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Margaret R. Wacker, Philip H. Cogen, Joan E. Etzell, Laleh Daneshvar, Richard L. Davis and Michael D. Prados

✓ Gangliogliomas are tumors composed of neuronal and glial elements that typically grow slowly by expansion only. This report describes a 20-month-old girl with a ganglioglioma that extensively involved the subarachnoid space; microscopic foci of tumor were found in the brain and spinal cord. Despite chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the child died 5 months after diagnosis. Molecular genetic analysis showed loss of chromosome 17p DNA sequences in the tumor tissue.

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Ali K. Choucair, Victor A. Levin, Philip H. Gutin, Richard L. Davis, Pamela Silver, Michael S. B. Edwards and Charles B. Wilson

✓ To determine the percentage of patients who developed multiple central nervous system (CNS) gliomas during postoperative radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the authors reviewed the records of 1047 patients treated between December 2, 1976, and August 16, 1985, who had an original diagnosis of supratentorial glioblastoma multiforme or other anaplastic glioma. The occurrence of multiple lesions was verified by neurodiagnostic studies (computerized tomography or myelography) or by findings at operation or autopsy. Twelve patients (1.1%) who presented with multiple lesions were excluded from this analysis. There were 405 patients with glioblastoma multiforme; their median age was 46.5 years (range 22 to 70 years). Eighteen (5%) of these patients had multiple CNS lesions, five of which were in the spinal cord. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 59.5 weeks (range 10 to 182 weeks). There were 630 patients with anaplastic glioma (which included mixed malignant glioma and highly anaplastic, gemistocytic, moderately anaplastic, and anaplastic astrocytomas); their median age was 30 years (range 2 to 62 years). Fifty-four (8.6%) of these patients had multiple lesions, 10 of which were in the spinal cord; only one case of extraneural metastasis was found. The median time from diagnosis to detection of the second lesion in this group was 101 weeks (range 14 to 459 weeks). These results show that more than 90% of CNS gliomas recur at the site of the original tumor. Considering the high frequency of intellectual dysfunction after whole-brain radiation therapy, the use of focal radiation fields appears to be the most judicious approach to the treatment of patients with gliomas.

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Takao Hoshino, Michael Prados, Charles B. Wilson, Kyung Gi Cho, Kyu-Sung Lee and Richard L. Davis

✓ This study includes 182 patients with intracranial gliomas who received bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), 200 mg/sq m intravenously, at the time of craniotomy but before tumor biopsy. The tumor specimens were stained for BUdR using the immunoperoxidase method; the BUdR labeling index (LI), or S-phase fraction, was calculated as the percentage of BUdR-positive cells. The median BUdR LI's for 127 primary moderately anaplastic astrocytomas, highly anaplastic astrocytomas, and glioblastomas (< 1%, 2.7%, and 7.3%, respectively; range 0% to 38.1%) were not significantly different from those of 55 similar recurrent tumors (< 1%, 4.3%, and 7.4%, respectively; range 0% to 30.5%). The mean LI was significantly higher in tumors from patients over 50 years of age than in tumors from younger patients (p < 0.001). This age-related difference in LI's was found in both groups of patients with astrocytomas but not in those with glioblastomas. Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed a significantly greater probability of survival among patients whose tumors had LI's of less than 1% than among those with LI's greater than 5%; survival probability of patients with tumor LI's of 1% to 5% was intermediate between the two extremes. Thus, the BUdR LI appears to reflect the proliferative potential more accurately than the histopathological diagnosis and should therefore be considered an important factor in determining the prognosis of individual patients with intracranial gliomas and in selecting their treatment.

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James E. Boggan, Robert Walter, Michael S. B. Edwards, Janis K. Borcich, Richard L. Davis, Michael Koonce and Michael W. Berns

✓ A digital video fluorescence microscopy technique was used to evaluate the distribution of hematoporphyrin derivative (HPD) in the rat intracerebral 9L gliosarcoma brain-tumor model at 4, 24, 48, and 72 hours after intravenous administration of 10 mg/kg of the drug. Compared to surrounding normal brain, there was significant preferential uptake of HPD into the tumor. In sections surveyed, fluorescence reached a maximum value by 24 hours; however, only 33% to 44% of the tumor was fluorescent. In contrast, fluorescence within the surrounding normal brain was maximum at 4 hours, but was present in less than 1% of the brain tissue evaluated.

The effect of HPD sensitization to a laser light dose (633 nm) of 30 joules/sq cm delivered through the intact skull was evaluated histologically in 10 rats. A patchy coagulation necrosis, possibly corresponding to the distribution of HPD fluorescence seen within the tumor, was observed. There was evidence that photoradiation therapy (PRT) affects defective tumor vasculature and that a direct tumor cell toxicity spared normal brain tissue. Despite these findings, limited uptake of HPD in tumor and the brain adjacent to tumor may decrease the effectiveness of PRT in the 9L gliosarcoma brain-tumor model. Because of the similarity between the capillary system of the 9L tumor and human brain tumors, PRT may have a limited therapeutic effect in patients with malignant brain tumors.

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Kent E. Wallner, Glenn E. Sheline, Lawrence H. Pitts, William M. Wara, Richard L. Davis and Edwin B. Boldrey

✓ The records of 124 patients treated for acoustic neurilemoma at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1945 through 1983 were reviewed. Patients were classified by the extent of surgical resection: total, nearly total (90% to 99% resection), subtotal (< 90% resection), or biopsy. Thirty-one patients received irradiation as part of their primary treatment. Total resection of tumor, without irradiation, was associated with a 3% chance of local recurrence. One of 15 patients who had nearly total resection of their tumor and did not receive postoperative irradiation suffered a recurrence, compared with neither of the two patients who received postoperative irradiation (> 45 Gy) following nearly total resection. Postoperative irradiation (> 45 Gy) decreased the recurrence rate after subtotal resection from 46% (six of 13 cases without irradiation) to 6% (one of 17 cases: p = 0.01). All three patients treated by biopsy alone received postoperative irradiation (> 45 Gy), and none had a recurrence. Six patients were treated with preoperative irradiation because of excessive tumor vascularity; four are without evidence of disease 12 to 23 years later. Only three of seven patients treated with irradiation for tumor recurrence after surgical resection survived. It is concluded that postoperative irradiation significantly decreased the chance for local tumor progression following subtotal resection of acoustic neurilemoma, and that postoperative irradiation may be effective therapy following treatment by biopsy. Patients with total or nearly total resection appeared not to benefit from postoperative irradiation.

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William G. Obana, Kenneth D. Laxer, Philip H. Cogen, John A. Walker, Richard L. Davis and Nicholas M. Barbaro

✓ Frontal opercular gliosis in the dominant hemisphere caused medically refractory partial epilepsy in two patients. Both patients were aphasic during their seizures, but otherwise had normal speech. Magnetic resonance images showed well-demarcated lesions resembling tumors in each patient; on heavily T2-weighted images, the lesions were hyperintense compared with normal brain. Cortical mapping with subdural grids localized speech to the area of the lesions; therefore, the resections were performed under local anesthesia and speech was tested throughout the procedure. Postoperatively, both patients were seizure-free and had no new neurological deficits. Well-demarcated lesions, even in the dominant operculum, can be safely removed in patients with medically refractory partial epilepsy.

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Adam N. Mamelak, Faye A. Eggerding, Daniel S. Oh, Erika Wilson, Richard L. Davis, Richard Spitzer, Jefferey A. Hay and William L. Caton III

Object. In recent years, fetal mesencephalic tissue transplant for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been demonstrated to hold promise, but potential complications related to growth of allograft tissue have not been well described. This report explores the development and possible causation of a fatal cyst arising from a fetal transplant in the brain.

Methods. The authors report the case of a 52-year-old woman who underwent bilateral putamenal fetal mesencephalic allograft transplant for PD at another hospital. Twenty-three months later she presented to the authors' institution in a coma. Admission computerized tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) studies revealed a contrast-enhancing mural nodule and associated large cyst arising from the left putamen and causing brainstem compression. Despite surgical decompression of the cyst, the patient did not regain consciousness. Biopsy and autopsy specimens were obtained, along with an analysis of the cyst fluid. Genotyping of the nodule and the patient's peripheral lymphocytes by using polymerase chain reaction—based microsatellite analysis was also performed. Biopsy samples and autopsy histopathological studies showed inflammatory cells, hemosiderin-laden macrophages, and astrocytosis. Scattered neurons and multiple rests of choroid plexus were also noted. The cyst had a thin wall and contained liquid that was identical in composition to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Genotyping demonstrated the presence of alleles in the nodule DNA that were not present in lymphocytic DNA, indicating that the nodule contained allograft tissue.

Conclusions. The authors hypothesize that the choroid plexus tissue contained in the allograft resulted in CSF production and cyst formation at the transplant site, ultimately leading to the patient's herniation syndrome. The clinical history and large size of the mural nodule indicate slow growth of this allograft site and cyst over time. This case demonstrates that unusual patterns of tissue growth can occur in the brain after fetal tissue transplant and emphasizes the need for long-term monitoring of posttransplant patients by means of MR imaging. Cell sorting should be considered to ensure transplant of pure neuronal and astroglial populations.

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Eric Bouffet, Jeffrey C. Allen, James M. Boyett, Allen Yates, Floyd Gilles, Peter C. Burger, Richard L. Davis, Laurence E. Becker, Ian F. Pollack and Jonathan L. Finlay


The impact of central pathology review on outcome has been described in pediatric patients with high-grade glioma (HGG). The objective of this report was to analyze the impact of the central pathology review on outcome in the subgroup of patients with institutional diagnosis of HGG of the spinal cord enrolled in the Children's Cancer Group 945 cooperative study.


Five neuropathologists centrally reviewed the pathology of the 18 patients with HGG of the spinal cord who were enrolled in the study. These reviews were independent, and reviewers were blinded to clinical history and outcomes. A consensus diagnosis was established for each patient, based on the outcome of the review.


Of 18 patients, only 10 were confirmed to have HGG on central review. At a median follow-up of 12 years, event-free and overall survival for all 18 patients was 43.2% ± 13.3% and 50% ± 13.4%, respectively. After central review, 10-year event-free and overall survival for confirmed HGGs and discordant diagnoses was 30% ± 12.5% versus 58.3% ± 18.8% (p = 0.108) and 30% ± 12.5% versus 75% ± 14.2% (p = 0.0757), respectively.


The level of discordant diagnoses in children and adolescents with institutional diagnosis of HGG of the spinal cord was 44% in this experience. However, there was no significant difference in outcome between patients with confirmed and discordant diagnosis. This group of tumor deserves a specific attention in future trials.

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Philip H. Gutin, Steven A. Leibel, William M. Wara, Ali Choucair, Victor A. Levin, Theodore L. Philips, Pamela Silver, Vasco Da Silva, Michael S. B. Edwards, Richard L. Davis, Keith A. Weaver and Sharon Lamb

✓ The authors report survival data for the first 41 patients treated for recurrent malignant gliomas with interstitial brachytherapy at the University of California, San Francisco (1980–1984). Iodine-125 (125I) sources were temporarily implanted using stereotaxic techniques. The median survival period for 18 patients with recurrent glioblastomas was 52 weeks after brachytherapy; two patients are alive more than 5 years after brachytherapy. The median survival period for 23 patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas is 153 weeks after brachytherapy, with 10 patients alive more than 3 years and four patients alive more than 4 years after brachytherapy. Both groups did significantly better (p < 0.01) than groups of patients with the same diagnoses and similar general characteristics who were treated at recurrence with chemotherapy alone. Because of deterioration of their clinical condition and evidence of recurrence from computerized tomographic scans, 17 (41%) of 41 patients required reoperation 20 to 72 weeks after brachytherapy. Despite the invariable presence of apparently viable tumor cells mixed with necrotic tissue in the resected specimen, nine patients have survived more than 2 years after reoperation and two of the nine are still alive 4 years after reoperation. The authors conclude that brachytherapy with temporarily implanted 125I sources for well-circumscribed, hemispheric, recurrent malignant gliomas is effective and offers a chance for long-term survival even though focal radiation necrosis can seriously degrade the quality of survival in a minority of patients.

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Takao Hoshino, Luis A. Rodriguez, Kyung G. Cho, Kyu S. Lee, Charles B. Wilson, Michael S. B. Edwards, Victor A. Levin and Richard L. Davis

✓ The proliferative potential of low-grade astrocytomas was estimated in 47 patients. Each patient received an intravenous infusion of bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR), 150 to 200 mg/sq m, at the time of craniotomy to label cells in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis; the percentage of S-phase cells, or BUdR labeling index (LI), of each tumor was determined immunohistochemically. In 29 patients (60%), the tumors had BUdR LI's of less than 1%, indicating a slow growth rate; only three (10%) of these patients died of recurrent tumor during a follow-up period of up to 3½ years. In contrast, of the 18 patients (40%) whose tumors had BUdR LI's of 1% or more, 12 (67%) had a recurrence and nine died during the same follow-up period. These results show that the proliferative potential, as reflected by the BUdR LI, is an important prognostic factor that separates low-grade astrocytomas into two groups and provides a more scientific rationale for selecting treatment for individual patients.