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  • Author or Editor: Raymond Sawaya x
  • Journal of Neurosurgery x
  • By Author: Shi, Wei Ming x
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Christopher S. Rumana, Kenneth R. Hess, Wei Ming Shi and Raymond Sawaya

Object. Twenty-two patients who had solitary metastatic brain tumors with dural extension were treated surgically over a 3-year period. Their cases were reviewed to characterize these lesions and to compare the patients with a similar cohort in which there was no dural involvement.

Methods. The median age of the patients was 58 years (range 11–68 years) and the male/female ratio was 12:10. The median preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score in the group was 90 (range 70–100). The most common histological diagnoses seen in these patients included breast cancer, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, and renal cell carcinoma. All patients underwent gross-total resection of the tumor and 86% received radiation therapy. The median patient survival time was 11 months, with a median time to recurrent intracranial disease of 19 months. Survival was related to the histological diagnosis. Recurrent disease occurred in 41% of cases. Leptomeningeal disease occurred in three patients (14%). The frequency and time course of development of recurrent disease was not affected by dural resection nor was survival.

These results for patients having metastatic brain tumors with dural extension were compared with those for a cohort of 26 patients in which there were similar histological diagnosis, age, gender, and preoperative KPS score were distributed similarly but in which each patient had a single subcortical metastatic lesion. Those patients had a median survival of 10 months and the median time to recurrence was not reached. Leptomeningeal disease occurred in one patient (4%).

Conclusions. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported series of patients with metastatic brain tumors with dural extension. Patients with this disease may be more likely to develop recurrences along the dura and leptomeningeal disease, but the overall survival time in these patients is not different from those patients with intraparenchymal lesions.

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Ajay K. Bindal, Rajesh K. Bindal, Kenneth R. Hess, Almon Shiu, Samuel J. Hassenbusch, Wei Ming Shi and Raymond Sawaya

✓ Surgery and radiosurgery are effective treatment modalities for brain metastasis. To compare the results of these treatment modalities, the authors followed 31 patients treated by radiosurgery and 62 patients treated by surgery who were retrospectively matched. Patients were matched according to the following criteria: histological characteristics of the primary tumor, extent of systemic disease, preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score, time to brain metastasis, number of brain metastases, and patient age and sex. For patients treated by radiosurgery, the median size of the treated lesion was 1.96 cm3 (range 0.41–8.25 cm3) and the median dose was 20 Gy (range 12–22 Gy). The median survival was 7.5 months for patients treated by radiosurgery and 16.4 months for those treated by surgery; this difference was found to be statistically significant using both univariate (p = 0.0018) and multivariate (p = 0.0009) analyses. The difference in survival was due to a higher rate of mortality from brain metastasis in the radiosurgery group than in the surgery group (p < 0.0001) and not due to a difference in the rate of death from systemic disease (p = 0.28). Log-rank analysis showed that the higher mortality rate found in the radiosurgery group was due to a greater progression rate of the radiosurgically treated lesions (p = 0.0001) and not due to the development of new brain metastasis (p = 0.75).

On the basis of their data, the authors conclude that surgery is superior to radiosurgery in the treatment of brain metastasis. Patients who undergo surgical treatment survive longer and have a better local control. The data lead the authors to suggest that the indications for radiosurgery should be limited to surgically inaccessible metastatic tumors or patients in poor medical condition. Surgery should remain the treatment of choice whenever possible.

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Maarouf A. Hammoud, B. Lee Ligon, Rabih Elsouki, Wei Ming Shi, Donald F. Schomer and Raymond Sawaya

✓ A prospective study of 70 patients with intraparenchymal brain lesions (36 gliomas and 34 metastases) was performed to evaluate the efficacy of intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) in localizing and defining the borders of tumors and in assessing the extent of their resection. Eighteen of the 36 glioma patients had no previous therapy. All of these 18 tumors were well localized by IOUS; margins were well defined in 15 and moderately defined in three. The extent of resection was well defined on IOUS in all 18 patients, as confirmed by measurements taken on postoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images (p = 0.90). The remaining 18 patients with gliomas had undergone previous surgery and/or radiation therapy; five had recurrent tumors and 13 had radiation-induced changes. The extent of resection of the recurrent tumors was well defined in all but one patient, as confirmed by postoperative MR imaging. The extent of resection was poorly defined in all 13 patients whose pathology showed radiation effects. All 34 metastatic lesions were well localized and had well-defined margins. In addition, IOUS accurately determined the extent of resection in all cases; the results were confirmed with postoperative MR imaging.

In conclusion, IOUS is not only helpful in localizing and defining the margins of gliomas and metastatic brain lesions, it also accurately determines the extent of resection, as confirmed by postoperative MR imaging. This assessment does not apply, however, when the lesion is due primarily to radiation effect.