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Kentaro Shimizu, Norio Nakamura, and Hideo Terao

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Takahiro Yamamoto, Tadashi Hamasaki, Hideo Nakamura, and Kazumichi Yamada

Improvement of visual field defects after surgical treatment for occipital lobe epilepsy is rare. Here, the authors report on a 24-year-old man with a 15-year history of refractory epilepsy that developed after he had undergone an occipital craniotomy to remove a cerebellar astrocytoma at the age of 4. His seizures started with an elementary visual aura, followed by secondary generalized tonic-clonic convulsion. Perimetry revealed left-sided incomplete hemianopia, and MRI showed an old contusion in the right occipital lobe. After evaluation with ictal video-electroencephalography, electrocorticography, and mapping of the visual cortex with subdural electrodes, the patient underwent resection of the scarred tissue, including the epileptic focus at the occipital lobe. After surgery, he became seizure free and his visual field defect improved gradually. In addition, postoperative 123I-iomazenil (IMZ) SPECT showed partly normalized IMZ uptake in the visual cortex. This case is a practical example suggesting that neurological deficits attributable to the functional deficit zone can be remedied by successful focal resection.

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Koji Nakamura, Ryuichi Tsugane, Hakuji Ito, Hideo Obata, and Hiroshi Narita

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Branavan Manoranjan and Sheila K. Singh

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Morio Matsumoto, Ken Ishii, Hironari Takaishi, Masaya Nakamura, Hideo Morioka, Kazuhiro Chiba, Takeshi Takahata, and Yoshiaki Toyama

✓The authors report the case of a 47-year-old woman who harbored a giant cell tumor at the T-5 level. She had undergone curettage of the tumor via a combined anterior and posterior approach at a regional hospital and was later referred to the authors' institution for treatment after the tumor recurred. On examination she exhibited progressive paraparesis and was nonambulatory due to cord compression caused by the tumor, which had invaded the spinal canal and extended to the right paravertebral muscles and right thoracic cavity. A spondylectomy was performed through a single posterior approach. The tumor, together with a portion of the dura mater, pleura, and muscles, was resected en bloc from T-4 to T-6. After resection, spinal reconstruction was performed by placement of an anterior titanium mesh cage as well as posterior pedicle screw and rod instrumentation. The patient's postoperative course was uneventful, and she exhibited substantial neurological recovery and became ambulatory. Two and a half years after surgery, the patient was tumor free.

En bloc resection of a recurrent giant cell tumor was successfully achieved through a single posterior approach. This surgical technique can be an effective option for this pathological condition, which is difficult to manage using other conventional treatment options including repeated curettage and radiotherapy.

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Hideo Nakamura, Keishi Makino, Masato Kochi, Yukitaka Ushio, and Jun-ichi Kuratsu

Object

The authors evaluated the effectiveness of a neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) consisting of combined chemoand radiotherapy followed by complete resection of the residual tumor in patients with nongerminomatous malignant germ cell tumors (NGMGCTs).

Methods

The authors treated 14 consecutive patients in whom NGMGCTs were diagnosed based on elevated levels of the tumor markers α-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, and the β-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (β-HCG). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy were performed, and after the serum tumor markers level was in the normal or near-normal range, the residual tumors were completely resected.

Results

Residual tumors were confirmed in 11 of the 14 patients after NAT, and total removal was successful in 10 of the 11 patients. In the other patient the residual tumor could not be completely excised because it was attached to a deep vein. The follow-up duration ranged from 1.2 to 22.2 years. The 5-year event-free and total survival rates were 86% and 93%, respectively. Although 3 patients died, 2 of tumor recurrence and 1 of a radiation-induced secondary tumor (glioblastoma), the other 11 are alive and without evidence of tumor recurrence.

Conclusions

The authors consider their NAT protocol for NGMGCT to be highly effective in relation to survival for the patients with NGMGCT, but there are several quality of life issues that need to be resolved.

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Naoki Shinojima, Masato Kochi, Jun-Ichiro Hamada, Hideo Nakamura, Shigetoshi Yano, Keishi Makino, Hiromasa Tsuiki, Kenji Tada, Jun-Ichi Kuratsu, Yasuji Ishimaru, and Yukitaka Ushio

Object. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains incurable by conventional treatments, although some patients experience long-term survival. A younger age, a higher Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, more aggressive treatment, and long progression-free intervals have been reported to be positively associated with long-term postoperative patient survival. The aim of this retrospective study was the identification of additional favorable prognostic factors affecting long-term survival in surgically treated adult patients with supratentorial GBM.

Methods. Of 113 adult patients newly diagnosed with histologically verified supratentorial GBM who were enrolled in Phase III trials during the period between 1987 and 1998, six (5.3%) who survived for longer than 5 years were defined as long-term survivors, whereas the remaining 107 patients served as controls. All six were women and were compared with the controls; they were younger (mean age 44.2 years, range 31–60 years), and their preoperative KPS scores were higher (mean 85, range 60–100). Four of the six patients underwent gross-total resection. In five patients (83.3%) the progression-free interval was longer than 5 years and in three a histopathological diagnosis of giant cell GBM was made. This diagnosis was not made in the other 107 patients.

Conclusions. Among adult patients with supratentorial GBM, female sex and histopathological characteristics consistent with giant cell GBM may be predictive of a better survival rate, as may traditional factors (that is, younger age, good KPS score, more aggressive resection, and a long progression-free interval).

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Naoki Shinojima, Kazutaka Ohta, Shigetoshi Yano, Hideo Nakamura, Masato Kochi, Yasuji Ishimaru, Youichi Nakazato, and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ Myofibroblastoma is a rare type of benign mesenchymal tumor; only two cases of intracranial myofibroblastoma have been reported in the literature. The authors report on the case of a 34-year-old woman with a myofibroblastoma in the suprasellar region who presented with the complaint of sudden onset of headache followed within 2 weeks by progressively worsening visual disturbance. Computerized tomography scanning demonstrated a mixed low- and high-density mass in the suprasellar region and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed the mass to be of mixed intensity with heterogeneous enhancement. The tumor was subtotally removed via a right frontobasal translamina—terminalis approach and her vision improved immediately. Histologically, the tumor was characterized by alternating areas of spindle-shaped and round cells that were separated by collagen fibers. The diagnosis of myofibroblastoma was based on the tumor's intense immunoreactivity for α—smooth-muscle actin and the ultrastructural identification of myofibroblasts. The tumor was thought to have originated from the meninges in the suprasellar region.

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Naoki Shinojima, Hideo Nakamura, Masayoshi Tasaki, Kouki Kameno, Shigeo Anai, Ken-ichi Iyama, Yukio Ando, Hiroshi Seto, and Jun-ichi Kuratsu

Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant brain tumor of the posterior fossa in children and is considered an embryonal tumor. It has been suggested that medulloblastomas be categorized into 4 distinct molecular subgroups— WNT (DKK1), SHH (SFRP1), Group 3 (NPR3), or Group 4 (KCNA1)—since each subgroup is distinct and there is no overlap. The authors report on a 13-year-old boy with medulloblastoma. He presented with sudden-onset nausea and vomiting due to intratumoral hemorrhage. The medulloblastoma was thought to be in an early developmental stage because the tumor volume was extremely small. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the tumor was mainly composed of DKK1- and NPR3-positive areas. The individual areas of the tumor stained only for DKK1 or NPR3, with no overlap—that is, DKK1 and NPR3 expression were mutually exclusive. Samples obtained by laser microdissection of individual areas and subjected to mass spectrometry confirmed that the expression patterns of proteins were different. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for chromosome 6 showed there were 2 distinct types of cells that exhibited monosomy or disomy of chromosome 6. These results demonstrated that distinct subtypes of medulloblastoma may be present within a single tumor, an observation that has not been previously reported. Our findings in this case indicate that early-stage medulloblastoma may include more than 1 distinct subtype and hint at factors involved in the origin and development of medulloblastomas.

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Kenji Tada, Shoji Shiraishi, Takanori Kamiryo, Hideo Nakamura, Hirofumi Hirano, Jun-Ichi Kuratsu, Masato Kochi, Hideyuki Saya, and Yukitaka Ushio

Object. The most frequent genetic abnormality in human malignant gliomas is loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosome 10. Candidate genes on chromosome 10 that are associated with the prognosis of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) and glioblastoma (GBM) were evaluated.

Methods. The authors used 12 fluorescent microsatellite markers on both arms of chromosome 10 to study LOH in 108 primary astrocytic tumors. The LOH on chromosome 10 was observed in 11 (32%) of 34 AAs and 34 (56%) of 61 GBMs. No LOH was detected in 13 low-grade gliomas. Loss of heterozygosity was not detected in any AA in the seven patients younger than 35 years, but it was discovered in 41% of the patients older than 35 years. The prognostic significance of LOH at each locus was evaluated in 89 patients older than 15 years; 33 (37%) had supratentorial AAs and 56 (63%) had supratentorial GBMs. The Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for patient age at surgery, the preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and the extent of surgical resection revealed that LOH on marker D10S209 near the FGFR2 and DMBT1 genes was significantly associated with shorter survival in patients with AA. The LOH on markers D10S215 and D10S541, which contain the PTEN/MMAC1 gene between them, was significantly associated with shorter survival in patients with GBM.

Conclusions. In the present study it is found that LOH on chromosome 10 is an age-dependent event for patients with AAs and that LOH on marker D10S209 near the FGFR2 and DMBT1 loci is a significantly unfavorable prognostic factor. It is also reported that LOH on the PTEN/MMAC1 gene is a significantly unfavorable prognostic factor in patients with GBM.