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Mohamed Elsharkawy, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Most intracranial schwannomas arise from cranial nerve (CN) VIII. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a mainstay of treatment for vestibular schwannomas. Intracranial schwannomas arising from other CNs are much less common. We evaluate the efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery on nonvestibular schwannomas including trigeminal, hypoglossal, abducent, facial, trochlear, oculomotor, glossopharyngeal, and jugular foramen tumors.

Methods

Thirty-six patients with nonvestibular schwannomas were treated at the University of Virginia Gamma Knife center from 1989 to 2008. The median patient age was 48 years (mean 45.6 years, range 10–72 years). Schwannomas arose from the following CNs: CN III (in 1 patient), CN IV (in 1), CN V (in 25), CN VI (in 2), CN VII (in 1), CN IX (in 1), and CN XII (in 3). In 2 patients, tumors arose from the jugular foramen. The median tumor volume was 2.9 cm3 (mean 3.3 cm3, range 0.07–8.8 cm3). The median margin dose was 13.5 Gy (range 9.3–20 Gy); the median maximum dose was 30 Gy (range 21.7–50.0 Gy).

Results

The mean and median follow-up times of 36 patients were 54 and 37 months, respectively (range 2–180 months). At the last radiological follow-up, the tumor size had decreased in 20 patients, remained stable in 9 patients, and increased in 7 patients. The 2-year actuarial progression-free survival was 91%. Higher maximum dose was statistically related to tumor control (p = 0.027).

Thirty-three patients had adequate clinical follow-up. Among them, 21 patients had improvement in their presenting symptoms, 8 patients were stable after treatment with no worsening of their presenting symptoms, 2 patients developed new symptoms, and 1 patient experienced symptom deterioration. Notably, 1 patient with neurofibromatosis Type 2 developed new symptoms that were unrelated to the tumor treated with Gamma Knife surgery.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is a reasonably effective treatment option for patients with nonvestibular schwannomas. Patients require careful follow-up for tumor progression and signs of neurological deterioration.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Gregory Patterson, David Schlesinger, and Zhiyuan Xu

Object

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a challenging psychiatric condition associated with anxiety and ritualistic behaviors. Although medical management and psychiatric therapy are effective for many patients, severe and extreme cases may prove refractory to these approaches. The authors evaluated their experience with Gamma Knife (GK) capsulotomy in treating patients with severe OCD.

Methods

A retrospective review of an institutional review board–approved prospective clinical GK database was conducted for patients treated for severe OCD. All patients were evaluated preoperatively by at least one psychiatrist, and their condition was deemed refractory to pharmacological and psychiatric therapy.

Results

Five patients were identified. Gamma Knife surgery with the GK Perfexion unit was used to target the anterior limb of the internal capsule bilaterally. A single 4-mm isocenter was used; maximum radiation doses of 140–160 Gy were delivered. All 5 patients were preoperatively and postoperatively assessed for clinical response by using both subjective and objective metrics, including the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS); 4 of the 5 patients had postoperative radiological follow-up. The median clinical follow-up was 24 months (range 6–33 months). At the time of radiosurgery, all patients had YBOCS scores in the severe or extreme range (median 32, range 31–34). At the last follow-up, 4 (80%) of the 5 patients showed marked clinical improvement; in the remaining patient (20%), mild improvement was seen. The median YBOCS score was 13 (range 12–31) at the last follow-up. Neuroimaging studies at 6 months after GK treatment demonstrated a small area of enhancement corresponding to the site of the isocenter and some mild T2 signal changes in the internal capsule. No adverse clinical effects were noted from the radiosurgery.

Conclusions

For patients with severe OCD refractory to medications and psychiatric therapy, GK capsulotomy afforded clinical improvement. Further study of this approach seems warranted.

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Arnaldo Neves Da Silva, Kazuki Nagayama, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Unlike whole-brain radiation therapy, Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is delivered in a single session for the treatment of brain metastases. The extent to which GKS can facilitate early tumor control was the focus of this study.

Methods

The authors reviewed 134 metastatic lesions in 82 patients treated with GKS at the University of Virginia who underwent follow-up MR imaging within 30 days or less of GKS. For accurate volumetry only tumors measuring 0.5 cm3 or greater in volume were included. Radiological review as well as tumor volumetry was performed to assess the tumor's response to GKS. Tumors were characterized as either enlarged (> 15% volume increase), stable (follow-up volume ± 15% of the initial volume), or decreased (> 15% volume decrease). A multivariate analysis was performed to determine factors related to each volume outcome group.

Results

Within the first month following GKS, a decrease was observed in 47.8% of the tumors. Tumor reduction varied according to carcinoma histopathological subtype, with 46.4% of non–small cell lung carcinomas, 70% of breast carcinomas, and 22.6% of melanomas showing volume reduction within 30 days after GKS. The mean volume decrease was 41.7%. For the remaining tumors, 41% were stable and 11.2% increased in volume. The overall analysis showed that there was a significant difference in percentage tumor change according to histopathological type (p < 0.001). There was a trend toward increased tumor reduction in those carcinoma types that are traditionally viewed as radiation sensitive (breast and non–small cell lung carcinomas).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery can offer patients early substantial volume reduction in many brain metastases. In instances in which early volume reduction of limited intracranial disease is desired, GKS may be used alone or before whole brain radiation therapy.

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Adomas Bunevicius, Darrah Sheehan, Mary Lee Vance, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is used for the management of residual or recurrent Cushing’s disease (CD). Increasing experience and technological advancements of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) systems can impact the outcomes of CD patients. The authors evaluated the association of their center’s growing experience and the era in which GKRS was performed with treatment success and adverse events in patients with CD.

METHODS

The authors studied consecutive patients with CD treated with GKRS at the University of Virginia since installation of the first Gamma Knife system in March 1989 through August 2019. They compared endocrine remission and complication rates between patients treated before 2000 (early cohort) and those who were treated in 2000 and later (contemporary cohort).

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-four patients with CD underwent GKRS during the study period: 55 patients (41%) comprised the early cohort, and 79 patients (59%) comprised the contemporary cohort. The contemporary cohort, compared with the early cohort, had a significantly greater treatment volume, radiation prescription dose, maximal dose to the optic chiasm, and number of isocenters, and they more often had cavernous sinus involvement. Endocrine remission rates were higher in the contemporary cohort when compared with the early cohort (82% vs 66%, respectively; p = 0.01). In a Cox regression analysis adjusted for demographic, clinical, and SRS characteristics, the contemporary GKRS cohort had a higher probability of endocrine remission than the early cohort (HR 1.987, 95% CI 1.234–3.199; p = 0.005). The tumor control rate, incidence of cranial nerve neuropathy, and new anterior pituitary deficiency were similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Technological advancements over the years and growing center experience were important factors for improved endocrine remission rates in patients with CD. Technological aspects and results of contemporary Gamma Knife systems should be considered when counseling patients, planning treatment, and reporting treatment results. Studies exploring the learning curve for GKRS are warranted.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The authors review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and their correlation to postradiosurgery adverse radiation effects (AREs).

METHODS

From a prospective institutional review board–approved database, the authors identified patients with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up and thin-slice T2-weighted MRI sequences for volumetric analysis. A total of 105 AVM patients were included. The authors analyzed the incidence and quantitative changes in AREs as a function of time after GKRS. Statistical analysis was performed to identify factors related to ARE development and changes in the ARE index.

RESULTS

The median clinical follow-up was 53.8 months (range 24–212.4 months), and the median MRI follow-up was 36.8 months (range 24–212.4 months). 47.6% of patients had an AVM with a Spetzler-Martin grade ≥ III. The median administered margin and maximum doses were 22 and 40 Gy, respectively. The overall obliteration rate was 70.5%. Of patients who showed complete obliteration, 74.4% developed AREs within 4–6 months after GKRS. Late-onset AREs (i.e., > 12 months) correlated to a failure to obliterate the nidus. 58.1% of patients who developed appreciable AREs (defined as ARE index > 8) proceeded to have a complete nidus obliteration. Appreciable AREs were found to be influenced by AVM nidus volume > 3 ml, lobar location, number of draining veins and feeding arteries, prior embolization, and higher margin dose. On the other hand, a minimum ARE index > 8 predicted obliteration (p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

ARE development after radiosurgery follows a temporal pattern peaking at 7–12 months after stereotactic radiosurgery. The ARE index serves as an important adjunct tool in patient follow-up and outcome prediction.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Han-Hsun Shih, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Melanoma represents the third most common cause of CNS metastases. Immunotherapy has evolved as a treatment option for patients with Stage IV melanoma. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) also elicits an immune response within the brain and may interact with immunotherapy. The authors report on a cohort of patients treated for brain metastases with immunotherapy and evaluate the effect of SRS timing on the intracranial response.

METHODS

All consecutively treated melanoma patients receiving ipilimumab and SRS for treatment of brain metastases at the University of Virginia between 2009 and 2014 were included in this retrospective analysis; data from 46 patients harboring 232 brain metastases were reviewed. The median duration of clinical follow-up was 7.9 months (range 3–42.6 months). The median age of the patients was 63 years (range 24.3–83.6 years). Thirty-two patients received SRS before or during ipilimumab cycles (Group A), whereas 14 patients received SRS after ipilimumab treatment (Group B). Radiographic and clinical responses were assessed at approximately 3-month intervals after SRS.

RESULTS

The 2 cohorts were comparable in pertinent baseline characteristics with the exception of SRS timing relative to ipilimumab. Local recurrence–free duration (LRFD) was significantly longer in Group A (median 19.6 months, range 1.1–34.7 months) than in Group B patients (median 3 months, range 0.4–20.4 months) (p = 0.002). Post-SRS perilesional edema was more significant in Group A.

CONCLUSIONS

The effect of SRS and ipilimumab on LRFD seems greater when SRS is performed before or during ipilimumab treatments. The timing of immunotherapy and SRS may affect LRFD and postradiosurgical edema. The interactions between immunotherapy and SRS warrant further investigation so as to optimize the therapeutic benefits and mitigate the risks associated with multimodality, targeted therapy.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Zhiyuan Xu, Britney Popp, Leigh Kowalski, and David Schlesinger

Object

The survival of patients with high-grade gliomas remains unfavorable. Mibefradil, a T-type calcium channel inhibitor capable of synchronizing dividing cells at the G1 phase, has demonstrated potential benefit in conjunction with chemotherapeutic agents for gliomas in in vitro studies. In vivo study of mibefradil and radiosurgery is lacking. The authors used an intracranial C6 glioma model in rats to study tumor response to mibefradil and radiosurgery.

Methods

Two weeks after implantation of C6 cells into the animals, each rat underwent MRI every 2 weeks thereafter for 8 weeks. After tumor was confirmed on MRI, the rats were randomly assigned to one of the experimental groups. Tumor volumes were measured on MR images. Experimental Group 1 received 30 mg/kg of mibefradil intraperitoneally 3 times a day for 1 week starting on postoperative day (POD) 15; Group 2 received 8 Gy of cranial radiation via radiosurgery delivered on POD 15; Group 3 underwent radiosurgery on POD 15, followed by 1 week of mibefradil; and Group 4 received mibefradil on POD 15 for 1 week, followed by radiosurgery sometime from POD 15 to POD 22. Twenty-seven glioma-bearing rats were analyzed. Survival was compared between groups using Kaplan-Meier methodology.

Results

Median survival in Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 35, 31, 43, and 52 days, respectively (p = 0.036, log-rank test). Two animals in Group 4 survived to POD 60, which is twice the expected survival of untreated animals in this model. Analysis of variance and a post hoc test indicated no tumor volume differences on PODs 15 and 29. However, significant volume differences were found on POD 43; mean tumor volumes for Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 250, 266, 167, and 34 mm3, respectively (p = 0.046, ANOVA). A Cox proportional hazards regression test showed survival was associated with tumor volume on POD 29 (p = 0.001) rather than on POD 15 (p = 0.162). In vitro assays demonstrated an appreciable and dose-dependent increase in apoptosis between 2- and 7-μM concentrations of mibefradil.

Conclusions

Mibefradil response is schedule dependent and enhances survival and reduces glioblastoma when combined with ionizing radiation.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, Colin J. Przybylowski, Patrick D. Melmer, and David Schlesinger

OBJECT

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been shown to offer a high probability of tumor control for Grade I meningiomas. However, SRS can sometimes incite edema or exacerbate preexisting edema around the targeted meningioma. The current study evaluates the incidence, timing, and degree of edema around parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas following SRS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was undertaken of a prospectively maintained database of patients treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery at the University of Virginia Health System. All patients with WHO Grade I parafalcine or parasagittal meningiomas with at least 6 months of clinical follow-up were identified, resulting in 61 patients included in the study. The median radiographic follow-up was 28 months (range 6–158 months). Rates of new or worsening edema were quantitatively assessed using volumetric analysis; edema indices were computed as a function of time following radiosurgery. Statistical methods were used to identify favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors for new or worsening edema.

RESULTS

Progression-free survival at 2 and 5 years was 98% and 90%, respectively, according to Kaplan-Meier analysis. After SRS, new peritumoral edema occurred or preexisting edema worsened in 40% of treated meningiomas. The median time to onset of peak edema was 36 months post-SRS. Persistent and progressive edema was associated with 11 tumors, and resection was undertaken for these lesions. However, 20 patients showed initial edema progression followed by regression at a median of 18 months after radiosurgery (range 6–24 months). Initial tumor volume greater than 10 cm3, absence of prior resection, and higher margin dose were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with increased risk of new or progressive edema after SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers a high rate of tumor control in patients with parasagittal or parafalcine meningiomas. However, it can lead to worsening peritumoral edema in a minority of patients. Following radiosurgery, transient edema occurs earlier than persistent and progressive edema. Longitudinal follow-up of meningioma patients after SRS is required to detect and appropriately treat transient as well as progressive edema.

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Ching-Hsiao Cheng, R. Webster Crowley, Chun-Po Yen, David Schlesinger, Mark E. Shaffrey, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) has emerged as the treatment of choice for small- to medium-sized cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in deep locations. The present study aims to investigate the outcomes of GKS for AVMs in the basal ganglia and thalamus.

Methods

Between 1989 and 2007, 85 patients with AVMs in the basal ganglia and 97 in the thalamus underwent GKS and were followed up for more than 2 years. The nidus volumes ranged from 0.1 to 29.4 cm3 (mean 3.4 cm3). The mean margin dose at the initial GKS was 21.3 Gy (range 10–28 Gy). Thirty-six patients underwent repeat GKS for residual AVMs at a median 4 years after initial GKS. The mean margin dose at repeat GKS was 21.1 Gy (range 7.5–27 Gy).

Results

Following a single GKS, total obliteration of the nidus was confirmed on angiograms in 91 patients (50%). In 12 patients (6.6%) a subtotal obliteration was achieved. No flow voids were observed on MR imaging in 14 patients (7.7%). Following single or repeat GKS, total obliteration was angiographically confirmed in 106 patients (58.2%) and subtotal obliteration in 8 patients (4.4%). No flow voids on MR imaging were observed in 18 patients (9.9%). The overall obliteration rates following one or multiple GKSs based on MR imaging or angiography was 68%. A small nidus volume, high margin dose, low number of isocenters, and no history of embolization were significantly associated with an increased rate of obliteration. Twenty-one patients experienced 25 episodes of hemorrhage in 850 risk-years following GKS, yielding an annual hemorrhage rate of 2.9%. Four patients died in this series: 2 due to complications of hemorrhage and 2 due to unrelated diseases. Permanent neurological deficits caused by radiation were noted in 9 patients (4.9%).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery offers a reasonable chance of obliterating basal ganglia and thalamic AVMs and does so with a low risk of complications. It is an optimal treatment option in patients for whom the anticipated risk of microsurgery is too high.

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Bhuvaneswara R. Basina, Claire Olson, Dibyendu Kumar Roy, Chun-Po Yen, David Schlesinger, Kazuki Nagayama, and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is frequently used to treat patients with metastasis to the brain. Radiosurgery seeks to limit radiation to the brain tissue surrounding the metastatic deposits. In patients with such lesions, a low radiation dose to the eloquent brain may help to prevent adverse effects. In this study the authors aimed to quantify the radiosurgical dose delivered to the anterior temporal structures in cases of metastatic brain lesions. They also evaluated the incidence and timing of new metastases in the anterior temporal lobes (ATLs) in patient cohorts that underwent GKS with or without whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT).

Methods

The authors retrospectively analyzed 100 patients with metastatic brain lesions treated with GKS at the University of Virginia Health System. The anterior 5 cm of the temporal lobes and the hippocampi within the ATLs were contoured on the Gamma Knife planning station. Using the dose-volume histogram function in GammaPlan, treatment parameters for the metastases as well as radiation doses to the contoured ATLs and hippocampi were measured. Patients had clinical and MR imaging follow-ups at 3-month intervals. The ATLs and hippocampal regions were evaluated for the formation of new metastases on follow-up imaging.

Results

The demographic data—age, sex, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, number of temporal metastases at the time of GKS, total volume of metastatic tumors per patient, and number of intracranial metastatic deposits—were similar in the 2 cohorts. In patients without an ATL metastasis at the time of GKS, the mean maximum, 50% volume, and integral doses of radiation to the anterior temporal structures were very low: 2.6 Gy, 0.6 Gy, and 36.3 mJ in the GKS cohort and 2.1 Gy, 0.6 Gy, and 40.9 mJ in the GKS+WBRT cohort, respectively. Among the ATLs that had not shown a brain metastasis at the time of GKS, 8 of 92 temporal lobes in the GKS cohort and 10 of 89 in the GKS+WBRT cohort demonstrated a new anterior temporal lesion on follow-up MR imaging.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery delivered a low dose of background radiation to the ATLs and hippocampi. The incidence of a new ATL metastasis in the GKS cohort was not higher than in the GKS+WBRT cohort. Gamma Knife surgery in the management of brain metastases limits the delivery of radiation to eloquent brain tissue without evidence of an appreciable propensity to develop new metastatic disease in the ATLs or hippocampi. This therapeutic approach may help to avoid unintended neurological dysfunction due to nonspecific delivery of radiation to eloquent brain tissues.