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Michael Cummings, Varun Chowdhry, Hemangini Shah, Jason Back and Gloria A. Kennedy

Primary intracranial meningeal sarcoma is a rare neurological malignancy without strong evidence-based treatment guidelines. The authors describe a boy with primary meningeal sarcoma who symptomatically presented at 10 months of age and was treated with primary resection. The patient had multifocal recurrence approximately 2 years later. Given the location and rapid progression of the disease, the boy was treated with Gamma Knife surgery. He had a complete radiographic response 3 years posttreatment. He attends school full time and enjoys good quality of life. Based on local control and response to radiosurgery, the authors suggest that multifocal meningeal sarcomas not amenable to resection can be effectively managed with stereotactic radiosurgery.

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Stefania Morbidini-Gaffney, Chung-Taik Chung, Tracy Erin Alpert, Nancy Newman, Seung Shin Hahn, Hemangini Shah, Lisa Mitchell, Daniel Bassano, Aneela Darbar, Saeed Ahmed Bajwa and Charles Hodge

Object

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in treating patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Preliminary results of this study were previously reported. The updated results are reported in this paper.

Methods

Ninety seven patients with TN refractory to medical or surgical management underwent GKS between September 1998 and October 2005. Fifteen patients had multiple sclerosis (MS). The radiation dose was escalated from 70 to 99 Gy. The Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Scale (BNIPS) was used to assess pain before and after GKS.

Eighty-four patients were available for evaluation with a mean follow up of 8.9 months. The overall response and complete response rates were 70.2% and 36.9%, respectively. At 12 months, there was a greater improvement in BNIPS scores for patients who were treated with two isocenters compared with those treated with a single isocenter. The mean percentage of pain decrease was 56.26% compared with 11.53% (p < 0.001). Patients treated with two isocenters rather than one and patients receiving greater than 85 Gy compared with lower doses had a longer duration of response. Only nine patients (11%) had mild numbness attributable to the GKS. Five of the nine patients experienced complete resolution of facial numbness on follow up. Patients with MS have a shorter duration of response compared with those without MS (p = 0.35).

Conclusions

These updated results show that GKS continues to be an effective therapy for TN. It appears there is an enhanced response with doses 85 Gy or more and with two isocenters without increased complications.

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John W. Powell, Chung T. Chung, Hemangini R. Shah, Gregory W. Canute, Charles J. Hodge, Daniel A. Bassano, Lizhong Liu, Lisa Mitchell and Seung S. Hahn

Object

The purpose of this study was to examine the results of using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for brain metastases from classically radioresistant malignancies.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of 76 patients with melanoma (50 patients), renal cell carcinoma (RCC; 23 patients), or sarcoma (3 patients) who underwent GKS between August 1998 and July 2007. Overall patient survival, intracranial progression, and local progression of individual lesions were analyzed.

Results

The median age of the patients was 57 years (range 18–85 years) and median Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score was 80 (range 20–100). Sixty-two patients (81.6%) had uncontrolled extracranial disease. A total of 303 intracranial lesions (average 3.97 per patient, range 1–27 lesions) were treated using GKS. More than 3 lesions were treated in 30 patients (39.5%). Median GKS tumor margin dose was 18 Gy (range 8–30 Gy). Thirty-seven patients (48.7%) underwent whole brain radiation therapy. The actuarial 12-month rate for freedom from local progression for individual lesions was 77.7% and was significantly higher for RCC compared with melanoma (93.6 vs 63.0%; p = 0.001). The percentage of coverage of the prescribed dose to target volume was the only treatment–related variable associated with local control: 12-month actuarial rate of freedom from local progression was 71.4% for lesions receiving ≥ 90% coverage versus 0.0% for lesions receiving < 90% (p = 0.00048). Median overall survival was 5.1 months after GKS and 8.4 months after the discovery of brain metastases. Univariate analysis revealed that KPS score (p = 0.000004), recursive partitioning analysis class (p = 0.00043), and single metastases (p = 0.028), but not more than 3 metastases, to be prognostic factors of overall survival. The KPS score remained significant after multivariate analysis. Overall survival for patients with a KPS score ≥ 70 was 7.1 months compared with 1.3 months for a KPS score ≤ 60 (p = 0.013).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is an effective treatment option for patients with radioresistant brain metastases. In this setting, KPS score appeared to be a more important factor in predicting survival than having > 3 metastases. Higher rates of local tumor control were achieved for RCC in comparison with melanoma, and this may have an effect on survival in some patients. Although outcomes generally remained poor in this study population, these results suggest that GKS can be considered as a treatment option for many patients with radioresistant brain metastases, even if these patients have multiple lesions.