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Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECT

The reported tumor control rates for meningiomas after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are high; however, early imaging assessment of tumor volumes may not accurately predict the eventual tumor response. The objective in this study was to quantitatively evaluate the volumetric responses of meningiomas after SRS and to determine whether early volume responses are predictive of longer-term tumor control.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of 252 patients (median age 56 years, range 14–87 years) who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery between 2002 and 2010. All patients had evaluable pre- and postoperative T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRIs. The median baseline tumor volume was 3.5 cm3 (range 0.2–33.8 cm3) and the median follow-up was 19.5 months (range 0.1–104.6 months). Follow-up tumor volumes were compared with baseline volumes. Tumor volume percent change and the tumor volume rate of change were compared at 3-month intervals. Eventual tumor responses were classified as progressed for > 15% volume change, regressed for ≤ 15% change, and stable for ± 15% of baseline volume at time of last follow-up. Volumetric data were compared with the final tumor status by using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS

Tumor volume regression (median decrease of −40.2%) was demonstrated in 168 (67%) patients, tumor stabilization (median change of −2.7%) in 67 (26%) patients, and delayed tumor progression (median increase of 104%) in 17 (7%) patients (p < 0.001). Tumors that eventually regressed had an average volume reduction of −18.2% at 3 months. Tumors that eventually progressed all demonstrated volume increase by 6 months. Transient progression was observed in 15 tumors before eventual decrease, and transient regression was noted in 6 tumors before eventual volume increase.

CONCLUSIONS

The volume response of meningiomas after SRS is dynamic, and early imaging estimations of the tumor volume may not correlate with the final tumor response. However, tumors that ultimately regressed tended to respond in the first 3 months, whereas tumors that ultimately progressed showed progression within 6 months.

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Hideyuki Kano, Jason Sheehan, Penny K. Sneed, Heyoung L. McBride, Byron Young, Christopher Duma, David Mathieu, Zachary Seymour, Michael W. McDermott, Douglas Kondziolka, Aditya Iyer and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a potentially important option for patients with skull base chondrosarcomas. The object of this study was to analyze the outcomes of SRS for chondrosarcoma patients who underwent this treatment as a part of multimodality management.

METHODS

Seven participating centers of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium (NAGKC) identified 46 patients who underwent SRS for skull base chondrosarcomas. Thirty-six patients had previously undergone tumor resections and 5 had been treated with fractionated radiation therapy (RT). The median tumor volume was 8.0 cm3 (range 0.9–28.2 cm3), and the median margin dose was 15 Gy (range 10.5–20 Gy). Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate progression-free and overall survival rates.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 75 months after SRS, 8 patients were dead. The actuarial overall survival after SRS was 89% at 3 years, 86% at 5 years, and 76% at 10 years. Local tumor progression occurred in 10 patients. The rate of progression-free survival (PFS) after SRS was 88% at 3 years, 85% at 5 years, and 70% at 10 years. Prior RT was significantly associated with shorter PFS. Eight patients required salvage resection, and 3 patients (7%) developed adverse radiation effects. Cranial nerve deficits improved in 22 (56%) of the 39 patients who deficits before SRS. Clinical improvement after SRS was noted in patients with abducens nerve paralysis (61%), oculomotor nerve paralysis (50%), lower cranial nerve dysfunction (50%), optic neuropathy (43%), facial neuropathy (38%), trochlear nerve paralysis (33%), trigeminal neuropathy (12%), and hearing loss (10%).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery for skull base chondrosarcomas is an important adjuvant option for the treatment of these rare tumors, as part of a team approach that includes initial surgical removal of symptomatic larger tumors.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Hideyuki Kano, Zhiyuan Xu, Veronica Chiang, David Mathieu, Samuel Chao, Berkcan Akpinar, John Y.K. Lee, James B. Yu, Judith Hess, Hsiu-Mei Wu, Wen-Yuh Chung, John Pierce, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Michelle Alonso-Basanta, Gene H. Barnett and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

Facial nerve schwannomas (FNSs) are rare intracranial tumors, and the optimal management of these tumors remains unclear. Resection can be undertaken, but the tumor’s intimate association with the facial nerve makes resection with neurological preservation quite challenging. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been used to treat FNSs, and this study evaluates the outcome of this approach.

METHODS

At 8 medical centers participating in the North American Gamma Knife Consortium (NAGKC), 42 patients undergoing SRS for an FNS were identified, and clinical and radiographic data were obtained for these cases. Males outnumbered females at a ratio of 1.2:1, and the patients’ median age was 48 years (range 11–76 years). Prior resection was performed in 36% of cases. The mean tumor volume was 1.8 cm3, and a mean margin dose of 12.5 Gy (range 11–15 Gy) was delivered to the tumor.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 28 months, tumor control was achieved in 36 (90%) of the 40 patients with reliable radiographic follow-up. Actuarial tumor control was 97%, 97%, 97%, and 90% at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years postradiosurgery. Preoperative facial nerve function was preserved in 38 of 42 patients, with 60% of evaluable patients having House-Brackmann scores of 1 or 2 at last follow-up. Treated patients with a House-Brackmann score of 1 to 3 were more likely to demonstrate this level of facial nerve function at last evaluation (OR 6.09, 95% CI 1.7–22.0, p = 0.006). Avoidance of temporary or permanent neurological symptoms was more likely to be achieved in patients who received a tumor margin dose of 12.5 Gy or less (log-rank test, p = 0.024) delivered to a tumor of ≤ 1 cm3 in volume (log-rank test, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery resulted in tumor control and neurological preservation in most FNS patients. When the tumor is smaller and the patient exhibits favorable normal facial nerve function, SRS portends a better result. The authors believe that early, upfront SRS may be the treatment of choice for small FNSs, but it is an effective salvage treatment for residual/recurrent tumor that remain or progress after resection.

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Hideyuki Kano, Takashi Shuto, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Jason Sheehan, Masaaki Yamamoto, Heyoung L. McBride, Mitsuya Sato, Toru Serizawa, Shoji Yomo, Akihito Moriki, Yukihiko Kohda, Byron Young, Satoshi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Kenai, Christopher Duma, Yasuhiro Kikuchi, David Mathieu, Atsuya Akabane, Osamu Nagano, Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of intracranial hemangioblastomas.

METHODS

Six participating centers of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium and 13 Japanese Gamma Knife centers identified 186 patients with 517 hemangioblastomas who underwent SRS. Eighty patients had 335 hemangioblastomas associated with von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) and 106 patients had 182 sporadic hemangioblastomas. The median target volume was 0.2 cm3 (median diameter 7 mm) in patients with VHL and 0.7 cm3 (median diameter 11 mm) in those with sporadic hemangioblastoma. The median margin dose was 18 Gy in VHL patients and 15 Gy in those with sporadic hemangioblastomas.

RESULTS

At a median of 5 years (range 0.5–18 years) after treatment, 20 patients had died of intracranial disease progression and 9 patients had died of other causes. The overall survival after SRS was 94% at 3 years, 90% at 5 years, and 74% at 10 years. Factors associated with longer survival included younger age, absence of neurological symptoms, fewer tumors, and higher Karnofsky Performance Status. Thirty-three (41%) of the 80 patients with VHL developed new tumors and 17 (16%) of the106 patients with sporadic hemangioblastoma had recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor. The 5-year rate of developing a new tumor was 43% for VHL patients, and the 5-year rate of developing a recurrence of residual tumor from the original tumor was 24% for sporadic hemangioblastoma patients. Factors associated with a reduced risk of developing a new tumor or recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor included younger age, fewer tumors, and sporadic rather than VHL-associated hemangioblastomas. The local tumor control rate for treated tumors was 92% at 3 years, 89% at 5 years, and 79% at 10 years. Factors associated with an improved local tumor control rate included VHL-associated hemangioblastoma, solid tumor, smaller tumor volume, and higher margin dose. Thirteen patients (7%) developed adverse radiation effects (ARE) after SRS, and one of these patients died due to ARE.

CONCLUSIONS

When either sporadic or VHL-associated tumors were observed to grow on serial imaging studies, SRS provided tumor control in 79%–92% of tumors.

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

OBJECT

After initial standard of care management of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), relatively few proven options remain for patients with unresected progressive tumor. Numerous reports describe the value of radiosurgery, yet this modality appears to remain underutilized. The authors analyzed the outcomes of early adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for unresected tumor or later salvage SRS for progressive GBM. Radiosurgery was performed as part of the multimodality management and was combined with other therapies. Patients continued to receive additional chemotherapy after SRS and prior to progression being documented. In this retrospective analysis, the authors evaluated factors that affected patient overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival.

METHODS

Between 1987 and 2008 the authors performed Gamma Knife SRS in 297 patients with histologically proven GBMs. All patients had received prior fractionated radiation therapy, and 66% had undergone one or more chemotherapy regimens. Ninety-six patients with deep-seated unresectable GBMs underwent biopsy only. Of those in whom excision had been possible, resection was considered to be gross total in 68 and subtotal in 133. The median patient age was 58 years (range 23–89 years) and the median tumor volume was 14 cm3 (range 0.26–84.2 cm3). The median prescription dose delivered to the imaging-defined tumor margin was 15 Gy (range 9–25 Gy). The median follow-up duration was 8.6 months (range 1.1–173 months). Cox regression models were used to analyze survival outcomes. Variables examined included age, residual versus recurrent tumor, prior chemotherapy, time to first recurrence, SRS dose, and gross tumor volume.

RESULTS

The median survival times after radiosurgery and after diagnosis were 9.03 and 18.1 months, respectively. The 1-year and 2-year OS after SRS were 37.9% and 16.7%, respectively. The 1-year and 2-year OS after diagnosis were 76.2% and 30.8%, respectively. Using multivariate analysis, factors associated with improved OS after diagnosis were younger age (< 60 years) at diagnosis (p < 0.0001), tumor volume < 14 cm3 (p < 0.001), use of prior chemotherapy (p = 0.001), and radiosurgery at the time of recurrence (p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed that younger age (p < 0.0001) and smaller tumor volume (< 14 cm3) (p = 0.001) were significantly associated with increased OS after SRS. Adverse radiation effects were seen in 69 patients (23%). Fifty-eight patients (19.5%) underwent additional resection after SRS. The median survivals after diagnosis for recursive partitioning analysis Classes III, IV and V+VI were 31.6, 20.8, and 16.7 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

In this analysis 30% of a heterogeneous cohort of GBM patients eligible for SRS had an OS of 2 years. Radiosurgery at the time of tumor progression was associated with a median survival of 21.8 months. The role of radiosurgery for GBMs remains controversial. The findings in this study support the need for a funded and appropriately designed clinical trial that will provide a higher level of evidence regarding the future role of SRS for glioblastoma patients in whom disease has progressed despite standard management.

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Uzma Samadani, Sameer Farooq, Robert Ritlop, Floyd Warren, Marleen Reyes, Elizabeth Lamm, Anastasia Alex, Elena Nehrbass, Radek Kolecki, Michael Jureller, Julia Schneider, Agnes Chen, Chen Shi, Neil Mendhiratta, Jason H. Huang, Meng Qian, Roy Kwak, Artem Mikheev, Henry Rusinek, Ajax George, Robert Fergus, Douglas Kondziolka, Paul P. Huang and R. Theodore Smith

OBJECT

Automated eye movement tracking may provide clues to nervous system function at many levels. Spatial calibration of the eye tracking device requires the subject to have relatively intact ocular motility that implies function of cranial nerves (CNs) III (oculomotor), IV (trochlear), and VI (abducent) and their associated nuclei, along with the multiple regions of the brain imparting cognition and volition. The authors have developed a technique for eye tracking that uses temporal rather than spatial calibration, enabling detection of impaired ability to move the pupil relative to normal (neurologically healthy) control volunteers. This work was performed to demonstrate that this technique may detect CN palsies related to brain compression and to provide insight into how the technique may be of value for evaluating neuropathological conditions associated with CN palsy, such as hydrocephalus or acute mass effect.

METHODS

The authors recorded subjects' eye movements by using an Eyelink 1000 eye tracker sampling at 500 Hz over 200 seconds while the subject viewed a music video playing inside an aperture on a computer monitor. The aperture moved in a rectangular pattern over a fixed time period. This technique was used to assess ocular motility in 157 neurologically healthy control subjects and 12 patients with either clinical CN III or VI palsy confirmed by neuro-ophthalmological examination, or surgically treatable pathological conditions potentially impacting these nerves. The authors compared the ratio of vertical to horizontal eye movement (height/width defined as aspect ratio) in normal and test subjects.

RESULTS

In 157 normal controls, the aspect ratio (height/width) for the left eye had a mean value ± SD of 1.0117 ± 0.0706. For the right eye, the aspect ratio had a mean of 1.0077 ± 0.0679 in these 157 subjects. There was no difference between sexes or ages. A patient with known CN VI palsy had a significantly increased aspect ratio (1.39), whereas 2 patients with known CN III palsy had significantly decreased ratios of 0.19 and 0.06, respectively. Three patients with surgically treatable pathological conditions impacting CN VI, such as infratentorial mass effect or hydrocephalus, had significantly increased ratios (1.84, 1.44, and 1.34, respectively) relative to normal controls, and 6 patients with supratentorial mass effect had significantly decreased ratios (0.27, 0.53, 0.62, 0.45, 0.49, and 0.41, respectively). These alterations in eye tracking all reverted to normal ranges after surgical treatment of underlying pathological conditions in these 9 neurosurgical cases.

CONCLUSIONS

This proof of concept series of cases suggests that the use of eye tracking to detect CN palsy while the patient watches television or its equivalent represents a new capacity for this technology. It may provide a new tool for the assessment of multiple CNS functions that can potentially be useful in the assessment of awake patients with elevated intracranial pressure from hydrocephalus or trauma.

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Omar Tanweer, Taylor A. Wilson, Stephen P. Kalhorn, John G. Golfinos, Paul P. Huang and Douglas Kondziolka

OBJECT

Physicians are often solicited by patients or colleagues for clinical recommendations they would make for themselves if faced by a clinical situation. The act of making a recommendation can alter the clinical course being taken. The authors sought to understand this dynamic across different neurosurgical scenarios by examining how neurosurgeons value the procedures that they offer.

METHODS

The authors conducted an online survey using the Congress of Neurological Surgeons listserv in May 2013. Respondents were randomized to answer either as the surgeon or as the patient. Questions encompassed an array of distinct neurosurgical scenarios. Data on practice parameters and experience levels were also collected.

RESULTS

Of the 534 survey responses, 279 responded as the “neurosurgeon” and 255 as the “patient.” For both vestibular schwannoma and arteriovenous malformation management, more respondents chose resection for their patient but radiosurgery for themselves (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively). Aneurysm coiling was chosen more often than clipping, but those whose practice was ≥ 30% open cerebrovascular neurosurgery were less likely to choose coiling. Overall, neurosurgeons who focus predominantly on tumors were more aggressive in managing the glioma, vestibular schwannoma, arteriovenous malformation, and trauma. Neurosurgeons more than 10 years out of residency were less likely to recommend surgery for management of spinal pain, aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, and trauma scenarios.

CONCLUSIONS

In the majority of cases, altering the role of the surgeon did not change the decision to pursue treatment. In certain clinical scenarios, however, neurosurgeons chose treatment options for themselves that were different from what they would have chosen for (or recommended to) their patients. For the management of vestibular schwannomas, arteriovenous malformations, intracranial aneurysms, and hypertensive hemorrhages, responses favored less invasive interventions when the surgeon was the patient. These findings are likely a result of cognitive biases, previous training, experience, areas of expertise, and personal values.

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Aditya Iyer, Gillian Harrison, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory M. Weiner, Neal Luther, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging response of brain metastases after radiosurgery and to correlate the response with tumor type and patient survival.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients who had undergone Gamma Knife radiosurgery for brain metastases from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer, or melanoma. The imaging volumetric response by tumor type was plotted at 3-month intervals and classified as a sustained decrease in tumor volume (Type A), a transient decrease followed by a delayed increase in tumor volume (Type B), or a sustained increase in tumor volume (Type C). These imaging responses were then compared with patient survival and tumor type.

Results

Two hundred thirty-three patients with metastases from NSCLC (96 patients), breast cancer (98 patients), and melanoma (39 patients) were eligible for inclusion in this study. The patients with NSCLC were most likely to exhibit a Type A response; those with breast cancer, a Type B response; and those with melanoma, a Type C response. Among patients with NSCLC, the median overall survival was 11.2 months for those with a Type A response (76 patients), 8.6 months for those with a Type B response (6 patients), and 10.5 months for those with a Type C response (14 patients). Among patients with breast cancer, the median overall survival was 16.6 months in those with a Type A response (65 patients), 18.1 months in those with a Type B response (20 patients), and 7.5 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). For patients with melanoma, the median overall survival was 5.2 months in those with a Type A response (26 patients) and 6.7 months in those with a Type C response (13 patients). None of the patients with melanoma had a Type B response. The imaging response was significantly associated with survival only in patients with breast cancer.

Conclusions

The various types of imaging responses of metastatic brain tumors after stereotactic radiosurgery depend in part on tumor type. However, the type of response only correlates with survival in patients with breast cancer.