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Gamma Knife surgery for skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas

Toshinori Hasegawa, Dai Ishii, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Joji Koike, and Hiroshi Iizuka


The purpose of this study was to evaluate radiosurgical outcomes in skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas, and to determine which tumors are appropriate for stereotactic radiosurgery as adjuvant therapy following maximum tumor resection.


Thirty-seven patients (48 lesions) were treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS); 27 had chordomas, seven had chondrosarcomas, and three had radiologically diagnosed chordomas. The mean tumor volume was 20 ml, and the mean maximum and marginal doses were 28 and 14 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up period was 97 months from diagnosis and 59 months from GKS.


The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates after GKS were 80 and 53%, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year local tumor control (LTC) rates after single or multiple GKS sessions were 76 and 67%, respectively. All patients with low-grade chondrosarcomas achieved good LTC. A tumor volume of less than 20 ml significantly affected the high rate of LTC (p = 0.0182). No patient had adverse radiation effects, other than one in whom facial numbness worsened despite successful tumor control.


As an adjuvant treatment after resection, GKS is a reasonable option for selected patients harboring skull base chordomas or chondrosarcomas with a residual tumor volume of less than 20 ml. Dose planning with a generous treatment volume to avoid marginal treatment failure should be made at a marginal dose of at least 15 Gy to achieve long-term tumor control.

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Long-term results of gamma knife surgery for the treatment of craniopharyngioma in 98 consecutive cases

Tatsuya Kobayashi, Yoshihisa Kida, Yoshimasa Mori, and Toshinori Hasegawa


The authors analyzed the long-term outcomes of gamma knife surgery (GKS) for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas after microsurgery and the effects of dose reduction.


A total of 107 patients with craniopharyngiomas were treated with GKS at Komaki City Hospital during the past 12 years, and 98 patients were followed up for 6 to 148 months (mean 65.5 months). The mean tumor diameter and volume were 18.8 mm and 3.5 ml, respectively. These tumors were treated with a maximal dose of 21.8 Gy and a tumor margin dose of 11.5 Gy by using a mean of 4.5 isocenters. Final overall response rates were as follows: complete response 19.4%, partial response 67.4%, tumor control 79.6%, and tumor progression 20.4%. Reducing the tumor margin dose resulted in decreased therapeutic response and increased tumor progression, although the rate of visual and pituitary function loss also decreased. Among the factors examined, age (for adults) and the nature of the tumor (cystic or mixed) were statistically significant favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates were 94.1 and 91%, respectively. The progression-free survival rates were 60.8 and 53.8%, respectively. Patient outcomes were reportedly excellent in 45 cases, good in 23, fair in four, and poor in three; 16 patients died. Deterioration both in vision and endocrinological functions were documented as side effects in six patients (6.1%).


Stereotactic GKS is safe and effective, in the long term, as an adjuvant or boost therapy for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas after surgical removal and has minimal side effects. New treatment strategies must be devised to manage these tumors.

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Long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using gamma knife surgery: 10-year follow up

Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Yoshimasa Mori, and Jun Yoshida

Object. Gamma knife surgery (GKS) has been a safe and effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas in both the short and long term, although less is known about long-term outcomes in the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to clarify long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using GKS based on techniques in place in the early 1990s.

Methods. Eighty patients harboring a vestibular schwannoma (excluding neurofibromatosis Type 2) were treated using GKS between May 1991 and December 1993. Among these, 73 patients were assessed; seven were lost to follow up. The median duration of follow up was 135 months. The mean patient age at the time of GKS was 56 years old. The mean tumor volume was 6.3 cm3, and the mean maximal and marginal radiation doses applied to the tumor were 28.4 and 14.6 Gy, respectively. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were obtained in 71 patients. Forty-eight patients demonstrated partial tumor remission, 14 had tumors that remained stable, and nine demonstrated tumor enlargement or radiation-induced edema requiring resection. Patients with larger tumors did not fare as well as those with smaller lesions. The actuarial 10-year progression-free survival rate was 87% overall, and 93% in patients with tumor volumes less than 10 cm3. No patient experienced malignant transformation.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery remained an effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas for longer than 10 years. Although treatment failures usually occurred within 3 years after GKS, it is necessary to continue follow up in patients to reveal delayed tumor recurrence.