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Kyung-Jae Park, Hideyuki Kano, Aditya Iyer, Xiaomin Liu, Daniel A. Tonetti, Craig Lehocky, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

The authors of this study evaluate the long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for cavernous sinus meningioma (CSM).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively assessed treatment outcomes 5–18 years after SRS in 200 patients with CSM. The median patient age was 57 years (range 22–83 years). In total, 120 (60%) patients underwent Gamma Knife SRS as primary management, 46 (23%) for residual tumors, and 34 (17%) for recurrent tumors after one or more surgical procedures. The median tumor target volume was 7.5 cm3 (range 0.1–37.3 cm3), and the median margin dose was 13.0 Gy (range 10–20 Gy).

RESULTS

Tumor volume regressed in 121 (61%) patients, was unchanged in 49 (25%), and increased over time in 30 (15%) during a median imaging follow-up of 101 months. Actuarial tumor control rates at the 5-, 10-, and 15-year follow-ups were 92%, 84%, and 75%, respectively. Of the 120 patients who had undergone SRS as a primary treatment (primary SRS), tumor progression was observed in 14 (11.7%) patients at a median of 48.9 months (range 4.8–120.0 months) after SRS, and actuarial tumor control rates were 98%, 93%, 85%, and 85% at the 1-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year follow-ups post-SRS. A history of tumor progression after microsurgery was an independent predictor of an unfavorable response to radiosurgery (p = 0.009, HR = 4.161, 95% CI 1.438–12.045). Forty-four (26%) of 170 patients who had presented with at least one cranial nerve (CN) deficit improved after SRS. Development of new CN deficits after initial microsurgical resection was an unfavorable factor for improvement after SRS (p = 0.014, HR = 0.169, 95% CI 0.041–0.702). Fifteen (7.5%) patients experienced permanent CN deficits without evidence of tumor progression at a median onset of 9 months (range 2.3–85 months) after SRS. Patients with larger tumor volumes (≥ 10 cm3) were more likely to develop permanent CN complications (p = 0.046, HR = 3.629, 95% CI 1.026–12.838). Three patients (1.5%) developed delayed pituitary dysfunction after SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

This long-term study showed that Gamma Knife radiosurgery provided long-term tumor control for most patients with CSM. Patients who underwent SRS for progressive tumors after prior microsurgery had a greater chance of tumor growth than the patients without prior surgery or those with residual tumor treated after microsurgery.

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Seyed H. Mousavi, Berkcan Akpinar, Ajay Niranjan, Vikas Agarwal, Jonathan Cohen, John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Contrast enhancement of the retrogasserian trigeminal nerve on MRI scans frequently develops after radiosurgical ablation for the management of medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The authors sought to evaluate the clinical significance of this imaging finding in patients who underwent a second radiosurgical procedure for recurrent TN.

METHODS

During a 22-year period, 360 patients underwent Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as their first surgical procedure for TN at the authors' center. The authors retrospectively analyzed the data from 59 patients (mean age 72 years, range 33–89 years) who underwent repeat SRS for recurrent pain at a median of 30 months (range 6–146 months) after the first SRS. The isocenter was 4 mm, and the median maximum doses for the first and second procedures were 80 Gy and 70 Gy, respectively. A neuroradiologist and a neurosurgeon blinded to the treated side evaluated the presence of nerve contrast enhancement on MRI series at the time of the repeat procedure. The authors correlated the presence of this imaging change with clinical outcomes. Pain outcomes and development of trigeminal sensory dysfunction were evaluated with the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) Pain Scale and BNI Numbness Scale, respectively. The mean length of follow-up after the second SRS was 58 months (95% CI 49–68 months).

RESULTS

At the time of the repeat SRS, contrast enhancement of the trigeminal nerve on MRI scans was observed in 31 patients (53%). Five years after the SRS, patients with this enhancement had lower actuarial rates of complete pain relief after the repeat SRS (27% [95% CI 7%–47%]) than patients without the enhancement (76% [95% CI 58%–94%]) (p < 0.001). At the 5-year follow-up, patients with the contrast enhancement also had a higher risk for trigeminal sensory loss after repeat SRS (75% [95% CI 59%–91%]) than patients without contrast enhancement (26% [95% CI 10%–42%]) (p = 0.001). Dysesthetic pain after repeat SRS was observed for 8 patients with and for 2 patients without contrast enhancement.

CONCLUSIONS

Trigeminal nerve contrast enhancement on MRI scans observed at the time of a repeat SRS for TN was associated with less satisfactory pain control and more frequently detected facial sensory loss. Residual contrast enhancement at the time of a repeat SRS may warrant consideration of dose reduction or further separation of the radiosurgical targets.

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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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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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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.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Phillip V. Parry, L. Dade Lunsford, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger, Susan Rakfal, Yoshio Arai, Jay S. Loeffler, Stephen Rush, Jonathan P. S. Knisely, Jason Sheehan, William Friedman, Ahmad A. Tarhini, Lanie Francis, Frank Lieberman, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Mark E. Linskey, Michael McDermott, Paul Sperduto and Roger Stupp

Object

Estimating survival time in cancer patients is crucial for clinicians, patients, families, and payers. To provide appropriate and cost-effective care, various data sources are used to provide rational, reliable, and reproducible estimates. The accuracy of such estimates is unknown.

Methods

The authors prospectively estimated survival in 150 consecutive cancer patients (median age 62 years) with brain metastases undergoing radiosurgery. They recorded cancer type, number of brain metastases, neurological presentation, extracranial disease status, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, Recursive Partitioning Analysis class, prior whole-brain radiotherapy, and synchronous or metachronous presentation. Finally, the authors asked 18 medical, radiation, or surgical oncologists to predict survival from the time of treatment.

Results

The actual median patient survival was 10.3 months (95% CI 6.4–14). The median physician-predicted survival was 9.7 months (neurosurgeons = 11.8 months, radiation oncologists = 11.0 months, and medical oncologist = 7.2 months). For patients who died before 10 months, both neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists generally predicted survivals that were more optimistic and medical oncologists that were less so, although no group could accurately predict survivors alive at 14 months. All physicians had individual patient survival predictions that were incorrect by as much as 12–18 months, and 14 of 18 physicians had individual predictions that were in error by more than 18 months. Of the 2700 predictions, 1226 (45%) were off by more than 6 months and 488 (18%) were off by more than 12 months.

Conclusions

Although crucial, predicting the survival of cancer patients is difficult. In this study all physicians were unable to accurately predict longer-term survivors. Despite valuable clinical data and predictive scoring techniques, brain and systemic management often led to patient survivals well beyond estimated survivals.

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Neal Luther, Douglas Kondziolka, Hideyuki Kano, Seyed H. Mousavi, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The authors sought to better define the clinical response of patients who underwent stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases located in the region of the motor cortex.

Methods

A retrospective analysis was performed in 2026 patients with brain metastasis who underwent SRS with the Gamma Knife between 2002 and 2012, and multiple factors that affect motor function before and after SRS were evaluated. Ninety-four patients with tumors ≥ 1.5 cm in diameter located in or adjacent to the motor strip were identified, including 2 patients with bilateral motor strip metastases.

Results

Motor function improved after SRS in 30 (31%) of 96 cases, remained stable in 48 (50%), and worsened over time in 18 (19%) instances. Forty-seven patients had no motor weakness prior to radiosurgery; 10 (22%) developed new Grade 3/5–4/5 weakness. Thirty (68%) of 44 patients with ≥ 3/5 pre-SRS weakness improved, 6 (14%) remained stable, and 8 (18%) worsened. Three of 5 patients with < 3/5 pre-SRS motor function improved. Motor deficits prior to SRS did not correlate with a worse outcome; however, worse outcomes were associated with larger tumor volumes. The median tumor volume in patients whose function improved or remained stable was 5.3 cm3, but it was 9.2 cm3 in patients who worsened (p < 0.05). Tumor volumes > 9 cm3 were associated with a higher risk of worsening motor function. Adverse radiation effects occurred in 5 patients.

Conclusions

Most intact patients with brain metastases in or adjacent to motor cortex maintained neurological function after SRS, and most patients with symptomatic motor weakness remained stable or improved. Larger tumor volumes were associated with less satisfactory outcomes.

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Ali Kooshkabadi, L. Dade Lunsford, Daniel Tonetti, John C. Flickinger and Douglas Kondziolka

Object

The surgical management of disabling tremor has gained renewed vigor with the availability of deep brain stimulation. However, in the face of an aging population of patients with increasing surgical comorbidities, noninvasive approaches for tremor management are needed. The authors' purpose was to study the technique and results of stereotactic radiosurgery performed in the era of MRI targeting.

Methods

The authors evaluated outcomes in 86 patients (mean age 71 years; number of procedures 88) who underwent a unilateral Gamma Knife thalamotomy (GKT) for tremor during a 15-year period that spanned the era of MRI-based target selection (1996–2011). Symptoms were related to essential tremor in 48 patients (19 age ≥ 80 years and 3 age ≥ 90 years), Parkinson disease in 27 patients (11 age ≥ 80 years [1 patient underwent bilateral procedures]), and multiple sclerosis in 11 patients (1 patient underwent bilateral procedures). A single 4-mm isocenter was used to deliver a maximum dose of 140 Gy to the posterior-inferior region of the nucleus ventralis intermedius. The Fahn-Tolosa-Marin clinical tremor rating scale was used to grade tremor, handwriting, and ability to drink. The median follow-up was 23 months.

Results

The mean tremor score was 3.28 ± 0.79 before and 1.81 ± 1.15 after (p < 0.0001) GKT; the mean handwriting score was 2.78 ± 0.82 and 1.62 ± 1.04, respectively (p < 0.0001); and the mean drinking score was 3.14 ± 0.78 and 1.80 ± 1.15, respectively (p < 0.0001). After GKT, 57 patients (66%) showed improvement in all 3 scores, 11 patients (13%) in 2 scores, and 2 patients (2%) in just 1 score. In 16 patients (19%) there was a failure to improve in any score. Two patients developed a temporary contralateral hemiparesis, 1 patient noted dysphagia, and 1 sustained facial sensory loss.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife thalamotomy in the MRI era was a safe and effective noninvasive surgical strategy for medically refractory tremor in the elderly or those with contraindications to deep brain stimulation or stereotactic radiofrequency (thermal) thalamotomy.

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Georgios Zenonos, Douglas Kondziolka, John C. Flickinger, Paul Gardner and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Microsurgical management of foramen magnum meningiomas (FMMs) can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Stereotactic radiosurgery may be an efficient and safe alternative treatment modality for such tumors. The object of this study was to increase the documented experience with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for FMMs and to delineate its role in an overall management paradigm.

Methods

The authors report on their experience with 24 patients harboring FMMs managed with GKS. Twelve patients had primary symptomatic tumors, 5 had asymptomatic but enlarging primary tumors, and 7 had recurrent or residual tumors after a prior surgery.

Results

Follow-up clinical and imaging data were available in 21 patients at a median follow-up of 47 months (range 3–128 months). Ten patients had measurable tumor regression, which was defined as an overall volume reduction > 25%. Eleven patients had no further tumor growth. Two patients died as a result of advanced comorbidities before follow-up imaging. One patient was living 8 years after GKS but had no clinical evaluation. Ten of 17 symptomatic patients with at least 6 months of follow-up had symptom improvement, and 7 remained clinically stable. Smaller tumors were more likely to regress. No patient suffered an adverse radiation effect after radiosurgery.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery was a safe management strategy for small, minimally symptomatic, or growing FMMs as well as for residual tumors following conservative microsurgical removal.

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Douglas Kondziolka, Seyed H. Mousavi, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

Management recommendations for patients with smaller-volume or newly diagnosed vestibular schwannomas (< 4 cm3) need to be based on an understanding of the anticipated natural history of the tumor and the side effects it produces. The natural history can then be compared with the risks and benefits of therapeutic intervention using a minimally invasive strategy such as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods

The authors reviewed the emerging literature stemming from recent recommendations to “wait and scan” (observation) and compared this strategy with published outcomes after early intervention using SRS or results from matched cohort studies of resection and SRS.

Results

Various retrospective studies indicate that vestibular schwannomas grow at a rate of 0–3.9 mm per year and double in volume between 1.65 and 4.4 years. Stereotactic radiosurgery arrests growth in up to 98% of patients when studied at intervals of 10–15 years. Most patients who select “wait and scan” note gradually decreasing hearing function leading to the loss of useful hearing by 5 years. In contrast, current studies indicate that 3–5 years after Gamma Knife surgery, 61%–80% of patients maintain useful hearing (speech discrimination score > 50%, pure tone average < 50).

Conclusions

Based on published data on both volume and hearing preservation for both strategies, the authors devised a management recommendation for patients with small vestibular schwannomas. When resection is not chosen by the patient, the authors believe that early SRS intervention, in contrast to observation, results in long-term tumor control and improved rates of hearing preservation.