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Ilya Laufer, J. Bryan Iorgulescu, Talia Chapman, Eric Lis, Weiji Shi, Zhigang Zhang, Brett W. Cox, Yoshiya Yamada, and Mark H. Bilsky

Object

Decompression surgery followed by adjuvant radiotherapy is an effective therapy for preservation or recovery of neurological function and achieving durable local disease control in patients suffering from metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC). The authors examine the outcomes of postoperative image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy delivered as single-fraction or hypofractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for achieving long-term local tumor control.

Methods

A retrospective chart review identified 186 patients with ESCC from spinal metastases who were treated with surgical decompression, instrumentation, and postoperative radiation delivered as either single-fraction SRS (24 Gy) in 40 patients (21.5%), high-dose hypofractionated SRS (24–30 Gy in 3 fractions) in 37 patients (19.9%), or low-dose hypofractionated SRS (18–36 Gy in 5 or 6 fractions) in 109 patients (58.6%). The relationships between postoperative adjuvant SRS dosing and fractionation, patient characteristics, tumor histology–specific radiosensitivity, grade of ESCC, extent of surgical decompression, response to preoperative radiotherapy, and local tumor control were evaluated by competing risks analysis.

Results

The total cumulative incidence of local progression was 16.4% 1 year after SRS. Multivariate Gray competing risks analysis revealed a significant improvement in local control with high-dose hypofractionated SRS (4.1% cumulative incidence of local progression at 1 year, HR 0.12, p = 0.04) as compared with low-dose hypofractionated SRS (22.6% local progression at 1 year, HR 1). Although univariate analysis demonstrated a trend toward greater risk of local progression for patients in whom preoperative conventional external beam radiation therapy failed (22.2% local progression at 1 year, HR 1.96, p = 0.07) compared with patients who did not receive any preoperative radiotherapy (11.2% local progression at 1 year, HR 1), this association was not confirmed with multivariate analysis. No other variable significantly correlated with progression-free survival, including radiation sensitivity of tumor histology, grade of ESCC, extent of surgical decompression, or patient sex.

Conclusions

Postoperative adjuvant SRS following epidural spinal cord decompression and instrumentation is a safe and effective strategy for establishing durable local tumor control regardless of tumor histology–specific radiosensitivity. Patients who received high-dose hypofractionated SRS demonstrated 1-year local progression rates of less than 5% (95% CI 0%–12.2%), which were superior to the results of low-dose hypofractionated SRS. The local progression rate after single-fraction SRS was less than 10% (95% CI 0%–19.0%).

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Eric S. Sussman, Venkatesh Madhugiri, Mario Teo, Troels H. Nielsen, Sunil V. Furtado, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Allen L. Ho, Rogelio Esparza, Tej D. Azad, Michael Zhang, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization surgery is a safe and effective surgical treatment for symptomatic moyamoya disease (MMD) and has been shown to reduce the frequency of future ischemic events and improve quality of life in affected patients. The authors sought to investigate the occurrence of acute perioperative occlusion of the contralateral internal carotid artery (ICA) with contralateral stroke following revascularization surgery, a rare complication that has not been previously reported.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of a prospective database of a single surgeon’s series of revascularization operations in patients with MMD. From 1991 to 2016, 1446 bypasses were performed in 905 patients, 89.6% of which involved direct anastomosis of the superficial temporal artery (STA) to a distal branch of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Demographic, surgical, and radiographic data were collected prospectively in all treated patients.

RESULTS

Symptomatic contralateral hemispheric infarcts occurred during the postoperative period in 34 cases (2.4%). Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed in each of these patients. In 8 cases (0.6%), DSA during the immediate postoperative period revealed associated new occlusion of the contralateral ICA. In each of these cases, revascularization surgery involved direct anastomosis of the STA to an M4 branch of the MCA. Preoperative DSA revealed moderate (n = 1) or severe (n = 3) stenosis or occlusion (n = 4) of the ipsilateral ICA and mild (n = 2), moderate (n = 4), or severe (n = 2) stenosis of the contralateral ICA. The baseline Suzuki stage was 4 (n = 7) or 5 (n = 1). The collateral supply originated exclusively from the intracranial circulation in 4/8 patients (50%), and from both the intracranial and extracranial circulation in the remaining 50% of patients. Seven (88%) of 8 patients improved symptomatically during the acute postoperative period with induced hypertension. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at discharge was worse than baseline in 7/8 patients (88%), whereas 1 patient had only minor deficits that did not affect the mRS score. At the 3-year follow-up, 3/8 patients (38%) were at their baseline mRS score or better, 1 patient had significant disability compared with preoperatively, 2 patients had died, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. Three-year follow-up is not yet available in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute occlusion of the ICA on the contralateral side from an STA-MCA bypass is a rare, but potentially serious, complication of revascularization surgery for MMD. It highlights the importance of the hemodynamic interrelationships that exist between the two hemispheres, a concept that has been previously underappreciated. Induced hypertension during the acute period may provide adequate cerebral blood flow via developing collateral vessels, and good outcomes may be achieved with aggressive supportive management and expedited contralateral revascularization.

Free access

Yoshiya Yamada, Evangelia Katsoulakis, Ilya Laufer, Michael Lovelock, Ori Barzilai, Lily A. McLaughlin, Zhigang Zhang, Adam M. Schmitt, Daniel S. Higginson, Eric Lis, Michael J. Zelefsky, James Mechalakos, and Mark H. Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

An analysis of factors contributing to durable radiographic control of spinal metastases was undertaken, drawing from a large single-institution database in an attempt to elucidate indications and dose requirements for successful treatment.

METHODS

All patients treated at a single institution with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of the spine as first-line therapy were assessed for local progression of the treated site, defined as radiographic enlargement of the treated tumor and/or biopsy-proven evidence of active tumor cells. All patients were followed with CT, PET, or MR imaging every 3–6 months until death. Treatment decisions were made by a multidisciplinary team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and neuroradiologists. Target volumes were defined according to the international consensus guidelines and were reviewed in a multidisciplinary conference. Image-guided techniques and intensity modulation were used for every case. The tumor's histological type, gross tumor volume (GTV), dose that covers 95% of the GTV (GTV D95), percentage of GTV covered by 95% of the prescribed dose (GTV V95), planning target volume (PTV), dose that covers 95% of the PTV (PTV D95), and percentage of PTV covered by 95% of the prescribed dose (PTV V95) were analyzed for significance in relation to local control, based on time to local progression.

RESULTS

A total of 811 lesions were treated in 657 patients between 2003 and 2015 at a single institution. The mean follow-up and overall survival for the entire cohort was 26.9 months (range 2–141 months). A total of 28 lesions progressed and the mean time to failure was 26 months (range 9.7–57 months). The median prescribed dose was 2400 cGy (range 1600–2600 cGy). Both GTV D95 and PTV D95 were highly significantly associated with local failure in univariate analysis, but GTV and PTV and histological type did not reach statistical significance. The median GTV D95 for the cohort equal to or above the GTV D95 1830 cGy cut point (high dose) was 2356 cGy, and it was 1709 cGy for the cohort of patients who received less than 1830 cGy (low dose). In terms of PTV D95, the median dose for those equal to or above the cut point of 1740 cGy (high dose) was 2233 cGy, versus 1644 cGy for those lesions below the PTV D95 cut point of 1740 cGy (low dose).

CONCLUSIONS

High-dose single-session SRS provides durable long-term control, regardless of the histological findings or tumor size. In this analysis, the only significant factors predictive of local control were related to the actual dose of radiation given. Although the target volumes were well treated with the intended dose, those lesions irradiated to higher doses (median GTV D95 2356 cGy, minimum 1830 cGy) had a significantly higher probability of durable local control than those treated with lower doses (median PTV D95 2232 cGy, minimum of 1740 cGy) (p < 0.001). Patients in the high-dose cohort had a 2% cumulative rate of local failure. Histological findings were not associated with local failure, suggesting that radioresistant histological types benefit in particular from radiosurgery. For patients with a favorable prognosis, a higher dose of SRS is important for long-term outcomes.

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Hugh D. Moulding, James B. Elder, Eric Lis, Dale M. Lovelock, Zhigang Zhang, Yoshiya Yamada, and Mark H. Bilsky

Object

Adjuvant radiation following epidural spinal cord decompression for tumor is a powerful tool used to achieve local disease control and preserve neurological function. To the authors' knowledge, only 1 published report addresses adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery after this procedure, but that study used significantly lower doses than are currently prescribed. The authors review their experience using high-dose single-fraction radiosurgery as a postoperative adjuvant following surgical decompression and instrumentation to assess long-term local tumor control, morbidity, and survival.

Methods

A retrospective chart review identified 21 patients treated with surgical decompression and instrumentation for high-grade, epidural, spinal cord compression from tumor, followed by single-fraction high-dose spinal radiosurgery (dose range 18–24 Gy, median 24 Gy). Spinal cord dose was limited to a cord maximal dose of 14 Gy. Tumor histologies, time between surgery and radiosurgery, time to local recurrence after radiosurgery as assessed by serial MR imaging, and time to death were determined. Competing risk analysis was used to evaluate these end points.

Results

In this series, 20 tumors treated (95%) were considered highly radioresistant to conventional external beam radiation. The planning target volume received a high dose (24 Gy) in 16 patients (76.2%), and a low dose (18 or 21 Gy) in 5 patients (23.8%). During the study, 15 (72%) of 21 patients died, and in all cases death was due to systemic progression as opposed to local failure. The median overall survival after radiosurgery was 310 days (range 37 days to not reached). One patient (4.8%) underwent repeat surgery for local failure and 2 patients (9.5%) underwent spine surgery for other reasons. Local control was maintained after radiosurgery in 17 (81%) of 21 patients until death or most recent follow-up, with an estimated 1-year local failure risk of 9.5%. Of the failures, 3 of 4 were noted in patients receiving low-dose radiosurgery, equaling an overall failure rate of 60% (3 of 5 patients) and a 1-year local failure estimated risk of 20%. Those patients receiving adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery with a high dose had a 93.8% overall local control rate (15 of 16 patients), with a 1-year estimated failure risk of 6.3%. Competing risk analysis showed this to be a significant difference between radiosurgical doses. One patient experienced a significant radiation-related complication; there were no wound-related issues after radiosurgery.

Conclusions

Spine radiosurgery after surgical decompression and instrumentation for tumor is a safe and effective technique that can achieve local tumor control until death in the vast majority of patients. In this series, those patients who received a higher radiosurgical dose had a significantly better local control rate.

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Alexander A. Aabedi, EunSeon Ahn, Sofia Kakaizada, Claudia Valdivia, Jacob S. Young, Heather Hervey-Jumper, Eric Zhang, Oren Sagher, Daniel H. Weissman, David Brang, and Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper

OBJECTIVE

Maximal safe tumor resection in language areas of the brain relies on a patient’s ability to perform intraoperative language tasks. Assessing the performance of these tasks during awake craniotomies allows the neurosurgeon to identify and preserve brain regions that are critical for language processing. However, receiving sedation and analgesia just prior to experiencing an awake craniotomy may reduce a patient’s wakefulness, leading to transient language and/or cognitive impairments that do not completely subside before language testing begins. At present, the degree to which wakefulness influences intraoperative language task performance is unclear. Therefore, the authors sought to determine whether any of 5 brief measures of wakefulness predicts such performance during awake craniotomies for glioma resection.

METHODS

The authors recruited 21 patients with dominant hemisphere low- and high-grade gliomas. Each patient performed baseline wakefulness measures in addition to picture-naming and text-reading language tasks 24 hours before undergoing an awake craniotomy. The patients performed these same tasks again in the operating room following the cessation of anesthesia medications. The authors then conducted statistical analyses to investigate potential relationships between wakefulness measures and language task performance.

RESULTS

Relative to baseline, performance on 3 of the 4 objective wakefulness measures (rapid counting, button pressing, and vigilance) declined in the operating room. Moreover, these declines appeared in the complete absence of self-reported changes in arousal. Performance on language tasks similarly declined in the intraoperative setting, with patients experiencing greater declines in picture naming than in text reading. Finally, performance declines on rapid counting and vigilance wakefulness tasks predicted performance declines on the picture-naming task.

CONCLUSIONS

Current subjective methods for assessing wakefulness during awake craniotomies may be insufficient. The administration of objective measures of wakefulness just prior to language task administration may help to ensure that patients are ready for testing. It may also allow neurosurgeons to identify patients who are at risk for poor intraoperative performance.

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Robert J. Rothrock, Yi Li, Eric Lis, Stephanie Lobaugh, Zhigang Zhang, Patrick McCann, Patricia Mae G. Santos, T. Jonathan Yang, Ilya Laufer, Mark H. Bilsky, Adam Schmitt, Yoshiya Yamada, and Daniel S. Higginson

OBJECTIVE

To characterize the clinical outcomes when stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) alone is used to treat high-grade epidural disease without prior surgical decompression, the authors conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients treated at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center between 2014 and 2018. The authors report locoregional failure (LRF) for a cohort of 31 cases treated with hypofractionated SBRT alone for grade 2 epidural spinal cord compression (ESCC) with radioresistant primary cancer histology.

METHODS

High-grade epidural disease was defined as grade 2 ESCC, which is notable for radiographic deformation of the spinal cord by metastatic disease. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and cumulative incidence functions were generated to examine the survival and incidence experiences of the sample level with respect to overall survival, LRF, and subsequent requirement of vertebral same-level surgery (SLS) due to tumor progression or fracture. Associations with dosimetric analysis were also examined.

RESULTS

Twenty-nine patients undergoing 31 episodes of hypofractionated SBRT alone for grade 2 ESCC between 2014 and 2018 were identified. The 1-year and 2-year cumulative incidences of LRF were 10.4% (95% CI 0–21.9) and 22.0% (95% CI 5.5–38.4), respectively. The median survival was 9.81 months (95% CI 8.12–18.54). The 1-year cumulative incidence of SLS was 6.8% (95% CI 0–16.0) and the 2-year incidence of SLS was 14.5% (95% CI 0.6–28.4). All patients who progressed to requiring surgery had index lesions at the thoracic apex (T5–7).

CONCLUSIONS

In carefully selected patients, treatment of grade 2 ESCC disease with hypofractionated SBRT alone offers a 1-year cumulative incidence of LRF similar to that in low-grade ESCC and postseparation surgery adjuvant hypofractionated SBRT. Use of SBRT alone has a favorable safety profile and a low cumulative incidence of progressive disease requiring open surgical intervention (14.5%).

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Christine Park, Beiyu Liu, Stephen C. Harward, Anru R. Zhang, Jared Gloria, Hui-Jie Lee, Herbert E. Fuchs, Carrie R. Muh, Sarah E. Hodges, and Eric M. Thompson

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative hydrocephalus occurs in one-third of children after posterior fossa tumor resection. Although models to predict the need for CSF diversion after resection exist for preoperative variables, it is unknown which postoperative variables predict the need for CSF diversion. In this study, the authors sought to determine the clinical and radiographic predictors for CSF diversion in children following posterior fossa tumor resection.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort study involving patients ≤ 18 years of age who underwent resection of a primary posterior fossa tumor between 2000 and 2018. The primary outcome was the need for CSF diversion 6 months after surgery. Candidate predictors for CSF diversion including age, race, sex, frontal occipital horn ratio (FOHR), tumor type, tumor volume and location, transependymal edema, papilledema, presence of postoperative intraventricular blood, and residual tumor were evaluated using a best subset selection method with logistic regression.

RESULTS

Of the 63 included patients, 26 (41.3%) had CSF diversion at 6 months. Patients who required CSF diversion had a higher median FOHR (0.5 vs 0.4) and a higher percentage of postoperative intraventricular blood (30.8% vs 2.7%) compared with those who did not. A 0.1-unit increase in FOHR or intraventricular blood was associated with increased odds of CSF diversion (OR 2.9 [95% CI 1.3–7.8], p = 0.02 and OR 20.2 [95% CI 2.9–423.1], p = 0.01, respectively) with an overfitting-corrected concordance index of 0.68 (95% CI 0.56–0.80).

CONCLUSIONS

The preoperative FOHR and postoperative intraventricular blood were significant predictors of the need for permanent CSF diversion within 6 months after posterior fossa tumor resection in children.

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Jason H. Huang, Eric L. Zager, Jun Zhang, Robert F. Groff IV, Bryan J. Pfister, Akiva S. Cohen, M. Sean Grady, Eileen Maloney-Wilensky, and Douglas H. Smith

Object

Although neuron transplantation to repair the nervous system has shown promise in animal models, there are few practical sources of viable neurons for clinical application and insufficient approaches to bridge extensive nerve damage in patients. Therefore, the authors sought a clinically relevant source of neurons that could be engineered into transplantable nervous tissue constructs. The authors chose to evaluate human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons due to their robustness in culture.

Methods

Cervical DRGs were harvested from 16 live patients following elective ganglionectomies, and thoracic DRGs were harvested from 4 organ donor patients. Following harvest, the DRGs were digested in a dispase–collagenase treatment to dissociate neurons for culture. In addition, dissociated human DRG neurons were placed in a specially designed axon expansion chamber that induces continuous mechanical tension on axon fascicles spanning 2 populations of neurons originally plated ∼ 100 μm apart.

Results

The adult human DRG neurons, positively identified by neuronal markers, survived at least 3 months in culture while maintaining the ability to generate action potentials. Stretch-growth of axon fascicles in the expansion chamber occurred at the rate of 1 mm/day to a length of 1 cm, creating the first engineered living human nervous tissue constructs.

Conclusions

These data demonstrate the promise of adult human DRG neurons as an alternative transplant material due to their availability, viability, and capacity to be engineered. Also, these data show the feasibility of harvesting DRGs from living patients as a source of neurons for autologous transplant as well as from organ donors to serve as an allograft source of neurons.

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Michel F. Lévesque, Jingxi Zhang, Charles L. Wilson, Eric J. Behnke, Ronald M. Harper, Robert B. Lufkin, Jerome Engel Jr., and Paul H. Crandall

✓ A methodology has been developed for stereotactic investigation of limbic epilepsy using an image-analysis system that simultaneously displays different structural and functional images of the brain. The validity and accuracy of this system were established with phantom studies. Surgical planning and electrode implantation are guided by stereotactic magnetic resonance imaging, digital subtraction angiography, and positron emission tomography. This methodology provides the spatiotemporal relationship of cerebral structure and function necessary to identify seizure onset and propagation in human limbic system epilepsy.

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Jaymin Jhaveri, Mudit Chowdhary, Xinyan Zhang, Robert H. Press, Jeffrey M. Switchenko, Matthew J. Ferris, Tiffany M. Morgan, Justin Roper, Anees Dhabaan, Eric Elder, Bree R. Eaton, Jeffrey J. Olson, Walter J. Curran Jr., Hui-Kuo G. Shu, Ian R. Crocker, and Kirtesh R. Patel

OBJECTIVE

The optimal margin size in postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases is unknown. Herein, the authors investigated the effect of SRS planning target volume (PTV) margin on local recurrence and symptomatic radiation necrosis postoperatively.

METHODS

Records of patients who received postoperative LINAC-based SRS for brain metastases between 2006 and 2016 were reviewed and stratified based on PTV margin size (1.0 or > 1.0 mm). Patients were treated using frameless and framed SRS techniques, and both single-fraction and hypofractionated dosing were used based on lesion size. Kaplan-Meier and cumulative incidence models were used to estimate survival and intracranial outcomes, respectively. Multivariate analyses were also performed.

RESULTS

A total of 133 patients with 139 cavities were identified; 36 patients (27.1%) and 35 lesions (25.2%) were in the 1.0-mm group, and 97 patients (72.9%) and 104 lesions (74.8%) were in the > 1.0–mm group. Patient characteristics were balanced, except the 1.0-mm cohort had a better Eastern Cooperative Group Performance Status (grade 0: 36.1% vs 19.6%), higher mean number of brain metastases (1.75 vs 1.31), lower prescription isodose line (80% vs 95%), and lower median single fraction–equivalent dose (15.0 vs 17.5 Gy) (all p < 0.05). The median survival and follow-up for all patients were 15.6 months and 17.7 months, respectively. No significant difference in local recurrence was noted between the cohorts. An increased 1-year rate of symptomatic radionecrosis was seen in the larger margin group (20.9% vs 6.0%, p = 0.028). On multivariate analyses, margin size > 1.0 mm was associated with an increased risk for symptomatic radionecrosis (HR 3.07, 95% CI 1.13–8.34; p = 0.028), while multifraction SRS emerged as a protective factor for symptomatic radionecrosis (HR 0.13, 95% CI 0.02–0.76; p = 0.023).

CONCLUSIONS

Expanding the PTV margin beyond 1.0 mm is not associated with improved local recurrence but appears to increase the risk of symptomatic radionecrosis after postoperative SRS.