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Masaaki Yamamoto, Atsuya Akabane, Yuji Matsumaru, Yoshinori Higuchi, Hidetoshi Kasuya and Yoichi Urakawa

Object

Little information is available on staged Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) with an interval of 3 years or more when used to treat arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) with volumes larger than 10 cm3. The goal of this study was to increase knowledge in this area by reporting the authors' experience.

Methods

The authors describe an institutional review board–approved retrospective study in which they examined databases including information on 250 patients who consecutively underwent GKS for cerebral AVMs during a 16-year period (1988–2004). Among the 250 patients the authors identified 31 patients (12.4%, 15 female and 16 male patients with a mean age of 29 years [range 10–63 years]) in whom 2-stage GKS was intentionally planned at the time of initial treatment because the volume of the AVM nidus was larger than 10 cm3. The most common presentation was bleeding (14 patients), followed by seizures (9 patients), incidental findings (7 patients), and headache with scintillation (1 patient). One patient underwent GKS for the treatment of 2 AVMs simultaneously, and thus 32 AVMs are included in this study. The mean nidus volume was 16.2 cm3 (maximum 55.8 cm3). In all 31 patients, relatively low radiation doses (12–16 Gy directed at the periphery of the lesion) were intentionally used for the first GKS. The second GKS was scheduled for at least 36 months after the first.

Results

Complete nidus obliteration was obtained after the first GKS in 1 patient. To date, 26 patients have undergone a second procedure with a post-GKS mean interval of 41 months (range 24–83 months); 2 other patients refused to undergo the second GKS, and no further treatment was given because of severe morbidity in 1 case and death due to bleeding in the other case. Among the 26 patients who did undergo a second procedure, 3 patients refused follow-up digital subtraction (DS) angiography, another is scheduled for follow-up DS angiography, and 2 patients died, one of bleeding and the other of an unknown cause. The remaining 20 patients underwent follow-up DS angiography. Complete nidus obliteration was confirmed in 13 patients (65.0%) and remarkable nidus shrinkage in the other 7 patients (35.0%). In 2 of these 7 patients, a third GKS achieved complete nidus obliteration. Therefore, the cumulative complete obliteration rate in this series was 76.2% (16 of 21 eligible patients). Seven patients (22.6%) experienced bleeding. The bleeding rates were 9.7%, 16.1%, 16.1%, and 26.1%, respectively, at 1, 2, 5, and 10 years post-GKS. There were 2 deaths and 3 cases of morbidity (persistent coma, mild hemimotor weakness, and hemianopsia in 1 patient each). Hemorrhage did not produce neurological deficits in the other 2 patients. During the mean post-GKS follow-up period of 105 months (range 42–229 months) to date, mild symptomatic GKS-related complications occurred in 2 patients (6.5%); these were classified as Radiation Oncology Group Neurotoxicity Grade 1 in 1 patient and Grade 2 in the other. Among various pre-GKS clinical factors, univariate analysis showed only patient age to impact complications (hazard ratio 0.675, 95% CI 0.306–0.942, p = 0.0085). The rate of complications in the pediatric cases was 33.3%, whereas that in the adolescent and adult cases was 0% (p = 0.0323).

Conclusions

Although a final conclusion awaits further studies and patient follow-up, these results suggest 2-stage GKS to be beneficial even for relatively large AVMs.

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Masaaki Yamamoto, Yoshihisa Kida, Seiji Fukuoka, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Hidefumi Jokura, Atsuya Akabane and Toru Serizawa

Object

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is currently used for primary or postoperative management of cavernous sinus (CS) hemangiomas. The authors describe their experience with 30 cases of CS hemangioma successfully managed with GKS.

Methods

Thirty patients with CS hemangiomas, including 19 female and 11 male patients with a mean age of 53 years (range 19–78 years) underwent GKS at 7 facilities in Japan. Pathological entity was confirmed using surgical specimens in 17 patients, and neuroimaging diagnosis only in 13. Eight patients were asymptomatic before GKS, while 22 had ocular movement disturbances and/or optic nerve impairments. The mean tumor volume was 11.5 cm3 (range 1.5–51.4 cm3). The mean dose to the tumor periphery was 13.8 Gy (range 10.0–17.0 Gy).

Results

The mean follow-up period was 53 months (range 12–138 months). Among the 22 patients with symptoms prior to GKS, complete remission was achieved in 2, improvement in 13, and no change in 7. Hemifacial sensory disturbance developed following GKS in 1 patient. The most recent MR images showed remarkable shrinkage in 18, shrinkage in 11, and no change in 1 patient.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery proved to be an effective treatment strategy for managing CS hemangiomas. Given the diagnostic accuracy of recently developed neuroimaging techniques and the potentially serious bleeding associated with biopsy sampling or attempted surgical removal, the authors recommend that GKS be the primary treatment in most patients who have a clear neuroimaging diagnosis of this condition.

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Takashi Shuto, Atsuya Akabane, Masaaki Yamamoto, Toru Serizawa, Yoshinori Higuchi, Yasunori Sato, Jun Kawagishi, Kazuhiro Yamanaka, Hidefumi Jokura, Shoji Yomo, Osamu Nagano and Hidefumi Aoyama

OBJECTIVE

Previous Japanese Leksell Gamma Knife Society studies (JLGK0901) demonstrated the noninferiority of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone as the initial treatment for patients with 5–10 brain metastases (BMs) compared with those with 2–4 BMs in terms of overall survival and most secondary endpoints. The authors studied the aforementioned treatment outcomes in a subset of patients with BMs from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

METHODS

Patients with initially diagnosed BMs treated with SRS alone were enrolled in this prospective observational study. Major inclusion criteria were the existence of up to 10 tumors with a maximum diameter of less than 3 cm each, a cumulative tumor volume of less than 15 cm3, and no leptomeningeal dissemination in patients with a Karnofsky Performance Scale score of 70% or better.

RESULTS

Among 1194 eligible patients, 784 with NSCLC were categorized into 3 groups: group A (1 tumor, n = 299), group B (2–4 tumors, n = 342), and group C (5–10 tumors, n = 143). The median survival times were 13.9 months in group A, 12.3 months in group B, and 12.8 months in group C. The survival curves of groups B and C were very similar (hazard ratio [HR] 1.037; 95% CI 0.842–1.277; p < 0.0001, noninferiority test). The crude and cumulative incidence rates of neurological death, deterioration of neurological function, newly appearing lesions, and leptomeningeal dissemination did not differ significantly between groups B and C. SRS-induced complications occurred in 145 (12.1%) patients during the median post-SRS period of 9.3 months (IQR 4.1–17.4 months), including 46, 54, 29, 11, and 5 patients with a Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0 grade 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 complication, respectively. The cumulative incidence rates of adverse effects in groups A, B, and C 60 months after SRS were 13.5%, 10.0%, and 12.6%, respectively (group B vs C: HR 1.344; 95% CI 0.768–2.352; p = 0.299). The 60-month post-SRS rates of neurocognitive function preservation were 85.7% or higher, and no significant differences among the 3 groups were found.

CONCLUSIONS

In this subset analysis of patients with NSCLC, the noninferiority of SRS alone for the treatment of 5–10 versus 2–4 BMs was confirmed again in terms of overall survival and secondary endpoints. In particular, the incidence of neither post-SRS complications nor neurocognitive function preservation differed significantly between groups B and C. These findings further strengthen the already-reported noninferiority hypothesis of SRS alone for the treatment of patients with 5–10 BMs.

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Atsuya Akabane, Hidefumi Jokura, Kuniaki Ogasawara, Kou Takahashi, Kazuyuki Sugai, Akira Ogawa and Takashi Yoshimoto

✓ The authors present the case of a 22-year-old man with an unruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in which an intranidal aneurysm had grown in the course of 3 months and was complicated by perifocal brain edema. A left parietal AVM was incidentally diagnosed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. No aneurysms were noted on cerebral angiograms obtained simultaneously. Three months later, T2-weighted MR imaging revealed perifocal brain edema (increased signal intensity in the brain parenchyma adjacent to the nidus). An aneurysm-like signal void was demonstrated in the center of the high-signal area, but no previous hemorrhages could be detected. Angiographic studies revealed an intranidal aneurysm 4 mm in diameter projecting anterolaterally from the nidus. Surgical removal was performed without incident, and no neurological deficits or postoperative complications were observed. An MR image obtained 2 weeks postsurgery revealed complete resolution of the perifocal brain edema. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of an unruptured AVM in which an intranidal aneurysm with perifocal brain edema developed rapidly (within a few months).

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Toru Serizawa, Masaaki Yamamoto, Yoshinori Higuchi, Yasunori Sato, Takashi Shuto, Atsuya Akabane, Hidefumi Jokura, Shoji Yomo, Osamu Nagano, Jun Kawagishi and Kazuhiro Yamanaka

OBJECTIVE

The Japanese Leksell Gamma Knife (JLGK)0901 study proved the efficacy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in patients with 5–10 brain metastases (BMs) as compared to those with 2–4, showing noninferiority in overall survival and other secondary endpoints. However, the difference in local tumor progression between patients with 2–4 and those with 5–10 BMs has not been sufficiently examined for this data set. Thus, the authors reappraised this issue, employing the updated JLGK0901 data set with detailed observation via enhanced MRI. They applied sophisticated statistical methods to analyze the data.

METHODS

This was a prospective observational study of 1194 patients harboring 1–10 BMs treated with GKRS alone. Patients were categorized into groups A (single BM, 455 cases), B (2–4 BMs, 531 cases), and C (5–10 BMs, 208 cases). Local tumor progression was defined as a 20% increase in the maximum diameter of the enhanced lesion as compared to its smallest documented maximum diameter on enhanced MRI. The authors compared cumulative incidence differences determined by competing risk analysis and also conducted propensity score matching.

RESULTS

Local tumor progression was observed in 212 patients (17.8% overall, groups A/B/C: 93/89/30 patients). Cumulative incidences of local tumor progression in groups A, B, and C were 15.2%, 10.6%, and 8.7% at 1 year after GKRS; 20.1%, 16.9%, and 13.5% at 3 years; and 21.4%, 17.4%, and not available at 5 years, respectively. There were no significant differences in local tumor progression between groups B and C. Local tumor progression was classified as tumor recurrence in 139 patients (groups A/B/C: 68/53/18 patients), radiation necrosis in 67 (24/31/12), and mixed/undetermined lesions in 6 (1/5/0). There were no significant differences in tumor recurrence or radiation necrosis between groups B and C. Multivariate analysis using the Fine-Gray proportional hazards model revealed age < 65 years, neurological symptoms, tumor volume ≥ 1 cm3, and prescription dose < 22 Gy to be significant poor prognostic factors for local tumor progression. In the subset of 558 case-matched patients (186 in each group), there were no significant differences between groups B and C in local tumor progression, nor in tumor recurrence or radiation necrosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Local tumor progression incidences did not differ between groups B and C. This study proved that tumor progression after GKRS without whole-brain radiation therapy for patients with 5–10 BMs was satisfactorily treated with the doses prescribed according to the JLGK0901 study protocol and that results were not inferior to those in patients with a single or 2–4 BMs.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000001812 (umin.ac.jp)

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Takuya Kawabe, Masaaki Yamamoto, Yasunori Sato, Shoji Yomo, Takeshi Kondoh, Osamu Nagano, Toru Serizawa, Takahiko Tsugawa, Hisayo Okamoto, Atsuya Akabane, Kazuyasu Aita, Manabu Sato, Hidefumi Jokura, Jun Kawagishi, Takashi Shuto, Hideya Kawai, Akihito Moriki, Hiroyuki Kenai, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Masazumi Gondo, Toshinori Hasegawa, Soichiro Yasuda, Yasuhiro Kikuchi, Yasushi Nagatomo, Shinya Watanabe and Naoya Hashimoto

OBJECTIVE

In 1999, the World Health Organization categorized large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung as a variant of large cell carcinoma, and LCNEC now accounts for 3% of all lung cancers. Although LCNEC is categorized among the non–small cell lung cancers, its biological behavior has recently been suggested to be very similar to that of a small cell pulmonary malignancy. The clinical outcome for patients with LCNEC is generally poor, and the optimal treatment for this malignancy has not yet been established. Little information is available regarding management of LCNEC patients with brain metastases (METs). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for patients with brain METs from LCNEC.

METHODS

The Japanese Leksell Gamma Knife Society planned this retrospective study in which 21 Gamma Knife centers in Japan participated. Data from 101 patients were reviewed for this study. Most of the patients with LCNEC were men (80%), and the mean age was 67 years (range 39–84 years). Primary lung tumors were reported as well controlled in one-third of the patients. More than half of the patients had extracranial METs. Brain metastasis and lung cancer had been detected simultaneously in 25% of the patients. Before GKRS, brain METs had manifested with neurological symptoms in 37 patients. Additionally, prior to GKRS, resection was performed in 17 patients and radiation therapy in 10. A small cell lung carcinoma–based chemotherapy regimen was chosen for 48 patients. The median lesion number was 3 (range 1–33). The median cumulative tumor volume was 3.5 cm3, and the median radiation dose was 20.0 Gy. For statistical analysis, the standard Kaplan-Meier method was used to determine post-GKRS survival. Competing risk analysis was applied to estimate GKRS cumulative incidences of maintenance of neurological function and death, local recurrence, appearance of new lesions, and complications.

RESULTS

The overall median survival time (MST) was 9.6 months. MSTs for patients classified according to the modified recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) system were 25.7, 11.0, and 5.9 months for Class 1+2a (20 patients), Class 2b (28), and Class 3 (46), respectively. At 12 months after GKRS, neurological death–free and deterioration–free survival rates were 93% and 87%, respectively. Follow-up imaging studies were available in 78 patients. The tumor control rate was 86% at 12 months after GKRS.

CONCLUSIONS

The present study suggests that GKRS is an effective treatment for LCNEC patients with brain METs, particularly in terms of maintaining neurological status.

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Hideyuki Kano, Takashi Shuto, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Jason Sheehan, Masaaki Yamamoto, Heyoung L. McBride, Mitsuya Sato, Toru Serizawa, Shoji Yomo, Akihito Moriki, Yukihiko Kohda, Byron Young, Satoshi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Kenai, Christopher Duma, Yasuhiro Kikuchi, David Mathieu, Atsuya Akabane, Osamu Nagano, Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of intracranial hemangioblastomas.

METHODS

Six participating centers of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium and 13 Japanese Gamma Knife centers identified 186 patients with 517 hemangioblastomas who underwent SRS. Eighty patients had 335 hemangioblastomas associated with von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) and 106 patients had 182 sporadic hemangioblastomas. The median target volume was 0.2 cm3 (median diameter 7 mm) in patients with VHL and 0.7 cm3 (median diameter 11 mm) in those with sporadic hemangioblastoma. The median margin dose was 18 Gy in VHL patients and 15 Gy in those with sporadic hemangioblastomas.

RESULTS

At a median of 5 years (range 0.5–18 years) after treatment, 20 patients had died of intracranial disease progression and 9 patients had died of other causes. The overall survival after SRS was 94% at 3 years, 90% at 5 years, and 74% at 10 years. Factors associated with longer survival included younger age, absence of neurological symptoms, fewer tumors, and higher Karnofsky Performance Status. Thirty-three (41%) of the 80 patients with VHL developed new tumors and 17 (16%) of the106 patients with sporadic hemangioblastoma had recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor. The 5-year rate of developing a new tumor was 43% for VHL patients, and the 5-year rate of developing a recurrence of residual tumor from the original tumor was 24% for sporadic hemangioblastoma patients. Factors associated with a reduced risk of developing a new tumor or recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor included younger age, fewer tumors, and sporadic rather than VHL-associated hemangioblastomas. The local tumor control rate for treated tumors was 92% at 3 years, 89% at 5 years, and 79% at 10 years. Factors associated with an improved local tumor control rate included VHL-associated hemangioblastoma, solid tumor, smaller tumor volume, and higher margin dose. Thirteen patients (7%) developed adverse radiation effects (ARE) after SRS, and one of these patients died due to ARE.

CONCLUSIONS

When either sporadic or VHL-associated tumors were observed to grow on serial imaging studies, SRS provided tumor control in 79%–92% of tumors.