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Sameer Agnihotri, Kenneth D. Aldape and Gelareh Zadeh

Diffuse gliomas and secondary glioblastomas (GBMs) that develop from low-grade gliomas are a common and incurable class of brain tumor. Mutations in the metabolic enzyme glioblastomas (IDH1) represent a distinguishing feature of low-grade gliomas and secondary GBMs. IDH1 mutations are one of the most common and earliest detectable genetic alterations in low-grade diffuse gliomas, and evidence supports this mutation as a driver of gliomagenesis. Here, the authors highlight the biological consequences of IDH1 mutations in gliomas, the clinical and therapeutic/diagnostic implications, and the molecular subtypes of these tumors. They also explore, in brief, the non-IDH1–mutated gliomas, including primary GBMs, and the molecular subtypes and drivers of these tumors. A fundamental understanding of the diversity of GBMs and lower-grade gliomas will ultimately allow for more effective treatments and predictors of survival.

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Mazda K. Turel, Georgios Tsermoulas, Lior Gonen, George Klironomos, Joao Paulo Almeida, Gelareh Zadeh and Fred Gentili

OBJECTIVE

The treatment of recurrent and residual craniopharyngiomas is challenging. In this study the authors describe their experience with these tumors and make recommendations on their management.

METHODS

The authors performed an observational study of adult patients (≥ 18 years) with recurrent or residual craniopharyngiomas that were managed at their tertiary center. Retrospective data were collected on demographics and clinical, imaging, and treatment characteristics from patients who had a minimum 2-year follow-up. Descriptive statistics were used and the data were analyzed.

RESULTS

There were 42 patients (27 male, 15 female) with a mean age of 46.3 ± 14.3 years. The average tumor size was 3.1 ± 1.1 cm. The average time to first recurrence was 3.6 ± 5.5 years (range 0.2–27 years). One in 5 patients (8/42) with residual/recurrent tumors did not require any active treatment. Of the 34 patients who underwent repeat treatment, 12 (35.3%) had surgery only (transcranial, endoscopic, or both), 9 (26.5%) underwent surgery followed by adjuvant radiation therapy (RT), and 13 (38.2%) received RT alone. Eighty-six percent (18/21) had a gross-total (n = 4) or near-total (n = 14) resection of the recurrent/residual tumors and had good local control at last follow-up. One of 5 patients (7/34) who underwent repeat treatment had further treatment for a second recurrence. The total duration of follow-up was 8.6 ± 7.1 years. The average Karnofsky Performance Scale score at last follow-up was 80 (range 40–90). There was 1 death.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on this experience and in the absence of guidelines, the authors recommend an individualized approach for the treatment of symptomatic or growing tumors. This study has shown that 1 in 5 patients does not require repeat treatment of their recurrent/residual disease and can be managed with a “scan and watch” approach. On the other hand, 1 in 5 patients who had repeat treatment for their recurrence in the form of surgery and/or radiation will require further additional treatment. More studies are needed to best characterize these patients and predict the natural history of this disease and response to treatment.

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Mohammed J. Asha, Hirokazu Takami, Carlos Velasquez, Selfy Oswari, Joao Paulo Almeida, Gelareh Zadeh and Fred Gentili

OBJECTIVE

Transsphenoidal surgery is advocated as the first-line management of growth hormone (GH)–secreting adenomas. Although disease control is defined by strict criteria for biochemical remission, the length of follow-up needed is not well defined in literature. In this report, the authors present their long-term remission rate and identify various predictive factors that might influence the clinical outcome.

METHODS

The authors conducted a single-institute retrospective analysis of all transsphenoidal procedures for GH-secreting adenomas performed from January 2000 to June 2016. The primary outcome was defined as biochemical remission according to the 2010 consensus criteria and measured at the 1-year postoperative mark as well as on the last recorded follow-up appointment.

Secondary variables included recurrence rate, patterns of clinical presentation, and outcome of adjuvant therapy (including repeat surgery). Subgroup analysis was performed for patients who had biochemical or radiological “discordance”—patients who achieved biochemical remission but with incongruent insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)/GH or residual tumor on MRI. Recurrence-free survival analysis was conducted for patients who achieved remission at 1 year after surgery.

RESULTS

Eighty-one patients (45 female and 36 male) with confirmed acromegaly treated with transsphenoidal surgery were included. In 62 cases the patients were treated with a pure endoscopic approach and in 19 cases an endoscopically assisted microscopic approach was used.

Primary biochemical remission after surgery was achieved in 59 cases (73%) at 1 year after surgery. However, only 41 patients (51%) remained in primary surgical remission (without any adjuvant treatment) at their last follow-up appointment, indicating a recurrence rate of 31% (18 of 59 patients) over the duration of follow-up (mean 100 ± 61 months). Long-term remission rates for pure endoscopic and endoscopically assisted cases were not significantly different (48% vs 52%, p = 0.6). Similarly, no significant difference in long-term remission was detected between primary surgery and repeat surgery (54% vs 33%, p = 0.22).

Long-term remission was significantly influenced by extent of resection, cavernous sinus invasion (radiologically as well as surgically reported), and preoperative and early postoperative GH and IGF-1 levels (within 24–48 hours after surgery) as well as by clinical grade, with lower remission rates in patients with dysmorphic features and/or medical comorbidities (grade 2–3) compared to minimally symptomatic or silent cases (grade 1).

CONCLUSIONS

The long-term surgical remission rate appears to be significantly less than “early” remission rates and is highly dependent on the extent of tumor resection. The authors advocate a long-term follow-up regimen and propose a clinical grading system that may aid in predicting long-term outcome in addition to the previously reported anatomical factors. The role of repeat surgery is highlighted.

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Mitchel S. Berger, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Thomas C. Chen and Gelareh Zadeh

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Yuri M. Andrade-Souza, Gelareh Zadeh, Meera Ramani, Daryl Scora, May N. Tsao and Michael L. Schwartz

Object. The aim of this study was to validate the radiosurgery-based arteriovenous malformation (AVM) score and the modified Spetzler—Martin grading system to predict radiosurgical outcome.

Methods. One hundred thirty-six patients with brain AVMs were randomly selected. These patients had undergone a linear accelerator radiosurgical procedure at a single center between 1989 and 2000. Patients were divided into four groups according to an AVM score, which was calculated from the lesion volume, lesion location, and patient age (Group 1, AVM score < 1; Group 2, AVM score 1–1.49; Group 3, AVM score 1.5–2; and Group 4, AVM score > 2). Patients with a Spetzler—Martin Grade III AVM were divided into Grades IIIA (lesion > 3 cm) and IIIB (lesion < 3 cm). Sixty-two female (45.6%) and 74 male (54.4%) patients with a median age of 37.5 years (mean 37.5 years, range 5–77 years) were followed up for a median of 40 months. The median tumor margin dose was 15 Gy (mean 17.23 Gy, range 15–25 Gy). The proportions of excellent outcomes according to the AVM score were as follows: 91.7% for Group 1, 74.1% for Group 2, 60% for Group 3, and 33.3% for Group 4 (chi-square test, degrees of freedom (df) = 3, p < 0.001). Based on the modified Spetzler—Martin system, Grade I lesions had 88.9% excellent results; Grade II, 69.6%; Grade IIIB, 61.5%; and Grades IIIA and IV, 44.8% (chi-square test, df = 3, p = 0.047).

Conclusions. The radiosurgery-based AVM score can be used accurately to predict excellent results following a single radiosurgical treatment for AVM. The modified Spetzler—Martin system can also predict radiosurgical results for AVMs, thus making it possible to use this system while deciding between surgery and radiosurgery.

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Kathleen Joy Khu, Francesco Doglietto, Ivan Radovanovic, Faisal Taleb, Daniel Mendelsohn, Gelareh Zadeh and Mark Bernstein

Object

Routine and nonselective use of awake and outpatient craniotomy for supratentorial tumors has been shown to be safe and effective from a medical standpoint. In this study the authors aim was to explore patients' perceptions about awake and outpatient craniotomy.

Methods

Qualitative research methodology was used. Two semistructured, open-ended interviews were conducted with 27 participants, who were ambulatory adult patients who underwent craniotomy for brain tumor excision between October 2008 and April 2009. The participants were each assigned to one of the following categories: 1) awake outpatient; 2) awake inpatient; 3) outpatient under general anesthesia; and 4) inpatient under general anesthesia. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and the data were subjected to thematic analysis.

Results

The following 6 overarching themes emerged from the data: 1) patients had a positive experience with awake craniotomy; 2) patient satisfaction with outpatient surgery was high; 3) patients understood the rationale behind awake surgery; 4) patients were surprised that brain surgery can be done on an outpatient basis; 5) trust in one's surgeon was important; and 6) patients were more concerned about the disease than the procedure.

Conclusions

The results reflected positively on the patients' awake and outpatient surgery experience, but there were some areas that require improvement, specifically perioperative pain control and postoperative care. These insights on patients' perspectives can lead to better delivery of care, and ultimately, improved health outcomes.

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Alireza Mansouri, Soroush Larjani, George Klironomos, Normand Laperriere, Michael Cusimano, Fred Gentili, Michael Schwartz and Gelareh Zadeh

OBJECT

In this paper, the authors’ aim was to determine short-term volumetric and diametric tumor growth and identify clinical, radiological, and dosimetric predictors of adverse radiation events (AREs) following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for intracranial WHO Grade I meningiomas.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of all WHO Grade I meningiomas that were treated with SRS (primary or adjuvant) between December 2005 and June 2012 at the University Health Network. Seventy-five patients had at least 24 months of both clinical and radiological follow-up and were, therefore, included in this study. Tumor growth was defined as any volumetric or diametric change greater than 10% per year. Any variation less than +10% was considered growth stability. Volumetric measurements were made using T1-weighted gadolinium-enhanced 3-T MRI scans and ITK-SNAP software. Tumor growth rates were calculated using the specific growth rate (SGR). Univariate statistics were used to identify predictors of post-SRS AREs. All statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS.

RESULTS

Women accounted for 69.3% of patients, and the mean treatment age was 58.6 years. Median follow-up was 36.2 months. Twenty-one (28%) patients had undergone prior resection. Two (3%) patients required salvage surgical intervention following SRS. The majority of the lesions (56%) were skull base tumors. Median tumor volume and diameter were 5.2 cm3 and 27.5 mm, respectively. The absence of tumor growth was observed in 39 cases (52%) based on the volumetric measurements, while the absence of tumor growth was observed in 69 cases (92%) based on the diametric measurements. Twenty-six patients (34.6%) experienced new-onset AREs, including headache (17.3%), cranial neuropathy (10.6%), speech impairment (2.7%), tremors (2.7%), and ataxia (1.3%). Fourteen patients (18.7%) experienced new-onset edema, and 4 of these patients were symptomatic. A lower conformity index (1.24 vs 1.4) was significantly associated with the development of edema (p < 0.001 power > 0.8). Patients with meningiomas that had growth rates of more than 10% per year were more likely to experience long-term headaches after SRS (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS

Volume-based reporting of SRS outcomes for meningiomas may be a more accurate method given the complex morphology of some lesions. The conformity index was identified as a predictor of edema following radiosurgery.

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Daipayan Guha, Benjamin Davidson, Mustafa Nadi, Naif M. Alotaibi, Michael G. Fehlings, Fred Gentili, Taufik A. Valiante, Charles H. Tator, Michael Tymianski, Abhijit Guha and Gelareh Zadeh

OBJECTIVE

A surgical series of 201 benign and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) was assessed to characterize the anatomical and clinical presentation of tumors and identify predictors of neurological outcome, recurrence, and extent of resection.

METHODS

All surgically treated PNSTs from the Division of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital from 1993 to 2010 were reviewed retrospectively. Data were collected on patient demographics, clinical presentation, surgical technique, extent of resection, postoperative neurological outcomes, and recurrence.

RESULTS

One hundred seventy-five patients with 201 tumors had adequate follow-up for analysis. There were 182 benign and 19 malignant PNSTs. Of the benign lesions, 133 were schwannomas, 21 of which were associated with a diagnosis of schwannomatosis. There were 49 neurofibromas, and 26 were associated with neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Patients presenting with schwannomas were significantly older than those with neurofibromas. Schwannomas were more readily resected than neurofibromas, with the extent of resection of the former influenced by tumor location. Patients with benign PNSTs typically presented with a painful mass and less frequently with motor deficits. The likelihood of worsened postoperative motor function was decreased in patients with fully resected tumors or preoperative deficits. Recurrence of schwannomas and neurofibromas were seen more frequently in patients diagnosed with NF3 and NF1, respectively. Subtotal resection was associated with the increased recurrence of all benign lesions.

CONCLUSIONS

Outcomes following resection of benign PNSTs depend on tumor histopathology, tumor location, and genetic predisposition syndrome. Gross-total resection should be attempted for benign lesions where possible. The management of malignant PNSTs remains challenging, requiring a multimodal approach.

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Kyle Juraschka, Osaama H. Khan, Bruno L. Godoy, Eric Monsalves, Alexandra Kilian, Boris Krischek, Aisha Ghare, Allan Vescan, Fred Gentili and Gelareh Zadeh

Object

While the use of endoscopic approaches has become increasingly accepted in the resection of pituitary adenomas, limited evidence exists regarding the success of this technique for patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas. This study reviews the outcomes of a large cohort of patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery at the authors' institution and focuses on identifying factors that can predict extent of resection and hence aid in developing guidelines and indications for the use of endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery versus open craniotomy approaches to large and giant pituitary adenomas.

Methods

The authors reviewed 487 patients who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal resection of sellar masses. From this group, 73 consecutive patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas (defined as maximum diameter ≥ 3 cm and tumor volume ≥ 10 cm3) who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery between January 1, 2006, and June 6, 2012, were included in the study. Clinical presentation, radiological studies, laboratory investigations, tumor pathology data, clinical outcomes, extent of resection measured by volumetric analysis, and complications were analyzed.

Results

The mean preoperative tumor diameter in this series was 4.1 cm and the volume was 18 cm3. The average resection rate was 82.9%, corresponding with a mean residual volume of 3 cm3. Gross-total resection was achieved in 16 patients (24%), near-total in 11 (17%), subtotal in 24 (36%), and partial in 15 (23%). Seventy-three percent of patients experienced improvement in visual acuity, while 24% were unchanged. Visual fields were improved in 61.8% and unchanged in 5.5%. Overall, 27 patients (37%) experienced a total of 32 complications. The most common complications were sinusitis (14%) and CSF leak (10%). Six patients underwent subsequent radiation therapy because of aggressive tumor histopathology. No deaths occurred in this cohort of patients. Statistically significant predictors of extent of resection included highest Knosp grade (p = 0.001), preoperative tumor volume (p = 0.025), preoperative maximum tumor diameter (p = 0.002), hemorrhagic component (p = 0.027), posterior extension (p = 0.001), and sphenoid sinus invasion (p = 0.005).

Conclusions

Endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery is an effective treatment method for patients with large and giant pituitary adenomas, which results in high (> 80%) rates of resection and improvement in visual function. It is not associated with high rates of major complications and is safe when performed by experienced surgeons. The preoperative Knosp grade, tumor volume, tumor diameter, hemorrhagic components on MRI, posterior extension, and sphenoid sinus invasion may allow a prediction of extent of resection and in these patients a staged operation may be required to maximize extent of resection.

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Roberto Jose Diaz, Roberto Rey Dios, Eyas M. Hattab, Kelly Burrell, Patricia Rakopoulos, Nesrin Sabha, Cynthia Hawkins, Gelareh Zadeh, James T. Rutka and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

OBJECT

Intravenous fluorescein sodium has been used during resection of high-grade gliomas to help the surgeon visualize tumor margins. Several studies have reported improved rates of gross-total resection (GTR) using high doses of fluorescein sodium under white light. The recent introduction of a fluorescein-specific camera that allows for high-quality intraoperative imaging and use of very low dose fluorescein has drawn new attention to this fluorophore. However, the ability of fluorescein to specifically stain glioma cells is not yet well understood.

METHODS

The authors designed an in vitro model to assess fluorescein uptake in normal human astrocytes and U251 malignant glioma cells. An in vivo experiment was also subsequently designed to study fluorescein uptake by intracranial U87 malignant glioma xenografts in male nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mice. A genetically induced mouse glioma model was used to adjust for the possible confounding effect of an inflammatory response in the xenograft model. To assess the intraoperative application of this technology, the authors prospectively enrolled 12 patients who underwent fluorescein-guided resection of their high-grade gliomas using low-dose intravenous fluorescein and a microscope-integrated fluorescence module. Intraoperative fluorescent and nonfluorescent specimens at the tumor margins were randomly analyzed for histopathological correlation.

RESULTS

The in vitro and in vivo models suggest that fluorescein demarcation of glioma-invaded brain is the result of distribution of fluorescein into the extracellular space, most likely as a result of an abnormal blood-brain barrier. Glioblastoma tumor cell–specific uptake of fluorescein was not observed, and tumor cells appeared to mostly exclude fluorescein. For the 12 patients who underwent resection of their high-grade gliomas, the histopathological analysis of the resected specimens at the tumor margin confirmed the intraoperative fluorescent findings. Fluorescein fluorescence was highly specific (up to 90.9%) while its sensitivity was 82.2%. False negatives occurred due to lack of fluorescence in areas of diffuse, low-density cellular infiltration. Margins of contrast enhancement based on intraoperative MRI–guided StealthStation neuronavigation correlated well with fluorescent tumor margins. GTR of the contrast-enhancing area as guided by the fluorescent signal was achieved in 100% of cases based on postoperative MRI.

CONCLUSIONS

Fluorescein sodium does not appear to selectively accumulate in astrocytoma cells but in extracellular tumor cell-rich locations, suggesting that fluorescein is a marker for areas of compromised blood-brain barrier within high-grade astrocytoma. Fluorescein fluorescence appears to correlate intraoperatively with the areas of MR enhancement, thus representing a practical tool to help the surgeon achieve GTR of the enhancing tumor regions.