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  • Author or Editor: Kevin P. McMullen x
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Paul K. Kim, Thomas L. Ellis, Volker W. Stieber, Kevin P. McMullen, Edward G. Shaw, Thomas P. McCoy, Ralph B. D'Agostino, J. Daniel Bourland, Allan F. deGuzman, Kenneth E. Ekstrand, Michael R. Raber, and Stephen B. Tatter

Object

Salvage treatment of large, symptomatic brain metastases after failure of whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) remains challenging. When these lesions require resection, there are few options to lower expected rates of local recurrence at the resection cavity margin. The authors describe their experience in using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) to target the resection cavity in patients whose tumors had progressed after WBRT.

Methods

The authors retrospectively identified 143 patients in whom GKS had been used to target a brain metastasis resection cavity between 2000 and 2005. Seventy-nine of these patients had undergone WBRT prior to resection and GKS. The median patient age was 53 years, and the median prescribed dose was 18 Gy (range 8–24 Gy), with resection cavities of relatively larger volume (> 15 cm3). The GKS dose was prescribed at the 40 to 95% isodose contour (mode 50%).

Local recurrence within 1 cm of the treatment volume occurred in four (5.1%) of 79 cases. The median duration of time to local recurrence was 6.1 months (range 2–13 months). The median duration of time to occurrence of distant metastases following GKS of the resection cavity was 10.8 months (range 2–86 months). Carcinomatous meningitis developed in four (5.1%) of 79 cases. Symptomatic radionecrosis requiring surgical treatment occurred in three (3.8%) of 79 cases. The median duration of survival following GKS of the resection cavity was 69.6 weeks. The median 2- and 5-year survival rates were 20.2 and 6.3%, respectively.

Conclusions

When metastases progress after WBRT and require resection, GKS targeting the resection cavity is a viable strategy. In 75 (94.9%) of 79 cases, GKS of the resection cavity in patients in whom WBRT had failed appears to have achieved its goal of local disease control.

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Christopher J. Balamucki, Volker W. Stieber, Thomas L. Ellis, Stephen B. Tatter, Allan F. DeGuzman, Kevin P. McMullen, James Lovato, Edward G. Shaw, Kenneth E. Ekstrand, J. Daniel Bourland, Michael T. Munley, Michael Robbins, and Charles Branch

Object

Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is a treatment option for patients with refractory typical trigeminal neuralgia (TN), TN with atypical features, and atypical types of facial pain. The Gamma Knife’s 201 60Co sources decay with a half-life of 5.26 years. The authors examined whether the decrease in dose rate over 4.6 years between Co source replacements affected the control rates of facial pain in patients undergoing GKS.

Methods

The authors collected complete follow-up data on 239 of 326 GKS procedures performed in patients with facial pain. Patients were classified by their type of pain. The isocenter of a 4-mm collimator helmet was targeted at the proximal trigeminal nerve root, and the dose (80–90 Gy) was prescribed at the 100% isodose line. Patients reported the amount of pain control following radiosurgery by answering a standardized questionnaire.

Eighty percent of patients experienced greater than 50% pain relief, and 56% of patients experienced complete pain relief after GKS. Neither dose rate nor treatment time was significantly associated with either the control rate or degree of pain relief. A significant association between the type of facial pain and the pain control rate after GKS was observed (p < 0.001; Pearson chi-square test).

In their statistical analysis, the authors accounted for changes in prescription dose over time to prevent the dose rate from being a confounding variable. There was no observable effect of the dose rate or of the treatment duration within the typical period to source replacement.

Conclusions

Patients with facial pain appear to receive consistent treatment with GKS at any time during the first half-life of the Co sources.