✓ Therapeutic results in 17 cases of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-secreting tumors of the central nervous system are reported. Twelve of the patients were male and five female. The patients' ages ranged from 5 years to 25 years (mean 13.6 years). The tumors originated in the pineal region in 10 cases, in the suprasellar region in four cases, and in both regions in one case; of the other two tumors, one originated in the basal ganglia and one in the sacrococcygeal region. Extraneural metastases or subarachnoid dissemination occurred in seven cases. Increased AFP titer in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid was verified in 13 cases. The patients were divided into two groups: those treated before (Group A) and those treated after (Group B) the introduction in 1980 of cisplatin as a chemotherapeutic agent. All seven Group A patients died, even after extensive therapy consisting of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy (ACNU or adriamycin) in some of the cases. The mean survival time following diagnosis for Group A was 23.7 months. Six of the 10 Group B patients died an average of 25.8 months after diagnosis; however, the other four were still alive and well an average of 25.3 months after diagnosis. The tumors responded well to chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin either alone or combined with bleomycin and vinblastine. The initial response rate to treatment in Group B was 100% and five cases had a complete remission, verified by computerized tomography or the serum AFP level. Once the tumor recurred, the response to cisplatin was markedly decreased. It is suggested that an effective therapy must still be sought for recurrent tumors.
Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Jun Yoshida, Kyouzou Kato and Naoki Kageyama
Tatsuya Kobayashi, Naoki Kageyama, Yoshihisa Kida, Jun Yoshida, Naoki Shibuya and Kazuhiko Okamura
✓ Clinical characteristics of six cases of germinoma involving a unilateral basal ganglion and thalamus are summarized. The incidence was estimated as 10% of all intracranial germinomas. The average age at the onset was 10.5 years. The sex incidence showed a male dominance. The clinical course was slowly progressive, and the average duration between onset and diagnosis was 2 years 5 months. Common symptoms and signs were hemiparesis in all cases, fever of unknown origin and eye symptoms in most, mental deterioration and psychiatric signs in three, and convulsions, pubertas praecox, and diabetes insipidus in two. Signs of increased intracranial pressure were found in only two cases in the later state of the disease. Early diagnosis is difficult because of nonspecific symptomatology and slow progression. Carotid angiography and pneumoencephalography showed abnormal findings compatible with basal ganglia and thalamic tumors, but not specific to germinoma. Ipsilateral cortical atrophy and ventricular dilatation might be significant findings. Radioisotope scanning was useful. Computerized tomography scans were the best method of detecting the location and nature of this tumor, and repeat scans showed response to radiation therapy.
Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Yoshimasa Mori and Jun Yoshida
Object. Gamma knife surgery (GKS) has been a safe and effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas in both the short and long term, although less is known about long-term outcomes in the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to clarify long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using GKS based on techniques in place in the early 1990s.
Methods. Eighty patients harboring a vestibular schwannoma (excluding neurofibromatosis Type 2) were treated using GKS between May 1991 and December 1993. Among these, 73 patients were assessed; seven were lost to follow up. The median duration of follow up was 135 months. The mean patient age at the time of GKS was 56 years old. The mean tumor volume was 6.3 cm3, and the mean maximal and marginal radiation doses applied to the tumor were 28.4 and 14.6 Gy, respectively. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were obtained in 71 patients. Forty-eight patients demonstrated partial tumor remission, 14 had tumors that remained stable, and nine demonstrated tumor enlargement or radiation-induced edema requiring resection. Patients with larger tumors did not fare as well as those with smaller lesions. The actuarial 10-year progression-free survival rate was 87% overall, and 93% in patients with tumor volumes less than 10 cm3. No patient experienced malignant transformation.
Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery remained an effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas for longer than 10 years. Although treatment failures usually occurred within 3 years after GKS, it is necessary to continue follow up in patients to reveal delayed tumor recurrence.
An experimental and clinical study
Tatsuya Kobayashi, Jun Yoshida, Junzo Ishiyama, Satoshi Noda, Akira Kito and Yoshihisa Kida
✓ Antitumor activity against intracranial malignant teratoma by combination chemotherapy with cisplatin and etoposide was evaluated in experimental and clinical studies. A human teratoma cell line (Tera 2) was exposed in vitro to cisplatin and/or etoposide, after which cell growth inhibition and alterations of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) histograms were observed. The results indicated that a synergistic cytotoxic effect was achieved by use of both agents in combination. Four cases of recurrent intracranial germ-cell tumor (three malignant teratomas and one germinoma) were treated with cisplatin and etoposide. With this combinationtherapy, regression of the tumor was observed in all four cases (three complete and one partial), for a total response rate of 100%. During a follow-up period of 9 to 22 months, no recurrence or progression has been noted in three of these cases.