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Victor M. Sabourin, Ryan Holland, Christine Mau, Chirag D. Gandhi, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

The Civil War era was an age-defining period in the history of the United States of America, the effects of which are still seen in the nation today. In this era, the issue of head injury pervaded society. From the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, to the officers and soldiers of the Union and Confederate armies, and to the population at large, head injury and its ramifications gripped the nation. This article focuses on 3 individuals: Major General John Sedgwick, First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, and Harriet Tubman, as examples of the impact that head injury had during this era. These 3 individuals were chosen for this article because of their lasting legacies, contributions to society, and interesting connections to one another.

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Prateeka Koul, Christine Mau, Victor M. Sabourin, Chirag D. Gandhi, and Charles J. Prestigiacomo

World War I advanced the development of aviation from the concept of flight to the use of aircraft on the battlefield. Fighter planes advanced technologically as the war progressed. Fighter pilot aces Francesco Baracca and Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) were two of the most famous pilots of this time period. These courageous fighter aces skillfully maneuvered their SPAD and Albatros planes, respectively, while battling enemies and scoring aerial victories that contributed to the course of the war. The media thrilled the public with their depictions of the heroic feats of fighter pilots such as Baracca and the Red Baron. Despite their aerial prowess, both pilots would eventually be shot down in combat. Although the accounts of their deaths are debated, it is undeniable that both were victims of traumatic head injury.

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Seema P. Anandalwar, Christine Y. Mau, Chirag G. Gordhan, Neil Majmundar, Ahmed Meleis, Charles J. Prestigiacomo, and Ziad C. Sifri

OBJECTIVE

The utility of routine repeat head CT (HCT) scans in the management of minimal head injury (MHI) patients with an intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) has been questioned in multiple studies. All these studies analyzed this by obtaining a repeat HCT study, and none examined the effects of eliminating these routine HCT studies in neurologically intact patients. The authors' institution implemented a new “Neurologic Observation without Repeat HCT” (NORH) protocol with no repeat HCT scanning for patients admitted for MHI and ICH whose neurological status was maintained or improved to a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 15 at 24 hours after admission. This purpose of this study was to assess the outcomes and safety of this novel protocol.

METHODS

Records of patients who sustained blunt trauma MHI and an ICH and/or skull fracture on initial HCT between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2012, were retrieved from the trauma registry of a Level I trauma center. The authors analyzed 95 patients in whom the NORH protocol was followed. Outcome measures included death, emergency department readmission, neurosurgical intervention, delayed repeat HCT, and length of stay.

RESULTS

The NORH protocol was followed for 95 patients; 83% of the patients were male, the average age was 38 ± 16.0 years old, and the most common cause of trauma was assault (35%). Of the 95 patients in whom the NORH protocol was followed, 8 (8%) had a delayed repeat HCT study (> 24 hours) after admission, but none resulted in neurosurgical intervention because of progression of ICH. The average length of stay was 4 ± 7.2 days. None of the patients were readmitted to the hospital.

CONCLUSIONS

Implementation of the NORH protocol (eliminating routine follow-up HCT) resulted in very low rates of delayed neurological deterioration, no late neurosurgical interventions resulting from ICH progression, very few emergency department revisits, and no readmissions. For a select group of MHI patients with ICH, the NORH protocol is safe and effective, and can reduce radiation exposure and costs.

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Russell Payne, Oliver D. Mrowczynski, Becky Slagle-Webb, Alexandre Bourcier, Christine Mau, Dawit Aregawi, Achuthamangalam B. Madhankumar, Sang Y. Lee, Kimberly Harbaugh, James Connor, and Elias B. Rizk

OBJECTIVE

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are soft-tissue sarcomas arising from peripheral nerves. MPNSTs have increased expression of the oncogene aurora kinase A, leading to enhanced cellular proliferation. This makes them extremely aggressive with high potential for metastasis and a devastating prognosis; 5-year survival estimates range from a dismal 15% to 60%. MPNSTs are currently treated with resection (sometimes requiring limb amputation) in combination with chemoradiation, both of which demonstrate limited effectiveness. The authors present the results of immunohistochemical, in vitro, and in vivo analyses of MLN8237 for the treatment of MPNSTs in an orthoxenograft murine model.

METHODS

Immunohistochemistry was performed on tumor sections to confirm the increased expression of aurora kinase A. Cytotoxicity analysis was then performed on an MPNST cell line (STS26T) to assess the efficacy of MLN8237 in vitro. A murine orthoxenograft MPNST model transfected to express luciferase was then developed to assess the efficacy of aurora kinase A inhibition in the treatment of MPNSTs in vivo. Mice with confirmed tumor on in vivo imaging were divided into 3 groups: 1) controls, 2) mice treated with MLN8237, and 3) mice treated with doxorubicin/ifosfamide. Treatment was carried out for 32 days, with imaging performed at weekly intervals until postinjection day 42. Average bioluminescence among groups was compared at weekly intervals using 1-way ANOVA. A survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier curves.

RESULTS

Immunohistochemical analysis showed robust expression of aurora kinase A in tumor cells. Cytotoxicity analysis revealed STS26T susceptibility to MLN8237 in vitro. The group receiving treatment with MLN8237 showed a statistically significant difference in tumor size compared with the control group starting at postinjection day 21 and persisting until the end of the study. The MLN8237 group also showed decreased tumor size compared with the doxorubicin/ifosfamide group at the conclusion of the study (p = 0.036). Survival analysis revealed a significantly increased median survival in the MLN8237 group (83 days) compared with both the control (64 days) and doxorubicin/ifosfamide (67 days) groups. A hazard ratio comparing the 2 treatment groups showed a decreased hazard rate in the MLN8237 group compared with the doxorubicin/ifosfamide group (HR 2.945; p = 0.0134).

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this study demonstrate that MLN8237 is superior to combination treatment with doxorubicin/ifosfamide in a preclinical orthoxenograft murine model. These data have major implications for the future of MPNST research by providing a robust murine model as well as providing evidence that MLN8237 may be an effective treatment for MPNSTs.

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Michael J. Gigliotti, Christine Mau, Charles S. Specht, Cynthia Lawson, Sarah McNutt, Shreela Natarajan, Elias B. Rizk, and Mark Iantosca

OBJECTIVE

The WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System (2016) classifies nonmeningothelial malignant spindle cell tumors involving the extraaxial tissues of the posterior fossa as melanocytic tumors and malignant mesenchymal tumors (sarcomas). The objective of this study was to conduct a review of the literature pertaining to the management strategies of posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors in the pediatric population.

METHODS

The authors performed an institutional search of their pathology database for patients younger than 18 years of age who presented with posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors. A literature review was also performed using the PubMed database, with “posterior fossa” or “spindle cell tumors” or “Ewing sarcoma” or “high-grade” or “spindle cell sarcoma” or “leptomeningeal melanocytoma” as keywords. The database search was restricted to pediatric patients (age ≤ 18 years). Parameters reported from the literature review included patient age, tumor location, presenting symptoms, treatment modalities (resection, chemotherapy, and/or radiotherapy), leptomeningeal spread at or after the time of treatment, and follow-up length and resulting outcome.

RESULTS

The authors report 3 rare cases of posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors, including Ewing sarcoma in a 13-year-old male; high-grade spindle cell sarcoma, not otherwise specified in a 10-year-old male; and primary leptomeningeal melanocytoma in a 16-year-old female. All 3 patients underwent resection and radiotherapy and either chemotherapy or targeted immunotherapy. At the last follow-up, all patients were alive with either resolution or stable disease.

CONCLUSIONS

A review of these 3 cases and the existing literature support managing patients with intracranial malignant spindle cell tumors with multimodal therapy that can include a combination of resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy or immunotherapy to prolong progression-free and overall survival.

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Oliver D. Mrowczynski, Russell A. Payne, Alexandre J. Bourcier, Christine Y. Mau, Becky Slagle-Webb, Ganesh Shenoy, Achuthamangalam B. Madhankumar, Stephan B. Abramson, Darren Wolfe, Kimberly S. Harbaugh, Elias B. Rizk, and James R. Connor

OBJECTIVE

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are aggressive soft tissue sarcomas that harbor a high potential for metastasis and have a devastating prognosis. Combination chemoradiation aids in tumor control and decreases tumor recurrence but causes deleterious side effects and does not extend long-term survival. An effective treatment with limited toxicity and enhanced efficacy is critical for patients suffering from MPNSTs.

METHODS

The authors recently identified that interleukin-13 receptor alpha 2 (IL-13Rα2) is overexpressed on MPNSTs and could serve as a precision-based target for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents. In the work reported here, a recombinant fusion molecule consisting of a mutant human IL-13 targeting moiety and a point mutant variant of Pseudomonas exotoxin A (IL-13.E13 K-PE4E) was utilized to treat MPNST in vitro in cell culture and in an in vivo murine model.

RESULTS

IL-13.E13 K-PE4E had a potent cytotoxic effect on MPNST cells in vitro. Furthermore, intratumoral administration of IL-13.E13 K-PE4E to orthotopically implanted MPNSTs decreased tumor burden 6-fold and 11-fold in late-stage and early-stage MPNST models, respectively. IL-13.E13 K-PE4E treatment also increased survival by 23 days in the early-stage MPNST model.

CONCLUSIONS

The current MPNST treatment paradigm consists of 3 prongs: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, none of which, either singly or in combination, are curative or extend survival to a clinically meaningful degree. The results presented here provide the possibility of intratumoral therapy with a potent and highly tumor-specific cytotoxin as a fourth treatment prong with the potential to yield improved outcomes in patients with MPNSTs.

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Bryan D. Choi, Daniel K. Lee, Jimmy C. Yang, Caroline M. Ayinon, Christine K. Lee, Douglas Maus, Bob S. Carter, Fred G. Barker II, Pamela S. Jones, Brian V. Nahed, Daniel P. Cahill, Reiner B. See, Mirela V. Simon, and William T. Curry

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative seizures during craniotomy with functional mapping is a common complication that impedes optimal tumor resection and results in significant morbidity. The relationship between genetic mutations in gliomas and the incidence of intraoperative seizures has not been well characterized. Here, the authors performed a retrospective study of patients treated at their institution over the last 12 years to determine whether molecular data can be used to predict the incidence of this complication.

METHODS

The authors queried their institutional database for patients with brain tumors who underwent resection with intraoperative functional mapping between 2005 and 2017. Basic clinicopathological characteristics, including the status of the following genes, were recorded: IDH1/2, PIK3CA, BRAF, KRAS, AKT1, EGFR, PDGFRA, MET, MGMT, and 1p/19q. Relationships between gene alterations and intraoperative seizures were evaluated using chi-square and two-sample t-test univariate analysis. When considering multiple predictive factors, a logistic multivariate approach was taken.

RESULTS

Overall, 416 patients met criteria for inclusion; of these patients, 98 (24%) experienced an intraoperative seizure. Patients with a history of preoperative seizure and those treated with antiepileptic drugs prior to surgery were less likely to have intraoperative seizures (history: OR 0.61 [95% CI 0.38–0.96], chi-square = 4.65, p = 0.03; AED load: OR 0.46 [95% CI 0.26–0.80], chi-square = 7.64, p = 0.01). In a univariate analysis of genetic markers, amplification of genes encoding receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) was specifically identified as a positive predictor of seizures (OR 5.47 [95% CI 1.22–24.47], chi-square = 5.98, p = 0.01). In multivariate analyses considering RTK status, AED use, and either 2007 WHO tumor grade or modern 2016 WHO tumor groups, the authors found that amplification of the RTK proto-oncogene, MET, was most predictive of intraoperative seizure (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

This study describes a previously unreported association between genetic alterations in RTKs and the occurrence of intraoperative seizures during glioma resection with functional mapping. Future models estimating intraoperative seizure risk may be enhanced by inclusion of genetic criteria.

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Adomas Bunevicius, Mohand Suleiman, Samir Patel, Roberto Martínez Álvarez, Nuria E. Martinez Moreno, Roman Liscak, Jaromir Hanuska, Anne-Marie Langlois, David Mathieu, Christine Mau, Catherine Caldwell, Leonard C. Tuanquin, Brad E. Zacharia, James McInerney, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-Che Yang, Jennifer L. Peterson, Daniel M. Trifiletti, Akiyoshi Ogino, Hideyuki Kano, Ronald E. Warnick, Anissa Saylany, Love Y. Buch, John Y. K. Lee, Ben A. Strickland, Gabriel Zada, Eric L. Chang, L. Dade Lunsford, and Jason Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Radiation-induced meningiomas (RIMs) are associated with aggressive clinical behavior. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is sometimes considered for selected RIMs. The authors investigated the effectiveness and safety of SRS for the management of RIMs.

METHODS

From 12 institutions participating in the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation, the authors pooled patients who had prior cranial irradiation and were subsequently clinically diagnosed with WHO grade I meningiomas that were managed with SRS.

RESULTS

Fifty-two patients underwent 60 SRS procedures for histologically confirmed or radiologically suspected WHO grade I RIMs. The median ages at initial cranial radiation therapy and SRS for RIM were 5.5 years and 39 years, respectively. The most common reasons for cranial radiation therapy were leukemia (21%) and medulloblastoma (17%). There were 39 multiple RIMs (35%), the mean target volume was 8.61 ± 7.80 cm3, and the median prescription dose was 14 Gy. The median imaging follow-up duration was 48 months (range 4–195 months). RIM progressed in 9 patients (17%) at a median duration of 30 months (range 3–45 months) after SRS. Progression-free survival at 5 years post-SRS was 83%. Treatment volume ≥ 5 cm3 predicted progression (HR 8.226, 95% CI 1.028–65.857, p = 0.047). Seven patients (14%) developed new neurological symptoms or experienced SRS-related complications or T2 signal change from 1 to 72 months after SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is associated with durable local control of RIMs in the majority of patients and has an acceptable safety profile. SRS can be considered for patients and tumors that are deemed suboptimal, poor surgical candidates, and those whose tumor again progresses after removal.

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I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Zhiyuan Xu, Cheng-Chia Lee, Huai-Che Yang, Tomas Chytka, Roman Liscak, Roberto Martinez-Alvarez, Nuria Martinez-Moreno, Luca Attuati, Piero Picozzi, Douglas Kondziolka, Monica Mureb, Kenneth Bernstein, David Mathieu, Michel Maillet, Akiyoshi Ogino, Hao Long, Hideyuki Kano, L. Dade Lunsford, Brad E. Zacharia, Christine Mau, Leonard C. Tuanquin, Christopher Cifarelli, David Arsanious, Joshua Hack, Ronald E. Warnick, Ben A. Strickland, Gabriel Zada, Eric L. Chang, Herwin Speckter, Samir Patel, Dale Ding, Darrah Sheehan, Kimball Sheehan, Svetlana Kvint, Love Y. Buch, Alexander R. Haber, Jacob Shteinhart, Mary Lee Vance, and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) provides a safe and effective therapeutic modality for patients with pituitary adenomas. The mechanism of delayed endocrine deficits based on targeted radiation to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis remains unclear. Radiation to normal neuroendocrine structures likely plays a role in delayed hypopituitarism after SRS. In this multicenter study by the International Radiosurgery Research Foundation (IRRF), the authors aimed to evaluate radiation tolerance of structures surrounding pituitary adenomas and identify predictors of delayed hypopituitarism after SRS for these tumors.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of patients with pituitary adenomas who underwent single-fraction SRS from 1997 to 2019 at 16 institutions within the IRRF. Dosimetric point measurements of 14 predefined neuroanatomical structures along the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, and normal pituitary gland were made. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the impact of doses to critical structures on clinical, radiographic, and endocrine outcomes.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 521 pituitary adenomas treated with SRS. Tumor control was achieved in 93.9% of patients over a median follow-up period of 60.1 months, and 22.5% of patients developed new loss of pituitary function with a median treatment volume of 3.2 cm3. Median maximal radiosurgical doses to the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, and normal pituitary gland were 1.4, 7.2, and 11.3 Gy, respectively. Nonfunctioning adenoma status, younger age, higher margin dose, and higher doses to the pituitary stalk and normal pituitary gland were independent predictors of new or worsening hypopituitarism. Neither the dose to the hypothalamus nor the ratio between doses to the pituitary stalk and gland were significant predictors. The threshold of the median dose to the pituitary stalk for new endocrinopathy was 10.7 Gy in a single fraction (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.17–2.68, p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS for the treatment of pituitary adenomas affords a high tumor control rate with an acceptable risk of new or worsening endocrinopathy. This evaluation of point dosimetry to adjacent neuroanatomical structures revealed that doses to the pituitary stalk, with a threshold of 10.7 Gy, and doses to the normal gland significantly increased the risk of post-SRS hypopituitarism. In patients with preserved pre-SRS neuroendocrine function, limiting the dose to the pituitary stalk and gland while still delivering an optimal dose to the tumor appears prudent.