cm3 (range 0.07–48.7 cm3) and the median margin dose was 14.5 Gy (range 11–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 39.2 months of follow-up (range 12–133 months), 17 patients were dead and 13 were living. The overall survival rates from diagnosis to 5 and 10 years were 90.9 and 68.2%, respectively, for Grade II and 52.1% at 5 years and 26.1% at 10 years for Grade III. Factors associated with an improved progression-free survival included lower tumor grade and smaller tumor volume. In 13 patients who had loss of heterozygosity testing, patients with 1p19q loss of heterozygosity had a significantly improved survival after diagnosis (p = 0.04).

Conclusions

The SRS modality is a minimally invasive additional option for patients with residual or recurrent oligodendrogliomas. It may also be considered as an alternative to initial resection in small-volume tumors located in the cortical brain region.

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Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Douglas Kondziolka, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

To evaluate outcome predictors after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with trigeminal schwannomas, the authors compared tumor control, functional preservation, and complications with tumor grade, tumor volume, patient age, and tumor imaging characteristics.

Methods

The records of 33 consecutive patients with trigeminal schwannoma treated via Gamma Knife surgery were retrospectively reviewed. The median patient age was 49.5 years (range 15.1–82.5 years). Eleven patients had undergone prior tumor resection. Two patients had neurofibromatosis Type 2. Lesions were classified as root type (6 tumors), ganglion type (17 tumors), and dumbbell type (10 tumors) based on their location. The median radiosurgery target volume was 4.2 cm3 (range 0.5–18.0 cm3), and the median dose to the tumor margin was 15.0 Gy (range 12–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 6 years (range 7.2–147.9 months), the rate of progression-free survival (PFS) at 1, 5, and 10 years after SRS was 97.0, 82.0, and 82.0%, respectively. Factors associated with improved PFS included female sex, smaller tumor volume, and a root or ganglion tumor type. Neurological symptoms or signs improved in 11 (33.3%) of 33 patients and were unchanged in 19 (57.6%). Three patients (9.1%) had symptomatic disease progression. Patients who had not undergone a prior tumor resection were significantly more likely to show improvement in neurological symptoms or signs.

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective and minimally invasive management option in patients with residual or newly diagnosed trigeminal schwannomas. Predictors of a better treatment response included female sex, smaller tumor volume, root or ganglion tumor type, and the application of SRS as the primary treatment.

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Hideyuki Kano, Douglas Kondziolka, Aftab Khan, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Many patients with acoustic neuromas (ANs) have hearing function at diagnosis and desire to maintain it. To date, radiosurgical techniques have been focused on conformal irradiation of the tumor mass, with less attention to inner ear structures for which there was scant radiobiological information. The authors of this study evaluated tumor control and hearing preservation as they relate to tumor volume, imaging characteristics, and nerve and cochlear radiation dose following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) using the Gamma Knife.

Methods

Seventy-seven patients with ANs had serviceable hearing (Gardner-Robertson [GR] Class I or II) and underwent SRS between 2004 and 2007. This interval reflected more recent measurements of inner ear dosimetry during the authors' 21-year experience. The median patient age was 52 years (range 22–82 years). No patient had undergone any prior treatment for the ANs. The median tumor volume was 0.75 cm3 (range 0.07–7.7 cm3), and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 12.5 Gy (range 12–13 Gy). At diagnosis, a greater distance from the lateral tumor to the end of the internal auditory canal correlated with better hearing function.

Results

At a median of 20 months after SRS, no patient required any other additional treatment. Serviceable hearing was preserved in 71% of all patients and in 89% (46 patients) of those with GR Class I hearing. Significant prognostic factors for maintaining the same GR class included (all pre-SRS) GR Class I hearing, a speech discrimination score (SDS) ≥ 80%, a pure tone average (PTA) < 20 dB, and a patient age < 60 years. Significant prognostic factors for serviceable hearing preservation were (all pre-SRS) GR Class I hearing, an SDS ≥ 80%, a PTA < 20 dB, a patient age < 60 years, an intracanalicular tumor location, and a tumor volume < 0.75 cm3. Patients who received a radiation dose of < 4.2 Gy to the central cochlea had significantly better hearing preservation of the same GR class. Twelve of 12 patients < 60 years of age who had received a cochlear dose < 4.2 Gy retained serviceable hearing at 2 years post-SRS.

Conclusions

As currently practiced, SRS with the Gamma Knife preserves serviceable hearing in the majority of patients. Tumor volume and anatomy relate to the hearing level before radiosurgery and influence technique. A low radiosurgical dose to the cochlea enhances hearing preservation.

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Hideyuki Kano, Douglas Kondziolka, Oscar Zorro, Javier Lobato-Polo, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Radiosurgery for brain metastasis fails in some patients, who require further surgical care. In this paper the authors' goal was to evaluate prognostic factors that correlate with the survival of patients who require a resection of a brain metastasis after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods

During the last 14 years when surgical navigation systems were routinely available, the authors identified 58 patients who required resection for various brain metastases after SRS. The median patient age was 54 years. Prior adjuvant treatment included whole-brain radiation therapy alone (17 patients), chemotherapy alone (9 patients), both radiotherapy and chemotherapy (10 patients), and prior resection before SRS (8 patients). The median target volumes at the time of SRS and resection were 7.7 cm3 (range 0.5–24.9 cm3) and 15.5 cm3 (range 1.3–81.2 cm3), respectively.

Results

At a median follow-up of 7.6 months, 8 patients (14%) were living and 50 patients (86%) had died. The survival after surgical removal was 65, 30, and 16% at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively (median survival after resection 7.7 months). The local tumor control rate after resection was 71, 62, and 43% at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. A univariate analysis revealed that patient preoperative recursive partitioning analysis classification, Karnofsky Performance Scale status, systemic disease status, and the interval between SRS and resection were factors associated with patient survival. The mortality and morbidity rates of resection were 1.7 and 6.9%, respectively.

Conclusions

In patients with symptomatic mass effect after radiosurgery, resection may be warranted. Patients who had delayed local progression after SRS (> 3 months) had the best outcomes after resection.

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Editorial

Relationship between tinnitus and surgical options for vestibular schwannomas

Douglas Kondziolka and Hideyuki Kano

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Editorial

Trigeminal neuralgia

Kim J. Burchiel

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Douglas Kondziolka, Oscar Zorro, Javier Lobato-Polo, Hideyuki Kano, Thomas J. Flannery, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Trigeminal neuralgia pain causes severe disability. Stereotactic radiosurgery is the least invasive surgical option for patients with trigeminal neuralgia. Since different medical and surgical options have different rates of pain relief and morbidity, it is important to evaluate longer-term outcomes.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed outcomes in 503 medically refractory patients with trigeminal neuralgia who underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). The median patient age was 72 years (range 26–95 years). Prior surgery had failed in 205 patients (43%). The GKS typically was performed using MR imaging guidance, a single 4-mm isocenter, and a maximum dose of 80 Gy.

Results

Patients were evaluated for up to 16 years after GKS; 107 patients had > 5 years of follow-up. Eighty-nine percent of patients achieved initial pain relief that was adequate or better, with or without medications (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] Scores I–IIIb). Significant pain relief (BNI Scores I–IIIa) was achieved in 73% at 1 year, 65% at 2 years, and 41% at 5 years. Including Score IIIb (pain adequately controlled with medication), a BNI score of I–IIIb was found in 80% at 1 year, 71% at 3 years, 46% at 5 years, and 30% at 10 years. A faster initial pain response including adequate and some pain relief was seen in patients with trigeminal neuralgia without additional symptoms, patients without prior surgery, and patients with a pain duration of ≤ 3 years. One hundred ninety-three (43%) of 450 patients who achieved initial pain relief reported some recurrent pain 3–144 months after initial relief (median 50 months). Factors associated with earlier pain recurrence that failed to maintain adequate or some pain relief were trigeminal neuralgia with additional symptoms and ≥ 3 prior failed surgical procedures. Fifty-three patients (10.5%) developed new or increased subjective facial paresthesias or numbness and 1 developed deafferentation pain; these symptoms resolved in 17 patients. Those who developed sensory loss had better long-term pain control (78% at 5 years).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery proved to be safe and effective in the treatment of medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia and is of value for initial or recurrent pain management. Despite the goal of minimizing sensory loss with this procedure, some sensory loss may improve long-term outcomes. Pain relapse is amenable to additional GKS or another procedure.

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Thomas J. Flannery, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, Sait Sirin, Matthew Tormenti, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

Because of their critical location adjacent to brain, cranial nerve, and vascular structures, petroclival meningiomas remain a clinical challenge. The authors evaluated outcomes in 168 patients with petroclival meningiomas who underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) during a 21-year interval.

Methods

Gamma Knife surgery was used as either primary or adjuvant treatment of 168 petroclival meningiomas involving the region between the petrous apex and the upper two-thirds of the clivus. The most common presenting symptoms were trigeminal nerve dysfunction, balance problems, diplopia, and hearing loss. The median tumor volume was 6.1 cm3 (range 0.3–32.5 cm3), and the median radiation dose to the tumor margin was 13 Gy (range 9–18 Gy).

Results

During a median follow-up of 72 months, neurological status improved in 44 patients (26%), remained stable in 98 (58%), and worsened in 26 (15%). Tumor volume decreased in 78 patients (46%), remained stable in 74 (44%), and increased in 16 (10%), all of whom were subjected to additional management strategies. Overall 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 91 and 86%, respectively. Patients followed up for at least 10 years (31 patients) had tumor and symptom control rates of 97 and 94%, respectively. Eight patients had repeat radiosurgery, 4 underwent delayed resection, and 4 had fractionated radiation therapy. Cerebrospinal fluid diversion was performed in 7 patients (4%). Significant risk factors for tumor progression were a tumor volume ≥ 8 cm3 (p = 0.001) and male sex (p = 0.02).

Conclusions

In this 21-year experience, GKS for petroclival meningiomas obviated initial or further resection in 98% of patients and was associated with a low risk of adverse radiation effects. The authors believe that radiosurgery should be considered as an initial option for patients with smaller-volume, symptomatic petroclival meningiomas.

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L. Dade Lunsford, Aftab A. Khan, Ajay Niranjan, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

A retrospective study was conducted to reassess the benefit and safety of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with solitary cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) that bleed repeatedly and are poor candidates for surgical removal.

Methods

Between 1988 and 2005 at the University of Pittsburgh, the authors performed SRS in 103 evaluable patients (57 males and 46 females) with solitary symptomatic CCMs. The mean patient age was 39.3 years. Ninety-eight percent of these patients had experienced 2 or more hemorrhages associated with new neurological deficits. Seventeen patients (16.5%) had undergone attempted resection before radiosurgery. Ninety-three CCMs were located in deep brain structures and 10 were in subcortical lobar areas of functional brain importance. The median malformation volume was 1.31 ml, and the median tumor margin dose was 16 Gy.

Results

The follow-up ranged from 2 to 20 years. The annual hemorrhage rate—that is, a new neurological deficit associated with imaging evidence of a new hemorrhage—before SRS was 32.5%. After SRS 22 hemorrhages were observed within 2 years (10.8% annual hemorrhage rate) and 4 hemorrhages were observed after 2 years (1.06% annual hemorrhage rate). The risk of hemorrhage from a CCM was significantly reduced after radiosurgery (p < 0.0001). Overall, new neurological deficits due to adverse radiation effects following SRS developed in 14 patients (13.5%), with most occurring early in our experience. Modifications in technique (treatment volume within the T2-weighted MR imaging–defined margin, use of MR imaging, and dose reduction for CCM in critical brainstem locations) further reduced risks after SRS.

Conclusions

Data in this study provide further evidence that SRS is a relatively safe procedure that reduces the rebleeding rate for CCMs located in high-surgical-risk areas of the brain.