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Long-term survival in patients with long-segment complex meningiomas occluding the dural venous sinuses: illustrative cases

Zhishuo Wei, Arka N. Mallela, Andrew Faramand, Ajay Niranjan, and L. Dade Lunsford

BACKGROUND

Invasive sagittal sinus meningiomas are difficult tumors to cure by resection alone. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) can be used as an adjuvant management strategy to improve tumor control after incomplete resection.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported the long-term retrospective follow-up of two patients whose recurrent parasagittal meningiomas eventually occluded their superior sagittal sinus. Both patients underwent staged radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy to achieve tumor control that extended to 20 years after their initial surgery. After initial subtotal resection of meningiomas that had invaded major cerebral venous sinuses, adjuvant radiosurgery was performed to enhance local tumor control. Over time, adjacent tumor progression required repeat SRS and fractionated radiation therapy to boost long-term tumor response. Staged multimodality intervention led to extended survival in these patients with otherwise unresectable meningiomas.

LESSONS

Multimodality management with radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy was associated with long-term survival of two patients with otherwise surgically incurable and invasive meningiomas of the dural venous sinuses.

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Results of acoustic neuroma radiosurgery: an analysis of 5 years' experience using current methods

John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka, Ajay Niranjan, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. The goal of this study was to define tumor control and complications of radiosurgery encountered using current treatment methods for the initial management of patients with unilateral acoustic neuroma.

Methods. One hundred ninety patients with previously untreated unilateral acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas) underwent gamma knife radiosurgery between 1992 and 1997. The median follow-up period in these patients was 30 months (maximum 85 months). The marginal radiation doses were 11 to 18 Gy (median 13 Gy), the maximum doses were 22 to 36 Gy (median 26 Gy), and the treatment volumes were 0.1 to 33 cm3 (median 2.7 cm3).

The actuarial 5-year clinical tumor-control rate (no requirement for surgical intervention) for the entire series was 97.1 ± 1.9%. Five-year actuarial rates for any new facial weakness, facial numbness, hearing-level preservation, and preservation of testable speech discrimination were 1.1 ± 0.8%, 2.6 ± 1.2%, 71 ± 4.7%, and 91 ± 2.6%, respectively. Facial weakness did not develop in any patient who received a marginal dose of less than 15 Gy (163 patients). Hearing levels improved in 10 (7%) of 141 patients who exhibited decreased hearing (Gardner-Robertson Classes II–V) before undergoing radiosurgery. According to multivariate analysis, increasing marginal dose correlated with increased development of facial weakness (p = 0.0342) and decreased preservation of testable speech discrimination (p = 0.0122).

Conclusions. Radiosurgery for acoustic neuroma performed using current procedures is associated with a continued high rate of tumor control and lower rates of posttreatment morbidity than those published in earlier reports.

Free access

Stereotactic radiosurgery as the initial management option for small-volume hypothalamic hamartomas with intractable epilepsy: a 35-year institutional experience and systematic review

Zhishuo Wei, Lena Vodovotz, Diego D. Luy, Hansen Deng, Ajay Niranjan, and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECTIVE

Young patients with hypothalamic hamartomas (HHs) often present with intractable epilepsy. Currently there are no established management guidelines for HH. The authors retrospectively reviewed their single-institution experience to delineate the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

Seven patients with HHs (4 females; median age 13.7 years, range 2.5–25 years) with no prior resection underwent SRS between 1987 and 2022. The clinical history, epilepsy profile, radiographic findings, and neurological outcomes were characterized. HH topographical types were classified according to the Régis classification. Outcome measures included Engel seizure classification, HH response, and the need for additional surgical interventions.

RESULTS

All patients had Engel class IV epilepsy. A Leksell Gamma Knife was used to deliver a median margin dose of 18 Gy (range 16–20 Gy) to a median hamartoma volume of 0.37 cm3 (range 0.20–0.89 cm3). Seizure reduction was confirmed in 6 patients, and 2 patients had regression of their hamartoma. Two patients underwent resection and/or laser interstitial thermal therapy after SRS. At follow-up, 1 patient was seizure free, 4 patients achieved Engel class II, 1 patient had Engel class III, and 1 patient had Engel class IV seizure outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS as the initial management option for HH was associated with a low risk of adverse effects. In this institutional series reviewing small-volume HHs treated with SRS, no adverse radiation effect was detected, and the majority of patients experienced seizure reduction. SRS should be considered as the first-line treatment for seizure control in patients with small-volume HHs.

Free access

Introduction. Evolution of radiation therapy techniques

Arjun Sahgal, Jason P Sheehan, Ajay Niranjan, Lola B Chambless, Lijun Ma, and Daniel M Trifiletti

Free access

The evolution of a clinical registry during 25 years of experience with Gamma Knife radiosurgery in Pittsburgh

Oren Berkowitz, Douglas Kondziolka, David Bissonette, Ajay Niranjan, Hideyuki Kano, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

The first North American 201 cobalt-60 source Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) device was introduced at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1987. The introduction of this innovative and largely untested surgical procedure prompted the desire to study patient outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of this technique. The parallel advances in computer software and database technology led to the development of a registry to track patient outcomes at this center. The purpose of this study was to describe the registry's evolution and to evaluate its usefulness.

Methods

A team was created to develop a software database and tracking system to organize and retain information on the usage of GKS. All patients undergoing GKS were systematically entered into this database by a clinician familiar with the technology and the clinical indications. Information included patient demographics and diagnosis as well as the anatomical site of the target and details of the procedure.

Results

There are currently 11,738 patients in the database, which began to be used in August 1987. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has pioneered the evaluation and publication of the GKS technique and outcomes. Data derived from this computer database have facilitated the publication of more than 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, more than 200 book chapters, 8 books, and more than 300 published abstracts and scientific presentations. The use of GKS has become a well-established surgical technique that has been performed more than 700,000 times around the world.

Conclusions

The development of a patient registry to track and analyze the use of GKS has given investigators the ability to study patient procedures and outcomes. The future of clinical medical research will rely on the ability of clinical centers to store and to share information.

Free access

Stereotactic radiosurgery for intradural spine tumors using cone-beam CT image guidance

Andrés Monserrate, Benjamin Zussman, Alp Ozpinar, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and Peter C. Gerszten

OBJECTIVE

Cone-beam CT (CBCT) image guidance technology has been widely adopted for spine radiosurgery delivery. There is relatively little experience with spine radiosurgery for intradural tumors using CBCT image guidance. This study prospectively evaluated a series of intradural spine tumors treated with radiosurgery. Patient setup accuracy for spine radiosurgery delivery using CBCT image guidance for intradural spine tumors was determined.

METHODS

Eighty-two patients with intradural tumors were treated and prospectively evaluated. The positioning deviations of the spine radiosurgery treatments in patients were recorded. Radiosurgery was delivered using a linear accelerator with a beam modulator and CBCT image guidance combined with a robotic couch that allows positioning correction in 3 translational and 3 rotational directions. To measure patient movement, 3 quality assurance CBCTs were performed and recorded in 30 patients: before, halfway, and after the radiosurgery treatment. The positioning data and fused images of planning CT and CBCT from the treatments were analyzed to determine intrafraction patient movements. From each of 3 CBCTs, 3 translational and 3 rotational coordinates were obtained.

RESULTS

The radiosurgery procedure was successfully completed for all patients. Lesion locations included cervical (22), thoracic (17), lumbar (38), and sacral (5). Tumor histologies included schwannoma (27), neurofibromas (18), meningioma (16), hemangioblastoma (8), and ependymoma (5). The mean prescription dose was 17 Gy (range 12–27 Gy) delivered in 1–3 fractions. At the halfway point of the radiation, the translational variations and standard deviations were 0.4 ± 0.5, 0.5 ± 0.8, and 0.4 ± 0.5 mm in the lateral (x), longitudinal (y), and anteroposterior (z) directions, respectively. Similarly, the variations immediately after treatment were 0.5 ± 0.4, 0.5 ± 0.6, and 0.6 ± 0.5 mm along x, y, and z directions, respectively. The mean rotational angles were 0.3° ± 0.4°, 0.3° ± 0.4°, and 0.3° ± 0.4° along yaw, roll, and pitch, respectively, at the halfway point and 0.5° ± 0.5°, 0.4° ± 0.5°, and 0.2° ± 0.3° immediately after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiosurgery offers an alternative treatment option for intradural spine tumors in patients who may not be optimal candidates for open surgery. CBCT image guidance for patient setup for spine radiosurgery is accurate and successful in patients with intradural tumors.

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Stereotactic radiosurgery for brainstem arteriovenous malformations: factors affecting outcome

Keisuke Maruyama, Douglas Kondziolka, Ajay Niranjan, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object. Management options for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the brainstem are limited. The long-term results of stereotactic radiosurgery for these disease entities are poorly understood. In this report the authors reviewed both neurological and radiological outcomes following stereotactic radiosurgery for brainstem AVMs over 15 years of experience.

Methods. Fifty patients with brainstem AVMs underwent gamma knife surgery between 1987 and 2002. There were 29 male and 21 female patients with an age range of 7 to 79 years (median 35 years). Anatomical locations of these AVMs included the midbrain (39 lesions), pons (20 lesions), and medulla oblongata (three lesions). The radiation dose applied to the margin of the AVM varied from 12 to 26 Gy (median 20 Gy). Forty-five patients were followed up from 5 to 176 months (mean 72 months). The angiographically confirmed actuarial obliteration rate was 66% at the final follow-up examination. Two patients experienced a hemorrhage before obliteration. The annual hemorrhage rate was 1.7% for the first 3 years after radiosurgery and 0% thereafter. Patients who had received irradiation at two or fewer isocenters had higher obliteration rates (80% compared with 44% for > two isocenters, p = 0.006), and this was related to a more spherical nidus shape. The rate of persistent neurological complications in patients treated using magnetic resonance imaging—based dose planning after 1993 was 7%, compared with 20% in patients treated before 1993. An older patient age, a lesion located in the tectum, and a higher radiosurgery-based score were significantly associated with greater neurological complications.

Conclusions. Stereotactic radiosurgery provided complete obliteration of AVMs in two thirds of the patients with a low risk of latency-interval hemorrhage. Better three-dimensional imaging studies and conformal dose planning reduced the risk of adverse radiation effects. Younger patients harboring more spherical AVMs that did not involve the tectal plate had the best outcomes.

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Stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal schwannoma: tumor control and functional preservation

Clinical article

Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Douglas Kondziolka, John C. Flickinger, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

To evaluate outcome predictors after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with trigeminal schwannomas, the authors compared tumor control, functional preservation, and complications with tumor grade, tumor volume, patient age, and tumor imaging characteristics.

Methods

The records of 33 consecutive patients with trigeminal schwannoma treated via Gamma Knife surgery were retrospectively reviewed. The median patient age was 49.5 years (range 15.1–82.5 years). Eleven patients had undergone prior tumor resection. Two patients had neurofibromatosis Type 2. Lesions were classified as root type (6 tumors), ganglion type (17 tumors), and dumbbell type (10 tumors) based on their location. The median radiosurgery target volume was 4.2 cm3 (range 0.5–18.0 cm3), and the median dose to the tumor margin was 15.0 Gy (range 12–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 6 years (range 7.2–147.9 months), the rate of progression-free survival (PFS) at 1, 5, and 10 years after SRS was 97.0, 82.0, and 82.0%, respectively. Factors associated with improved PFS included female sex, smaller tumor volume, and a root or ganglion tumor type. Neurological symptoms or signs improved in 11 (33.3%) of 33 patients and were unchanged in 19 (57.6%). Three patients (9.1%) had symptomatic disease progression. Patients who had not undergone a prior tumor resection were significantly more likely to show improvement in neurological symptoms or signs.

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective and minimally invasive management option in patients with residual or newly diagnosed trigeminal schwannomas. Predictors of a better treatment response included female sex, smaller tumor volume, root or ganglion tumor type, and the application of SRS as the primary treatment.

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Does radiosurgery have a role in the management of oligodendrogliomas?

Clinical article

Hideyuki Kano, Ajay Niranjan, Aftab Khan, John C. Flickinger, Douglas Kondziolka, Frank Lieberman, and L. Dade Lunsford

Object

In this study the authors evaluated the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of progressive or newly diagnosed small-volume oligodendrogliomas. Tumor control, survival, and complications were assessed in patients with oligodendroglioma who underwent Gamma Knife radiosurgery as a primary or adjuvant procedure.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 30 patients with oligodendroglioma (12 Grade II and 18 Grade III) who underwent SRS between 1992 and June 2006 at the University of Pittsburgh. The median patient age was 43.2 years (range 10.8–75.4 years). Twenty-four patients had previously undergone resection of the tumor, whereas tumors in 6 were diagnosed based on biopsy findings. The SRS was performed in 25 patients who had imaging-defined tumor progression despite prior fractionated radiation (22 patients) and/or chemotherapy (20 patients). The median target volume was 15.4 cm3 (range 0.07–48.7 cm3) and the median margin dose was 14.5 Gy (range 11–20 Gy).

Results

At an average of 39.2 months of follow-up (range 12–133 months), 17 patients were dead and 13 were living. The overall survival rates from diagnosis to 5 and 10 years were 90.9 and 68.2%, respectively, for Grade II and 52.1% at 5 years and 26.1% at 10 years for Grade III. Factors associated with an improved progression-free survival included lower tumor grade and smaller tumor volume. In 13 patients who had loss of heterozygosity testing, patients with 1p19q loss of heterozygosity had a significantly improved survival after diagnosis (p = 0.04).

Conclusions

The SRS modality is a minimally invasive additional option for patients with residual or recurrent oligodendrogliomas. It may also be considered as an alternative to initial resection in small-volume tumors located in the cortical brain region.

Free access

Letter to the Editor. Is gender a factor in long-term outcomes after radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma?

Lishi Wang, Mingji Ren, Amei Chen, and Weikuan Gu