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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

Open access

Vincent C. Ye, Alexander P. Landry, Teresa Purzner, Aristotelis Kalyvas, Nilesh Mohan, Philip J. O’Halloran, Andrew Gao, and Gelareh Zadeh

BACKGROUND

Adult brainstem gliomas are rare entities that demonstrate heterogeneous biology and appear to be distinct from both their pediatric counterparts and adult supratentorial gliomas. Although the role of histone 3 mutations is being increasingly understood in this disease, the effect of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations remains unclear, largely because of limited data.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 29-year-old male with an IDH1-mutant, World Health Organization grade III anaplastic astrocytoma in the dorsal medulla, and they provide a review of the available literature on adult IDH-mutant brainstem glioma. The authors have amassed a cohort of 15 such patients, 7 of whom have survival data available. Median survival is 56 months in this small cohort, which is similar to that for IDH wild-type adult brainstem gliomas.

LESSONS

The authors’ work reenforces previous literature suggesting that the role of IDH mutation in glioma differs between brainstem and supratentorial lesions. Therefore, the authors advocate that adult brainstem gliomas be studied in terms of major molecular subgroups (including IDH mutant) because these gliomas may exhibit fundamental differences from each other, from pediatric brainstem gliomas, and from adult supratentorial gliomas.

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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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Georgios Tsermoulas, Mazda K. Turel, Jared T. Wilcox, David Shultz, Richard Farb, Gelareh Zadeh, and Mark Bernstein

OBJECTIVE

Multiple meningiomas account for 1%–10% of meningiomas. This study describes epidemiological aspects of the disease and its management, which is more challenging than for single tumors.

METHODS

A consecutive series of adult patients with ≥ 2 spatially separated meningiomas was reviewed. Patients with neurofibromatosis Type 2 were excluded. The authors collected clinical, imaging, histological, and treatment data to obtain information on epidemiology, management options, and outcomes of active treatment and surveillance.

RESULTS

A total of 133 consecutive patients were included over 25 years, with a total of 395 synchronous and 53 metachronous meningiomas, and a median of 2 tumors per patient. One hundred six patients had sporadic disease, 26 had radiation-induced disease, and 1 had familial meningiomatosis. At presentation, half of the patients were asymptomatic. In terms of their maximum cross-sectional diameter, the tumors were small (≤ 2 cm) in 67% and large (> 4 cm) in 11% of the meningiomas. Fifty-four patients had upfront treatment, and 31 had delayed treatment after an observation period (mean 4 years). One in 4 patients had ≥ 2 meningiomas treated. Overall, 64% of patients had treatment for 142 tumors—67 with surgery and 18 with radiotherapy alone. The mean follow-up was 7 years, with 13% of treated patients receiving salvage therapy. Approximately 1 in 4 patients who underwent surgery had ≥ 1 WHO Grade II or III meningioma. Meningiomas of different histological subtypes and grades in the same patient were not uncommon.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple meningiomas are often asymptomatic, probably because the majority are small and a significant proportion are induced by radiation. Approximately two-thirds of patients with multiple meningiomas require therapy, but only one-third of all meningiomas need active treatment. The authors recommend surveillance for stable and asymptomatic meningiomas and therapy for those that are symptomatic or growing.

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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, George Klironomos, Shervin Taslimi, Alex Kilian, Fred Gentili, Osaama H. Khan, Kenneth Aldape, and Gelareh Zadeh

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to identify the natural history and clinical predictors of postoperative recurrence of skull base and non–skull base meningiomas.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective hospital-based study of all patients with meningioma referred to their institution from September 1993 to January 2014. The cohort constituted both patients with a first-time presentation and those with evidence of recurrence. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed for analysis of recurrence and differences were assessed using the log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to identify potential predictors of recurrence.

RESULTS

Overall, 398 intracranial meningiomas were reviewed, including 269 (68%) non–skull base and 129 (32%) skull base meningiomas (median follow-up 30.2 months, interquartile range [IQR] 8.5–76 months). The 10-year recurrence-free survival rates for patients with gross-total resection (GTR) and subtotal resection (STR) were 90% and 43%, respectively. Skull base tumors were associated with a lower proliferation index (0.041 vs 0.062, p = 0.001), higher likelihood of WHO Grade I (85.3% vs 69.1%, p = 0.003), and younger patient age (55.2 vs 58.3 years, p = 0.01). Meningiomas in all locations demonstrated an average recurrence rate of 30% at 100 months of follow-up. Subsequently, the recurrence of skull base meningiomas plateaued whereas non–skull base lesions had an 80% recurrence rate at 230 months follow-up (p = 0.02). On univariate analysis, a prior history of recurrence (p < 0.001), initial WHO grade following resection (p < 0.001), and the inability to obtain GTR (p < 0.001) were predictors of future recurrence. On multivariate analysis a prior history of recurrence (p = 0.02) and an STR (p < 0.01) were independent predictors of a recurrence. Assessing only patients with primary presentations, STR and WHO Grades II and III were independent predictors of recurrence (p < 0.001 for both).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with skull base meningiomas present at a younger age and have less aggressive lesions overall. Extent of resection is a key predictor of recurrence and long-term follow-up of meningiomas is necessary, especially for non–skull base tumors. In skull base meningiomas, recurrence risk plateaus approximately 100 months after surgery, suggesting that for this specific cohort, follow-up after 100 months can be less frequent.

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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.