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G. Evren Keles, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Susan M. Chang, Michael D. Prados, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object. For patients with recurrent glioblastomas multiforme (GBMs) the prognosis is poor. Although chemotherapy may provide a survival advantage, the role of the extent of tumor resection, or the volume of the residual tumor at the time of recurrence, before instituting chemotherapy, is unclear. This study was designed to assess the response to chemotherapy based on the volume of residual disease (VRD) at the start of treatment in patients with recurrent GBMs. To accomplish this, the authors evaluated a homogeneous group of patients with recurrent GBMs who received the same chemotherapeutic agent.

Methods. One hundred nineteen adult patients with recurrent supratentorial GBMs received temozolomide chemotherapy at the time of tumor recurrence. In this cohort the authors analyzed the prognostic significance of volumetrically assessed tumor mass on time to tumor progression (TTP) and survival time (ST).

Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the VRD at the beginning of chemotherapy was a statistically significant predictor of both TTP (p < 0.0001) and ST (p < 0.006) when adjusted for the patient's age, performance score, and time from the initial diagnosis. Patients in whom the VRD was less than 10 cm3 at the start of chemotherapy had a 6-month progression-free survival rate of 32% compared with 8% for patients with a VRD between 10 and 15 cm3 and 3% for patients with a VRD larger than 15 cm3. Patients in whom the VRD was smaller than 10 cm3 had a 1-year survival rate of 37% compared with 9% for patients with a VRD between 10 and 15 cm3 and 18% for patients with a VRD larger than 15 cm3.

Conclusions. These data indicate that patients with recurrent GBMs who start chemotherapy with a smaller volume (< 10 cm3) of residual disease may have a more favorable response to chemotherapy and a more favorable outcome.

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Meic H. Schmidt, Mitchel S. Berger, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Ken Aldape, Michael W. McDermott, Michael D. Prados, and Susan M. Chang

Object. Progression of infiltrative low-grade gliomas (LGGs) has been reported previously. The limitations of such studies include diverse histological grading systems, intervening therapy, and the lack of histological confirmation of malignant tumor progression. The aim of this study was to determine tumor progression in adult patients with an initial diagnosis of infiltrative LGG who subsequently underwent a repeated operation, but no other intervening therapy. The authors examined factors that may be associated with tumor progression.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed a database of 300 patients with the initial diagnosis of LGG and who had been treated at their institution between 1990 and 2000. One hundred four of these patients had undergone a second surgery. Patients with infiltrative LGGs who had undergone two surgical procedures at least 3 months apart without intervening therapy were selected; the authors identified 40 patients who fit these criteria. Clinical, neuroimaging, and pathological data were centrally reviewed.

There were 29 men and 11 women in the study, whose median age was 35.5 years (range 23–48 years). At the time of the second surgery, 50% of patients had experienced tumor progression. Patients whose tumors had progressed had a longer median time to repeated operation (49 compared with 22.5 months). Patients who had undergone gross-total resection, as demonstrated on postoperative magnetic resonance images, had a median time to repeated operation of 49 compared with 25 and 24 months in patients who underwent subtotal resection and biopsy, respectively (p = 0.02). The extent of resection did not influence the likelihood of tumor progression (p > 0.3).

Conclusions. Fifty percent of patients with initially diagnosed infiltrative LGGs had tumor progression at the time of a repeated operation. A gross-total resection was associated with an increased time to repeated surgery. There was no statistically significant effect of gross-total resection as a predictor of tumor progression.

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Andrew T. Parsa, Scott Wachhorst, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Michael D. Prados, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, and Susan M. Chang

Object. The clinical outcome and treatment of adult patients with disseminated intracranial glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is unclear. The objective in the present study was to assess the prognostic significance of disseminated intracranial GBM in adults at presentation and at the time of tumor progression.

Methods. Clinical data from 1491 patients older than 17 years and harboring a GBM that had been diagnosed between 1988 and 1998 at the University of California at San Francisco neurooncology clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Dissemination of the GBM (126 patients) was determined based on Gd-enhanced magnetic resonance images. Classification of dissemination was as follows: Type I, single lesion with subependymal or subarachnoid spread; Type II, multifocal lesions without subependymal or subarachnoid spread; and Type III, multifocal lesions with subependymal or subarachnoid spread. Subgroups of patients were compared using Kaplan—Meier curves that depicted survival probability.

The median postprogression survival (PPS), defined according to neuroimaging demonstrated dissemination, was 37 weeks for Type I (23 patients), 25 weeks for Type II (50 patients), and 10 weeks for Type III spread (19 patients). Patients with dissemination at first tumor progression (52 patients) overall had a shorter PPS than those in a control group with local progression, after adjusting for age, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and time from tumor diagnosis to its progression (311 patients). When analyzed according to tumor dissemination type, PPS was significantly shorter in patients with Type II (33 patients, p < 0.01) and Type III spread (11 patients, p < 0.01) but not in those with Type I spread (eight patients, p = 0.18).

Conclusions. Apparently, the presence of intracranial tumor dissemination on initial diagnosis does not in itself preclude aggressive treatment if a patient is otherwise well. A single focus of GBM that later demonstrates Type I dissemination on progression does not have a worse prognosis than a lesion that exhibits only local recurrence.

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Edward F. Chang, Matthew B. Potts, G. Evren Keles, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Susan M. Chang, Nicholas M. Barbaro, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object

Seizures play an important role in the clinical presentation and postoperative quality of life of patients who undergo surgical resection of low-grade gliomas (LGGs). The aim of this study was to identify factors that influenced perioperative seizure characteristics and postoperative seizure control.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective chart review of all cases involving adult patients who underwent initial surgery for LGGs at the University of California, San Francisco between 1997 and 2003.

Results

Three hundred and thirty-two cases were included for analysis; 269 (81%) of the 332 patients presented with ≥ 1 seizures (generalized alone, 33%; complex partial alone, 16%; simple partial alone, 22%; and combination, 29%). Cortical location and oligodendroglioma and oligoastrocytoma subtypes were significantly more likely to be associated with seizures compared with deeper midline locations and astrocytoma, respectively (p = 0.017 and 0.001, respectively; multivariate analysis). Of the 269 patients with seizures, 132 (49%) had pharmacoresistant seizures before surgery. In these patients, seizures were more likely to be simple partial and to involve the temporal lobe, and the period from seizure onset to surgery was likely to have been longer (p = 0.0005, 0.0089, and 0.006, respectively; multivariate analysis). For the cohort of patients that presented with seizures, 12-month outcome after surgery (Engel class) was as follows: seizure free (I), 67%; rare seizures (II), 17%; meaningful seizure improvement (III), 8%; and no improvement or worsening (IV), 9%. Poor seizure control was more common in patients with longer seizure history (p < 0.001) and simple partial seizures (p = 0.004). With respect to treatment-related variables, seizure control was far more likely to be achieved after gross-total resection than after subtotal resection/biopsy alone (odds ratio 16, 95% confidence interval 2.2–124, p = 0.0064). Seizure recurrence after initial postoperative seizure control was associated with tumor progression (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

The majority of patients with LGG present with seizures; in approximately half of these patients, the seizures are pharmacoresistant before surgery. Postoperatively, > 90% of these patients are seizure free or have meaningful improvement. A shorter history of seizures and gross-total resection appear to be associated with a favorable prognosis for seizure control.

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G. Evren Keles, Edward F. Chang, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Tarik Tihan, Chih-Ju Chang, Susan M. Chang, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object

To investigate the prognostic significance of the volumetrically assessed extent of resection on time to tumor progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), and tumor recurrence patterns, the authors retrospectively analyzed preoperative and postoperative tumor volumes in 102 adult patients from the time of the initial resection of a hemispheric anaplastic astrocytoma (AA).

Methods

The quantification of tumor volumes was based on a previously described method involving computerized analysis of magnetic resonance (MR) images. Analysis of contrast-enhancing tumor volumes on T1-weighted MR images was conducted for 67 patients who had contrast-enhancing tumors. Measurements of T2 hyperintensity were obtained for all 102 patients in the study.

The presence or absence of preresection enhancement, actual volume of this enhancement, and the percentage of preoperative enhancement as it relates to the total T2 tumor volume did not have a statistically significant relationship to TTP or OS. In addition to age, the volume of residual disease measured on T2-weighted MR images was the most significant predictor of TTP (p < 0.001), and residual contrast-enhancing tumor volume was the most significant predictor of OS (p = 0.003) on multivariate analysis. In contrast to low-grade gliomas, there was no statistically significant relationship between the extent of resection and histological characteristics at the time of recurrence, that is, tumor Grade III compared with Grade IV.

Conclusions

Data from this retrospective analysis of a histologically uniform group of hemispheric AAs treated in the MR imaging era suggest that residual tumor volumes, as documented on postoperative imaging studies, may be a prognostic factor for TTP and OS for this patient population.

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Gurvinder Kaur, Orin Bloch, Brian J. Jian, Rajwant Kaur, Michael E. Sughrue, Manish K. Aghi, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, Susan M. Chang, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

The presence of cystic features in glioblastoma (GBM) has been described as a favorable prognostic factor. The aim of this study was to determine the survival outcome in patients undergoing surgery for newly diagnosed primary GBM with a large cystic component as compared with a large cohort of patients with noncystic GBM, while controlling for well-characterized prognostic factors.

Methods

A retrospective review of 354 consecutive patients treated with resection of primary GBM was performed using medical records and imaging information obtained at the University of California, San Francisco from 2005 to 2009. Within this cohort, 37 patients with large cysts (≥ 50% of tumor) were identified. Clinical presentations and surgical outcomes were statistically compared between the cystic and noncystic patients.

Results

There were no statistically significant differences in clinical presentation between groups, including differences in age, sex, presenting symptoms, tumor location, or preoperative functional status, with the exception of tumor size, which was marginally larger in the cystic group. Surgical outcomes, including extent of resection and postoperative functional status, were equivalent. The median actuarial survival for the patients with cystic GBM was 17.0 months (95% CI 12.6–21.3 months), and the median survival for patients with noncystic GBM was 15.9 months (95% CI 14.6–17.2 months). There was no significant between-groups difference in survival (p = 0.99, log-rank test). A Cox multivariate regression model was constructed, which identified only age and extent of resection as independent predictors of survival. The presence of a cyst was not a statistically significant prognostic factor.

Conclusions

This study, comprising the largest series of cases of primary cystic GBM reported in the literature to date, demonstrates that the presence of a large cyst in patients with GBM does not significantly affect overall survival as compared with survival in patients without a cyst. Preoperative discussions with patients with GBM should focus on validated prognostic factors. The presence of cystic features does not confer a survival advantage.

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Justin S. Smith, Soonmee Cha, Mary Catherine Mayo, Michael W. McDermott, Andrew T. Parsa, Susan M. Chang, William P. Dillon, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object

Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is an invaluable tool in the diagnosis of acute stroke and other types of brain injury. Abnormalities in and around the resection cavity on diffusion-weighted imaging have been observed following surgery for infiltrating glioma. The purpose of this study was to investigate prospectively the incidence, time course, and ultimate outcome of these abnormalities.

Methods

Forty-four consecutive patients with newly diagnosed gliomas were prospectively observed using serial MR imaging including diffusion-weighted sequences. Clinical and surgical data were also collected. Immediately postoperatively neuroimaging identified 28 patients (64%) in whom areas of reduced diffusion appeared in or around the resection cavity (mean volume 8.2 ± 1.5 cm3). Complete resolution of this reduced diffusion was demonstrated within 90 days in 24 patients (86%). On subsequent neuroimages these areas demonstrated Gd enhancement as early as postoperative Day 15 and as late as Day 198 and ultimately took on the appearance of encephalomalacia in 26 (93%) of 28 cases. Postoperative reduced diffusion was not predicted by the clinical or surgical parameters that were assessed. No clinical deficits were attributable to the reduced diffusion.

Conclusions

An abnormality related to diffusion-weighted sequences on postoperative MR imaging can occur after resection of newly diagnosed gliomas. In this study the abnormality typically resolved and was replaced by contrast enhancement on follow-up imaging, ultimately demonstrating encephalomalacia on long-term follow up. Findings on neuroimaging during the period of enhancement could be confused with recurrent tumor and interpreted as early treatment failure. Based on the findings of this study the authors strongly suggest that the inclusion of diffusion-weighted sequences in postoperative MR imaging is essential, as is MR imaging immediately before radiation therapy to monitor disease progression. A new enhancement observed after glioma surgery should be interpreted in the context of the diffusion-weighted image obtained immediately postoperatively.

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Edward F. Chang, Justin S. Smith, Susan M. Chang, Kathleen R. Lamborn, Michael D. Prados, Nicholas Butowski, Nicholas M. Barbaro, Andrew T. Parsa, Mitchel S. Berger, and Michael M. Mcdermott

Object

Hemispheric low-grade gliomas (LGGs) have an unpredictable progression and overall survival (OS) profile. As a result, the objective in the present study was to design a preoperative scoring system to prognosticate long-term outcomes in patients with LGGs.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review with long-term follow-up of 281 adults harboring hemispheric LGGs (World Health Organization Grade II lesions). Clinical and radiographic data were collected and analyzed to identify preoperative predictors of OS, progression-free survival (PFS), and extent of resection (EOR). These variables were used to devise a prognostic scoring system.

Results

The 5-year estimated survival probability was 0.86. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling demonstrated that 4 factors were associated with lower OS: presumed eloquent location (hazard ratio [HR] 4.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.71–10.42), Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≤ 80 (HR 3.53, 95% CI 1.56–8.00), patient age > 50 years (HR 1.96, 95% CI 1.47–3.77), and tumor diameter > 4 cm (HR 3.43, 95% CI 1.43–8.06). A scoring system calculated from the sum of these factors (range 0–4) demonstrated risk stratification across study groups, with the following 5-year cumulative survival estimates: Scores 0–1, OS = 0.97, PFS = 0.76; Score 2, OS = 0.81, PFS = 0.49; and Scores 3–4, OS = 0.56, PFS = 0.18 (p < 0.001 for both OS and PFS, log-rank test). This proposed scoring system demonstrated a high degree of interscorer reliability (kappa = 0.86). Four illustrative cases are described.

Conclusions

The authors propose a simple and reliable scoring system that can be used to preoperatively prognosticate the degree of lesion resectability, PFS, and OS in patients with LGGs. The application of a standardized scoring system for LGGs should improve clinical decision-making and allow physicians to reliably predict patient outcome at the time of the original imaging-based diagnosis.

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Seunggu J. Han, Isaac Yang, Jose J. Otero, Brian J. Ahn, Tarik Tihan, Michael W. McDermott, Mitchel S. Berger, Susan M. Chang, and Andrew T. Parsa

Object

Gliosarcoma can arise secondarily, after conventional adjuvant treatment of high-grade glioma. The current literature on the occurrence of secondary gliosarcoma (SGS) after glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is limited, with only 12 reported cases. The authors present a large series of histologically confirmed SGSs, with follow-up to describe the clinical and radiological presentation, pathological diagnosis, and treatment outcomes.

Methods

Gliosarcoma cases were identified using the University of California, San Francisco's Departments of Neurological Surgery and Neuropathology databases. Through a retrospective chart review, cases of gliosarcoma were considered SGS if the following inclusion criteria were met: 1) the patient had a previously diagnosed intracranial malignant glioma that did not have gliosarcoma components; and 2) the histopathological tissue diagnosis of the recurrence confirmed gliosarcoma according to the most current WHO criteria. Extensive review of clinical, surgical, and pathology notes was performed to gather clinical and pathological data on these cases.

Results

Thirty consecutive patients in whom SGS had been diagnosed between 1996 and 2008 were included in the analysis. All patients had previously received a diagnosis of malignant glioma. For the initial malignant glioma, all patients underwent resection, and 25 patients received both external-beam radiation and chemotherapy. Three patients received radiotherapy alone, 1 patient was treated with chemotherapy alone, and 1 patient's tumor rapidly recurred as gliosarcoma, requiring surgical intervention prior to initiation of adjuvant therapy. The median time from diagnosis of the initial tumor to diagnosis of gliosarcoma was 8.5 months (range 0.5–25 months). All but 1 patient (who only had a biopsy) underwent a second operation for gliosarcoma; 8 patients went on to receive radiotherapy (4 had brachytherapy, 3 had external-beam radiation, and 1 had Gamma Knife surgery); and 14 patients received additional chemotherapy. The median length of survival from the time of gliosarcoma diagnosis was 4.4 months (range 0.7–46 months). The median survival from the time of the original GBM diagnosis was 12.6 months (range 5.7–47.4 months). Patients who had received concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide for GBM had worse outcomes than those who had not (4.3 and 10.5 months, respectively; p = 0.045). There was no difference in time to diagnosis of gliosarcoma in these 2 groups (8 and 8.5 months; p = 0.387). Two patients who had not received radiation therapy for GBM had an anecdotally very prolonged survival (20.9 and 46.4 months).

Conclusions

The data underscore the difficulty associated with management of this disease. The strikingly poor survival of patients with SGS who had previously received combined radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy for GBM may reflect a unique molecular profile of GBM that eventually recurs as SGS. Further work will be required, controlling for multiple prognostic factors with larger numbers of patients.

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Edward F. Chang, Aaron Clark, Justin S. Smith, Mei-Yin Polley, Susan M. Chang, Nicholas M. Barbaro, Andrew T. Parsa, Michael W. McDermott, and Mitchel S. Berger

Object

Low-grade gliomas (LGGs) frequently infiltrate highly functional or “eloquent” brain areas. Given the lack of long-term survival data, the prognostic significance of eloquent brain tumor location and the role of functional mapping during resective surgery in presumed eloquent brain regions are unknown.

Methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of 281 cases involving adults who underwent resection of a supratentorial LGG at a brain tumor referral center. Preoperative MR images were evaluated blindly for involvement of eloquent brain areas, including the sensorimotor and language cortices, and specific subcortical structures. For high-risk tumors located in presumed eloquent brain areas, long-term survival estimates were evaluated for patients who underwent intraoperative functional mapping with electrocortical stimulation and for those who did not.

Results

One hundred and seventy-four patients (62%) had high-risk LGGs that were located in presumed eloquent areas. Adjusting for other known prognostic factors, patients with tumors in areas presumed to be eloquent had worse overall and progression-free survival (OS, hazard ratio [HR] 6.1, 95% CI 2.6–14.1; PFS, HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2–2.9; Cox proportional hazards). Confirmation of tumor overlapping functional areas during intraoperative mapping was strongly associated with shorter survival (OS, HR 9.6, 95% CI 3.6–25.9). In contrast, when mapping revealed that tumor spared true eloquent areas, patients had significantly longer survival, nearly comparable to patients with tumors that clearly involved only noneloquent areas, as demonstrated by preoperative imaging (OS, HR 2.9, 95% CI 1.0–8.5).

Conclusions

Presumed eloquent location of LGGs is an important but modifiable risk factor predicting disease progression and death. Delineation of true functional and nonfunctional areas by intraoperative mapping in high-risk patients to maximize tumor resection can dramatically improve long-term survival.