Kazuhide Adachi, Takeshi Kawase, Kazunari Yoshida, Takahito Yazaki and Satoshi Onozuka
Surgery for skull base meningiomas (SBMs) can lead to complications because these lesions are difficult to approach and can involve cranial nerves and arteries. The authors propose a scoring system to evaluate the relative risks and benefits of surgical treatment of SBMs.
The authors used a 2-step process to construct their scale. First, they derived significant predictive variables from retrospective data on 132 SBM cases treated surgically (primary surgeries only) between May 2000 and December 2005. Next, they validated the predictive accuracy of their scoring system in 60 consecutive cases treated surgically between January 1995 and April 2000, including both primary and repeated surgeries. Finally, they investigated the effect of the surgery on the patients' preoperative symptoms for consecutive cases treated surgically between January 1995 and December 2005, including both primary surgeries and retreatments.
Five items that predicted surgical risk were identified: 1) tumor attachment size; 2) arterial involvement; 3) brainstem contact; 4) central cavity location; and 5) cranial nerve group involvement. The authors named their scoring system the ABC Surgical Risk Scale, after the initial letters of these items. Each factor was assigned a score of 0–2 points, and an additional point was added for previous surgical treatment or for radiation, giving a possible total score of 12 points. On average, the scoring system allocated 2 points for gross-total resections, 6.1 points for near-total resections, and 9 points for subtotal resections, with significant differences between groups. For cases scoring ≥ 8 points, the percentage of cases showing neurological deterioration postoperatively exceeded the percentage showing improvement.
The authors conclude that this scoring system can be used to predict the extent of tumor removal and that the scores reflect the surgical risk.
Shigeo Ohba, Masahito Kobayashi, Takashi Horiguchi, Satoshi Onozuka, Kazunari Yoshida, Takayuki Ohira and Takeshi Kawase
Although gross-total resection (GTR) is a preferable treatment for skull base meningiomas, subtotal resection (STR) with or without radiation therapy can be considered as an alternative treatment for patients at considerable surgical risk. The long-term prognosis of such patients might be related to the biological activity of the tumor. This study examined predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) and sought to determine the optimal treatment strategies, focusing on the pathobiological findings of skull base meningiomas.
This study included 281 patients with skull base meningiomas (mean follow-up period 88.4 months). Risk factors for tumor progression were examined using a multivariate analysis. The PFS and overall survival (OS) rates were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The functional outcomes of the patients were measured using the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS).
The 10-year PFS and OS rates were 66.4% and 97.4%, respectively. Overall, 83.3% of patients achieved a favorable outcome, that is, an improved or unchanged KPS score. The extent of resection, additional radiotherapy, histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate were significantly associated with PFS. The PFS of patients undergoing STR without radiation therapy was significantly shorter than that of either those undergoing STR with radiation therapy or GTR, while no statistical difference was observed between the latter 2 groups. Among the patients undergoing STR with pathobiological risk factors (histological grade, MIB-1 index, and p53-positive rate), the PFS of the patients who received radiation therapy was better than that of those who did not receive radiation therapy. Among the patients undergoing STR without such risk factors, the PFS was not significantly different between patients who received radiation therapy and those who did not.
For patients with skull base meningiomas, a GTR is desirable and additional radiation therapy after STR may contribute to a longer PFS. Additional radiation therapy should be recommended, especially for patients with pathobiological risk factors, but not necessarily for those without such risks.