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Zachary A. Seymour, Penny K. Sneed, Nalin Gupta, Michael T. Lawton, Annette M. Molinaro, William Young, Christopher F. Dowd, Van V. Halbach, Randall T. Higashida, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECT

Large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remain difficult to treat, and ideal treatment parameters for volume-staged stereotactic radiosurgery (VS-SRS) are still unknown. The object of this study was to compare VS-SRS treatment outcomes for AVMs larger than 10 ml during 2 eras; Era 1 was 1992-March 2004, and Era 2 was May 2004–2008. In Era 2 the authors prospectively decreased the AVM treatment volume, increased the radiation dose per stage, and shortened the interval between stages.

METHODS

All cases of VS-SRS treatment for AVM performed at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS

Of 69 patients intended for VS-SRS, 63 completed all stages. The median patient age at the first stage of VS-SRS was 34 years (range 9–68 years). The median modified radiosurgery-based AVM score (mRBAS), total AVM volume, and volume per stage in Era 1 versus Era 2 were 3.6 versus 2.7, 27.3 ml versus 18.9 ml, and 15.0 ml versus 6.8 ml, respectively. The median radiation dose per stage was 15.5 Gy in Era 1 and 17.0 Gy in Era 2, and the median clinical follow-up period in living patients was 8.6 years in Era 1 and 4.8 years in Era 2. All outcomes were measured from the first stage of VS-SRS. Near or complete obliteration was more common in Era 2 (log-rank test, p = 0.0003), with 3- and 5-year probabilities of 5% and 21%, respectively, in Era 1 compared with 24% and 68% in Era 2. Radiosurgical dose, AVM volume per stage, total AVM volume, era, compact nidus, Spetzler-Martin grade, and mRBAS were significantly associated with near or complete obliteration on univariate analysis. Dose was a strong predictor of response (Cox proportional hazards, p < 0.001, HR 6.99), with 3- and 5-year probabilities of near or complete obliteration of 5% and 16%, respectively, at a dose < 17 Gy versus 23% and 74% at a dose ≥ 17 Gy. Dose per stage, compact nidus, and total AVM volume remained significant predictors of near or complete obliteration on multivariate analysis. Seventeen patients (25%) had salvage surgery, SRS, and/or embolization. Allowing for salvage therapy, the probability of cure was more common in Era 2 (log-rank test, p = 0.0007) with 5-year probabilities of 0% in Era 1 versus 41% in Era 2. The strong trend toward improved cure in Era 2 persisted on multivariate analysis even when considering mRBAS (Cox proportional hazards, p = 0.055, HR 4.01, 95% CI 0.97–16.59). The complication rate was 29% in Era 1 compared with 13% in Era 2 (Cox proportional hazards, not significant).

CONCLUSIONS

VS-SRS is an option to obliterate or downsize large AVMs. Decreasing the AVM treatment volume per stage to ≤ 8 ml with this technique allowed a higher dose per fraction and decreased time to response, as well as improved rates of near obliteration and cure without increasing complications. Reducing the volume of these very large lesions can facilitate a surgical approach for cure.

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Penny K. Sneed, Joe Mendez, Johanna G. M. Vemer-van den Hoek, Zachary A. Seymour, Lijun Ma, Annette M. Molinaro, Shannon E. Fogh, Jean L. Nakamura, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECT

The authors sought to determine the incidence, time course, and risk factors for overall adverse radiation effect (ARE) and symptomatic ARE after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases.

METHODS

All cases of brain metastases treated from 1998 through 2009 with Gamma Knife SRS at UCSF were considered. Cases with less than 3 months of follow-up imaging, a gap of more than 8 months in imaging during the 1st year, or inadequate imaging availability were excluded. Brain scans and pathology reports were reviewed to ensure consistent scoring of dates of ARE, treatment failure, or both; in case of uncertainty, the cause of lesion worsening was scored as indeterminate. Cumulative incidence of ARE and failure were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method with censoring at last imaging. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Among 435 patients and 2200 brain metastases evaluable, the median patient survival time was 17.4 months and the median lesion imaging follow-up was 9.9 months. Calculated on the basis of 2200 evaluable lesions, the rates of treatment failure, ARE, concurrent failure and ARE, and lesion worsening with indeterminate cause were 9.2%, 5.4%, 1.4%, and 4.1%, respectively. Among 118 cases of ARE, approximately 60% were symptomatic and 85% occurred 3–18 months after SRS (median 7.2 months). For 99 ARE cases managed without surgery or bevacizumab, the probabilities of improvement observed on imaging were 40%, 57%, and 76% at 6, 12, and 18 months after onset of ARE. The most important risk factors for ARE included prior SRS to the same lesion (with 20% 1-year risk of symptomatic ARE vs 3%, 4%, and 8% for no prior treatment, prior whole brain radiotherapy [WBRT], or concurrent WBRT) and any of these volume parameters: target, prescription isodose, 12-Gy, or 10-Gy volume. Excluding lesions treated with repeat SRS, the 1-year probabilities of ARE were < 1%, 1%, 3%, 10%, and 14% for maximum diameter 0.3–0.6 cm, 0.7–1.0 cm, 1.1–1.5 cm, 1.6–2.0 cm, and 2.1–5.1 cm, respectively. The 1-year probabilities of symptomatic ARE leveled off at 13%–14% for brain metastases maximum diameter > 2.1 cm, target volume > 1.2 cm3, prescription isodose volume > 1.8 cm3,12-Gy volume > 3.3 cm3, and 10-Gy volume > 4.3 cm3, excluding lesions treated with repeat SRS. On both univariate and multivariate analysis, capecitabine, but not other systemic therapy within 1 month of SRS, appeared to increase ARE risk. For the multivariate analysis considering only metastases with target volume > 1.0 cm3, risk factors for ARE included prior SRS, kidney primary tumor, connective tissue disorder, and capecitabine.

CONCLUSIONS

Although incidence of ARE after SRS was low overall, risk increased rapidly with size and volume, leveling off at a 1-year cumulative incidence of 13%–14%. This study describes the time course of ARE and provides risk estimates by various lesion characteristics and treatment parameters to aid in decision-making and patient counseling.

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Adib A. Abla, William Caleb Rutledge, Zachary A. Seymour, Diana Guo, Helen Kim, Nalin Gupta, Penny K. Sneed, Igor J. Barani, David Larson, Michael W. McDermott, and Michael T. Lawton

OBJECT

The surgical treatment of many large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is associated with substantial risks, and many are considered inoperable. Furthermore, AVMs larger than 3 cm in diameter are not usually treated with conventional single-session radiosurgery encompassing the entire AVM volume. Volume-staged stereotactic radiosurgery (VS-SRS) is an option for large AVMs, but it has mixed results. The authors report on a series of patients with high-grade AVMs who underwent multiple VS-SRS sessions with resultant downgrading of the AVMs, followed by resection.

METHODS

A cohort of patients was retrieved from a single-institution AVM patient registry consisting of prospectively collected data. VS-SRS was performed as a planned intentional treatment. Surgery was considered as salvage therapy in select patients.

RESULTS

Sixteen AVMs underwent VS-SRS followed by surgery. Four AVMs presented with rupture. The mean patient age was 25.3 years (range 13–54 years). The average initial Spetzler-Martin grade before any treatment was 4, while the average supplemented Spetzler-Martin grade (Spetzler-Martin plus Lawton-Young) was 7.1. The average AVM size in maximum dimension was 5.9 cm (range 3.3–10 cm). All AVMs were supratentorial in location and all except one were in eloquent areas of the brain, with 7 involving primary motor cortex. The mean number of VS-SRS sessions was 2.7 (range 2–5 sessions). The mean interval between first VS-SRS session and resection was 5.7 years. There were 4 hemorrhages that occurred after VS-SRS. The average Spetzler-Martin grade was reduced to 2.5 (downgrade, −1.5) and the average supplemented Spetzler-Martin grade was reduced to 5.6 (downgrade, −1.5). The maximum AVM size was reduced to an average of 3.0 cm (downsize = −2.9 cm). The mean modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores were 1.2, 2.3, and 2.2 before VS-SRS, before surgery, and at last follow-up, respectively (mean follow-up, 6.9 years). Fifteen AVMs were cured after surgery. Ten patients had good outcomes at last follow-up (7 with mRS Score 0 or 1, and 3 with mRS Score 2). There were 2 deaths (both mRS Score 1 before treatment) and 4 patients with mRS Score 3 outcome (from mRS Scores 0, 1, and 2 [n = 2]).

CONCLUSIONS

Volume-staged SRS can downgrade AVMs, transforming high-grade AVMs (initially considered inoperable) into operable AVMs with acceptable surgical risks. This treatment paradigm offers an alternative to conservative observation for young patients with unruptured AVMs and long life expectancy, where the risk of hemorrhage is substantial. Difficult AVMs were cured in 15 patients. Surgical morbidity associated with downgraded AVMs is reduced to that of postradiosurgical/preoperative supplemented Spetzler-Martin grades, not their initial AVM grades.

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David R. Raleigh, Zachary A. Seymour, Bryan Tomlin, Philip V. Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S. Berger, Manish K. Aghi, Sarah E. Geneser, Devan Krishnamurthy, Shannon E. Fogh, Penny K. Sneed, and Michael W. McDermott

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with or without whole-brain radiotherapy can be used to achieve local control (> 90%) for small brain metastases after resection. However, many brain metastases are unsuitable for SRS because of their size or previous treatment, and whole-brain radiotherapy is associated with significant neurocognitive morbidity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and toxicity of surgery and iodine-125 (125I) brachytherapy for brain metastases.

METHODS

A total of 95 consecutive patients treated for 105 brain metastases at a single institution between September 1997 and July 2013 were identified for this analysis retrospectively. Each patient underwent MRI followed by craniotomy with resection of metastasis and placement of 125I sources as permanent implants. The patients were followed with serial surveillance MRIs. The relationships among local control, overall survival, and necrosis were estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with results of log-rank tests and multivariate regression models.

RESULTS

The median age at surgery was 59 years (range 29.9–81.6 years), 53% of the lesions had been treated previously, and the median preoperative metastasis volume was 13.5 cm3 (range 0.21–76.2 cm3). Gross-total resection was achieved in 81% of the cases. The median number of 125I sources implanted per cavity was 28 (range 4–93), and the median activity was 0.73 mCi (range 0.34–1.3 mCi) per source. A total of 476 brain MRIs were analyzed (median MRIs per patient 3; range 0–22). Metastasis size was the strongest predictor of cavity volume and shrinkage (p < 0.0001). Multivariable regression modeling failed to predict the likelihood of local progression or necrosis according to metastasis volume, cavity volume, or the rate of cavity remodeling regardless of source activity or previous SRS. The median clinical follow-up time in living patients was 14.4 months (range 0.02–13.6 years), and crude local control was 90%. Median overall survival extended from 2.1 months in the shortest quartile to 62.3 months in the longest quartile (p < 0.0001). The overall risk of necrosis was 15% and increased significantly for lesions with a history of previous SRS (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

Therapeutic options for patients with large or recurrent brain metastases are limited. Data from this study suggest that resection with permanent 125I brachytherapy is an effective strategy for achieving local control of brain metastasis. Although metastasis volume significantly influences resection cavity size and remodeling, volumetric parameters do not seem to influence local control or necrosis. With careful patient selection, this treatment regimen is associated with minimal toxicity and can result in long-term survival for some patients.

▪ CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: retrospective case series; evidence: Class IV.

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Zachary A. Seymour, Jason W. Chan, Michael W. McDermott, Inga Grills, Hong Ye, Hideyuki Kano, Craig A. Lehocky, Rachel C. Jacobs, L. Dade Lunsford, Tomas Chytka, Roman Liščák, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-che Yang, Dale Ding, Jason P. Sheehan, Caleb E. Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Veronica L. Chiang, Judith A. Hess, Samuel Sommaruga, Brendan McShane, John Y. K. Lee, Lucas T. Vasas, Anthony M. Kaufmann, and Penny K. Sneed

OBJECTIVE

The optimal treatment paradigm for large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) is controversial. One approach is volume-staged stereotactic radiosurgery (VS-SRS). The authors previously reported efficacy of VS-SRS for large AVMs in a multiinstitutional cohort; here they focus on risk of symptomatic adverse radiation effects (AREs).

METHODS

This is a multicentered retrospective review of patients treated with a planned prospective volume staging approach to stereotactically treat the entire nidus of an AVM, with volume stages separated by intervals of 3–6 months. A total of 9 radiosurgical centers treated 257 patients with VS-SRS between 1991 and 2016. The authors evaluated permanent, transient, and total ARE events that were symptomatic.

RESULTS

Patients received 2–4 total volume stages. The median age was 33 years at the time of the first SRS volume stage, and the median follow-up was 5.7 years after VS-SRS. The median total AVM nidus volume was 23.25 cm3 (range 7.7–94.4 cm3), with a median margin dose per stage of 17 Gy (range 12–20 Gy). A total of 64 patients (25%) experienced an ARE, of which 19 were permanent. Rather than volume, maximal linear dimension in the Z (craniocaudal) dimension was associated with toxicity; a threshold length of 3.28 cm was associated with an ARE, with a 72.5% sensitivity and a 58.3% specificity. In addition, parietal lobe involvement for superficial lesions and temporal lobe involvement for deep lesions were associated with an ARE.

CONCLUSIONS

Size remains the dominant predictor of toxicity following SRS, but overall rates of AREs were lower than anticipated based on baseline features, suggesting that dose and size were relatively dissociated through volume staging. Further techniques need to be assessed to optimize outcomes.