Craniopharyngioma is one of the most common non-glial intracranial tumors of childhood. Its relation to Rathke's cleft cyst (RCC) is controversial, and both lesions have been hypothesized to lie on a continuum of cystic ectodermal lesions of the sellar region. The authors report on a 7-year-old boy who presented with decreased visual acuity, presumably of at least 2 years' duration, and was found to have a 5.2-cm sellar lesion with rim enhancement. Histological examination of the resected lesion showed a mixture of areas with simple RCC morphology with focal squamous metaplasia and areas with typical craniopharyngioma morphology. Immunohistochemical staining with CK20 and Ki 67 differentially highlighted the 2 morphological components. Testing for beta-catenin and BRAF mutations was negative in the craniopharyngioma component, precluding definitive molecular classification. Follow-up imaging showed minimal residual enhancement and the patient will be closely followed up with serial MRI. Given the clinical and histological findings in the case, a progressive transformation of the RCC to craniopharyngioma seems to be the most plausible explanation for the co-occurrence of the 2 lesion types in this patient. An extensive review of previously proposed theories of the relationship between craniopharyngioma and RCC is also presented.
Ahmed K. Alomari, Brian J. Kelley, Eyiyemisi Damisah, Asher Marks, Pei Hui, Michael DiLuna, and Alexander Vortmeyer
Ritchell van Dams, Henry S. Park, Ahmed K. Alomari, Adele S. Ricciardi, Harini Rao, Joseph McNamara, Michael L. DiLuna, and Ranjit S. Bindra
This case report demonstrates that hypofractionated partial-brain radiation therapy with limited margins is a reasonable approach following gross tumor resection of Ewing sarcoma metastases to the brain. The patient presented with 2 intracranial metastases treated with gross-total resection followed by radiation therapy to 30 Gy in 5 fractions. The patient experienced symptomatic treatment-related inflammatory changes with resolution after receiving dexamethasone. He remains alive at 21 months of follow-up with no evidence of disease.
Alex Y. Lu, Jack L. Turban, Eyiyemisi C. Damisah, Jie Li, Ahmed K. Alomari, Tore Eid, Alexander O. Vortmeyer, and Veronica L. Chiang
Following an initial response of brain metastases to Gamma Knife radiosurgery, regrowth of the enhancing lesion as detected on MRI may represent either radiation necrosis (a treatment-related inflammatory change) or recurrent tumor. Differentiation of radiation necrosis from tumor is vital for management decision making but remains difficult by imaging alone. In this study, gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF) was used to identify differential metabolite profiles of the 2 tissue types obtained by surgical biopsy to find potential targets for noninvasive imaging.
Specimens of pure radiation necrosis and pure tumor obtained from patient brain biopsies were flash-frozen and validated histologically. These formalin-free tissue samples were then analyzed using GC-TOF. The metabolite profiles of radiation necrosis and tumor samples were compared using multivariate and univariate statistical analysis. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.05.
For the metabolic profiling, GC-TOF was performed on 7 samples of radiation necrosis and 7 samples of tumor. Of the 141 metabolites identified, 17 (12.1%) were found to be statistically significantly different between comparison groups. Of these metabolites, 6 were increased in tumor, and 11 were increased in radiation necrosis. An unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis found that tumor had elevated levels of metabolites associated with energy metabolism, whereas radiation necrosis had elevated levels of metabolites that were fatty acids and antioxidants/cofactors.
To the authors' knowledge, this is the first tissue-based metabolomics study of radiation necrosis and tumor. Radiation necrosis and recurrent tumor following Gamma Knife radiosurgery for brain metastases have unique metabolite profiles that may be targeted in the future to develop noninvasive metabolic imaging techniques.