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John D. Heiss, Aria Jamshidi, Smit Shah, Staci Martin, Pamela L. Wolters, Davis P. Argersinger, Katherine E. Warren and Russell R. Lonser

OBJECTIVE

In this clinical trial report, the authors analyze safety and infusion distribution of IL13-Pseudomonas exotoxin, an antitumor chimeric molecule, administered via intratumoral convection enhanced delivery (CED) in pediatric patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

METHODS

This was a Phase I single-institution, open-label, dose-escalation, safety and tolerability study of IL13-PE38QQR infused via single-catheter CED into 5 pediatric DIPG patients. IL13-PE38QQR was administered to regions of tumor selected by radiographic findings. Two escalating dose levels were evaluated: 0.125 µg/mL in cohort 1 and 0.25 µg/mL in cohort 2. Real-time MRI was performed during intratumoral infusions, and MRI and MR spectroscopy were performed before and after the infusions. Clinical evaluations, including parent-reported quality of life (QOL), were assessed at baseline and 4 weeks post-infusion.

RESULTS

Direct infusion of brainstem tumor with IL13-PE using the CED technique in patients with DIPG produced temporary arrest of disease progression in 2 of 5 patients, both of whom subsequently received a second infusion. All 5 patients showed signs of disease progression by 12 weeks after initial infusion. Two patients experienced transient cranial nerve deficits and lethargy after infusion, and these deficits resolved with corticosteroid treatment in both cases. No patient had radiographic evidence of acute or long-term treatment toxicity. Parent-reported QOL was consistent with medical outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Even though IL13-PE delivered by CED did not reach the entire MRI-defined tumor volume in any patient, short-term radiographic antitumor effects were observed in 2 of the 5 patients treated. The patients’ performance status did not improve. Drug delivery using multiple catheters may produce improved outcomes.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00088061 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Russell R. Lonser

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Alaa S. Montaser, Juan M. Revuelta Barbero, Alexandre Todeschini, André Beer-Furlan, Russell R. Lonser, Ricardo L. Carrau and Daniel M. Prevedello

A 69-year-old female with incidental diagnosis of a dorsum sellae meningioma had shown significant tumor growth after initial conservative management. The procedure started with a microscopic sublabial transsphenoidal approach to the sella and the suprasellar space. Due to limitations to a safe dissection and removal of the retrosellar component, the surgery was converted to a purely endoscopic endonasal approach with left hemi-transposition of the pituitary gland, followed by drilling of the dorsum sellae and removal of the left posterior clinoid process. A complete tumor resection was achieved, and a multilayer skull base reconstruction was performed without complications.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/BEolyK-To_A.

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Russell R. Lonser, Lynnette Nieman and Edward H. Oldfield

Cushing's disease (CD) is the result of excess secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by a benign monoclonal pituitary adenoma. The excessive secretion of ACTH stimulates secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands, resulting in supraphysiological levels of circulating cortisol. The pathophysiological levels of cortisol are associated with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and early death. Successful resection of the CD-associated ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma is the treatment of choice and results in immediate biochemical remission with preservation of pituitary function. Accurate and early identification of CD is critical for effective surgical management and optimal prognosis. The authors review the current pathophysiological principles, diagnostic methods, and management of CD.

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Prashant Chittiboina, S. Lalith Talagala, Hellmut Merkle, Joelle E. Sarlls, Blake K. Montgomery, Martin G. Piazza, Gretchen Scott, Abhik Ray-Chaudhury, Russell R. Lonser, Edward H. Oldfield, Alan P. Koretsky and John A. Butman

OBJECTIVE

Pituitary MR imaging fails to detect over 50% of microadenomas in Cushing's disease and nearly 80% of cases of dural microinvasion. Surface coils can generate exceptionally high-resolution images of the immediately adjacent tissues. To improve imaging of the pituitary gland, a receive-only surface coil that can be placed within the sphenoid sinus (the endosphenoidal coil [ESC]) during transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) was developed and assessed.

METHODS

Five cadaver heads were used for preclinical testing of the ESC. The ESC (a double-turn, 12-mm-diameter surface coil made from 1-mm-diameter copper wire) was developed to obtain images in a 1.5-T MR scanner. The ESC was placed (via a standard sublabial TSS approach) on the anterior sella face. Clinical MR scans were obtained using the 8-channel head coil and ESC as the receiver coils. Using the ESC, ultra–high-resolution, 3D, balanced fast field echo (BFFE) and T1-weighted imaging were performed at resolutions of 0.25 × 0.25 × 0.50 mm3 and 0.15 × 0.15 × 0.30 mm3, respectively.

RESULTS

Region-of-interest analysis indicated a 10-fold increase in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the pituitary when using the ESC compared with the 8-channel head coil. ESC-related improvements (p < 0.01) in the SNR were inversely proportional to the distance from the ESC tip to the anterior pituitary gland surface. High-resolution BFFE MR imaging obtained using ESC revealed a number of anatomical features critical to pituitary surgery that were not visible on 8-channel MR imaging, including the pituitary capsule, the intercavernous sinus, and microcalcifications in the pars intermedia. These ESC imaging findings were confirmed by the pathological correlation with whole-mount pituitary sections.

CONCLUSIONS

ESC can significantly improve SNR in the sellar region intraoperatively using current 1.5-T MR imaging platforms. Improvement in SNR can provide images of the sella and surrounding structures with unprecedented resolution. Clinical use of this ESC may allow for MR imaging detection of previously occult pituitary adenomas and identify microscopic invasion of the dura or cavernous sinus.

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Kristin Huntoon, Tianxia Wu, J. Bradley Elder, John A. Butman, Emily Y. Chew, W. Marston Linehan, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

OBJECT

Peritumoral cysts are frequently associated with CNS hemangioblastomas and often underlie neurological morbidity and mortality. To determine their natural history and clinical impact, the authors prospectively analyzed hemangioblastoma-associated peritumoral cysts in patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease.

METHODS

Patients with VHL disease who had 2 or more years of follow-up and who were enrolled in a prospective study at the National Institutes of Health were included. Serial prospectively acquired laboratory, genetic, imaging, and clinical data were analyzed.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-two patients (of 225 in the VHL study with at least 2 years of follow-up) had peritumoral cysts that were followed for more than 2 years (total of 292 CNS peritumoral cysts). The mean age at study entrance was 37.4 ± 13.1 years ([mean ± SD], median 37.9, range 12.3–65.1 years). The mean follow-up was 7.0 ± 1.7 years (median 7.3, range 2.1–9.0 years). Over the study period, 121 of the 292 peritumoral cysts (41.4%) became symptomatic. Development of new cysts was associated with a larger number cysts at study enrollment (p = 0.002) and younger age (p < 0.0001). Cyst growth rate was associated with anatomical location (cerebellum cysts grew faster than spine and brainstem cysts; p = 0.0002 and p = 0.0008), younger age (< 35 years of age; p = 0.0006), and development of new neurological symptoms (p < 0.0001). Cyst size at symptom production depended on anatomical location (p < 0.0001; largest to smallest were found, successively, in the cerebellum, spinal cord, and brainstem). The most common location for peritumoral cysts was the cerebellum (184 cysts [63%]; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Peritumoral cysts frequently underlie symptom formation that requires surgical intervention in patients with VHL disease. Development of new cysts was associated with a larger number of cysts at study enrollment and younger age. Total peritumoral cyst burden was associated with germline partial deletion of the VHL gene.

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Ahmed Mohyeldin, Russell R. Lonser and J. Bradley Elder

OBJECT

The object of this study was to assess the feasibility, accuracy, and safety of real-time MRI-compatible frameless stereotactic brain biopsy.

METHODS

Clinical, imaging, and histological data in consecutive patients who underwent stereotactic brain biopsy using a frameless real-time MRI system were analyzed.

RESULTS

Five consecutive patients (4 males, 1 female) were included in this study. The mean age at biopsy was 45.8 years (range 29–60 years). Real-time MRI permitted concurrent display of the biopsy cannula trajectory and tip during placement at the target. The mean target depth of biopsied lesions was 71.3 mm (range 60.4–80.4 mm). Targeting accuracy analysis revealed a mean radial error of 1.3 ± 1.1 mm (mean ± standard deviation), mean depth error of 0.7 ± 0.3 mm, and a mean absolute tip error of 1.5 ± 1.1 mm. There was no correlation between target depth and absolute tip error (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r = 0.22). All biopsy cannulae were placed at the target with a single penetration and resulted in a diagnostic specimen in all cases. Histopathological evaluation of biopsy samples revealed dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor (1 case), breast carcinoma (1 case), and glioblastoma multiforme (3 cases).

CONCLUSIONS

The ability to place a biopsy cannula under real-time imaging guidance permits on-the-fly alterations in the cannula trajectory and/or tip placement. Real-time imaging during MRI-guided brain biopsy provides precise safe targeting of brain lesions.

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Vin Shen Ban, Christopher J. Madden, Julian E. Bailes, H. Hunt Batjer and Russell R. Lonser

Recently, the pathobiology, causes, associated factors, incidence and prevalence, and natural history of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have been debated. Data from retrospective case series and high-profile media reports have fueled public fear and affected the medical community's understanding of the role of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the development of CTE. There are a number of limitations posed by the current evidence that can lead to confusion within the public and scientific community. In this paper, the authors address common questions surrounding the science of CTE and propose future research directions.

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Kristin Huntoon, Edward H. Oldfield and Russell R. Lonser

Arvid Lindau, MD, PhD, consolidated the disparate array of benign and malignant visceral and nervous system lesions into the neoplastic syndrome known as von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. Based on this pioneering work, Dr. Lindau was awarded both a Rockefeller fellowship to work in Dr. Harvey Cushing's laboratory in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Lennmalm Prize. While working in Dr. Cushing's laboratory, Dr. Lindau continued his study of CNS hemangioblastomas. His work with Dr. Cushing led to their lifelong friendship and scientific collaboration. In this paper the authors describe Arvid Lindau's pioneering work in nervous system tumor pathology, his relationship to Dr. Cushing, and his role in advancing neurological surgery and research in Europe.