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Alberto Franzin, Alberto Vimercati, Piero Picozzi, Carlo Serra, Silvia Snider, Lorenzo Gioia, Camillo Ferrari da Passano, Angelo Bolognesi and Massimo Giovanelli

Object

Treatment options for patients with brain metastasis include tumor resection, whole-brain radiation therapy, and radiosurgery. A single treatment is not useful in cases of multiple tumors, of which at least 1 is a cystic tumor. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of stereotactic drainage and Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in the treatment of cystic brain metastasis.

Methods

Between January 2001 and November 2005, 680 consecutive patients with brain metastases underwent GKS at our hospital, 30 of whom were included in this study (18 males and 12 females, mean age 60.6 ± 11 years, range 38–75 years). Inclusion criteria were: 1) no prior whole-brain radiation therapy or resection procedure; 2) a maximum of 4 lesions on preoperative MR imaging; 3) at least 1 cystic lesion; 4) a Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≥ 70; and 5) histological diagnosis of a malignant tumor.

Results

Non–small cell lung carcinoma was the primary cancer in most patients (19 patients [63.3%]). A single metastasis was present in 13 patients (43.3%). There was a total of 81 tumors, 33 of which were cystic. Ten patients (33.3%) were in recursive partitioning analysis Class I, and 20 (66.6%) were in Class II. Before drainage the mean tumor volume was 21.8 ml (range 3.8–68 ml); before GKS the mean tumor volume was 10.1 ml (range 1.2–32 ml). The mean prescription dose to the tumor margin was 19.5 Gy (range 12–25 Gy). Overall median patient survival was 15 months. The 1- and 2-year survival rates were 54.7% (95% confidence interval 45.3–64.1%) and 34.2% (95% confidence interval 23.1–45.3%). Local tumor control was achieved in 91.3% of the patients.

Conclusions

The results of this study support the use of a multiple stereotactic approach in cases of multiple and cystic brain metastasis.

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Alberto Franzin, Alberto Vimercati, Marzia Medone, Carlo Serra, Stefania Bianchi Marzoli, Maddalena Forti, Lorenzo Gioia, Micol Valle and Piero Picozzi

Object

Treatment options for patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas (CSMs) include microsurgical tumor resection, radiotherapy, and radiosurgery. Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is increasingly being used because it is associated with lower mortality and morbidity rates than microsurgery. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of GKS in the treatment of CSM and to thoroughly analyze the clinical response to GKS.

Methods

Between January 2001 and December 2005, 123 patients (25 men and 98 women; mean age 62.6 ± 11 years, range 31–86 years) who underwent treatment for CSMs were included in this study. Of these, 41 patients underwent microsurgery before GKS, whereas the remaining 82 had GKS as a first-line therapy after a diagnosis was made based on magnetic resonance imaging findings. Dysfunction in cranial nerves (CNs) II, III, IV, V, and VI was noted in 74 patients at the time of GKS. The mean tumor volume was 7.99 cm3 (0.7–30.5 cm3). The mean prescription dose to the tumor margin was 13.8 ± 1.1 Gy (range 10–20 Gy).

Results

The overall tumor control rate was 98.4% with a median follow-up of 36 months. The actuarial tumor control rate at 5 years was 90.5%. A reduction in tumor volume was observed in 53 patients (43.1%), whereas in 68 patients (55.3%) no volumetric variation was recorded. Of the 74 patients who presented with CN deficits, improvement was noted in 23 (31.1%).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is a useful treatment for CSM both as a first- or second-line therapy. It is a safe and effective treatment for tumors located close to the optic pathways.