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Andrew M. Baschnagel, Peter Y. Chen, Dennis Bojrab, Daniel Pieper, Jack Kartush, Oksana Didyuk, Ilka C. Naumann, Ann Maitz and Inga S. Grills

Object

Hearing loss after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with vestibular schwannoma has been associated with radiation dose to the cochlea. The purpose of this study was to evaluate serviceable hearing preservation in patients with VS who were treated with GKS and to determine if serviceable hearing loss can be correlated with the dose to the cochlea.

Methods

Forty patients with vestibular schwannoma with serviceable hearing were treated using GKS with a median marginal dose of 12.5 Gy (range 12.5–13 Gy) to the 50% isodose volume. Audiometry was performed prospectively before and after GKS at 1, 3, and 6 months, and then every 6 months thereafter. Hearing preservation was based on pure tone average (PTA) and speech discrimination (SD). Serviceable hearing was defined as PTA less than 50 dB and SD greater than 50%.

Results

The median cochlear maximum and mean doses were 6.9 Gy (range 1.6–16 Gy) and 2.7 Gy (range 0.7–5.0 Gy), respectively. With a median audiological follow-up of 35 months (range 6–58 months), the 1-, 2-, and 3-year actuarial rates of maintaining serviceable hearing were 93%, 77%, and 74%, respectively. No patient who received a mean cochlear dose less than 2 Gy experienced serviceable hearing loss (p = 0.035). Patients who received a mean cochlear dose less than 3 Gy had a 2-year hearing preservation rate of 91% compared with 59% in those who received a mean cochlear dose of 3 Gy or greater (p = 0.029). Those who had more than 25% of their cochlea receiving 3 Gy or greater had a higher rate of hearing loss (p = 0.030). There was no statistically significant correlation between serviceable hearing loss and age, tumor size, pre-GKS PTA, pre-GKS SD, pre-GKS Gardner-Robertson class, maximum cochlear dose, or the percentage of cochlear volume receiving 5 Gy. On multivariate analysis there was a trend toward significance for serviceable hearing loss with a mean cochlear dose of 3 Gy or greater (p = 0.074). Local control was 100% at 24 months. No patient developed facial or trigeminal nerve dysfunction.

Conclusions

With a median mean cochlear dose of 2.7 Gy, the majority of patients with serviceable hearing retained serviceable hearing 3 years after GKS. A mean cochlear dose less than 3 Gy was associated with higher serviceable hearing preservation.

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Andrew M. Baschnagel, Kurt D. Meyer, Peter Y. Chen, Daniel J. Krauss, Rick E. Olson, Daniel R. Pieper, Ann H. Maitz, Hong Ye and Inga Siiner Grills

Object

The aim of this study was to examine tumor volume as a prognostic factor for patients with brain metastases treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

Two hundred fifty patients with 1–14 brain metastases who had initially undergone GKS alone at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who received upfront whole brain radiation therapy were excluded. Survival times were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate analyses using Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to determine if various prognostic factors could predict overall survival, distant brain failure, and local control.

Results

Median overall survival was 7.1 months and the 1-year local control rate was 91.5%. Median time to distant brain failure was 8.0 months. On univariate analysis an increasing total tumor volume was significantly associated with worse survival (p = 0.031) whereas the number of brain metastases, analyzed as a continuous variable, was not (p = 0.082). After adjusting for age, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and extracranial disease on multivariate analysis, total tumor volume was found to be a better predictor of overall survival (p = 0.046) than number of brain metastases analyzed as a continuous variable (p = 0.098). A total tumor volume cutoff value of ≥ 2 cm3 (p = 0.008) was a stronger predictor of overall survival than the number of brain metastases (p = 0.098). Larger tumor volume and extracranial disease, but not the number of brain metastases, were predictive of distant brain failure on multivariate analysis. Local tumor control at 1 year was 97% for lesions < 2 cm3 compared with 75% for lesions ≥ 2 cm3 (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

After adjusting for other factors, a total brain metastasis volume was a strong and independent predictor for overall survival, distant brain failure, and local control, even when considering the number of metastases.

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Maha Saada Jawad, Daniel K. Fahim, Peter C. Gerszten, John C. Flickinger, Arjun Sahgal, Inga S. Grills, Jason Sheehan, Ronald Kersh, John Shin, Kevin Oh, Frederick Mantel and Matthias Guckenberger

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to identify factors contributing to an increased risk for vertebral compression fracture (VCF) following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal tumors.

METHODS

A total of 594 tumors were treated with spinal SBRT as primary treatment or re-irradiation at 8 different institutions as part of a multi-institutional research consortium. Patients underwent LINAC-based, image-guided SBRT to a median dose of 20 Gy (range 8–40 Gy) in a median of 1 fraction (range 1–5 fractions). Median patient age was 62 years. Seventy-one percent of tumors were osteolytic, and a preexisting vertebral compression fracture (VCF) was present in 24% of cases. Toxicity was assessed following treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a logistic regression method to determine parameters predictive for post-SBRT VCF.

RESULTS

At a median follow-up of 10.1 months (range 0.03–57 months), 80% of patients had local tumor control. At the time of last imaging follow-up, at a median of 8.8 months after SBRT, 3% had a new VCF, and 2.7% had a progressive VCF. For development of any (new or progressive) VCF following SBRT, the following factors were predictive for VCF on univariate analysis: short interval from primary diagnosis to SBRT (less than 36.8 days), solitary metastasis, no additional bone metastases, no prior chemotherapy, preexisting VCF, no MRI used for target delineation, tumor volume of 37.3 cm3 or larger, equivalent 2-Gy-dose (EQD2) tumor of 41.8 Gy or more, and EQD2 spinal cord Dmax of 46.1 Gy or more. Preexisting VCF, solitary metastasis, and prescription dose of 38.4 Gy or more were predictive on multivariate analysis. The following factors were predictive of a new VCF on univariate analysis: solitary metastasis, no additional bone metastases, and no MRI used for target delineation. Presence of a solitary metastasis and lack of MRI for target delineation remained significant on multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

A VCF following SBRT is more likely to occur following treatment for a solitary spinal metastasis, reflecting a more aggressive treatment approach in patients with adequately controlled systemic disease. Higher prescription dose and a preexisting VCF also put patients at increased risk for post-SBRT VCF. In these patients, pre-SBRT cement augmentation could be considered to decrease the risk of subsequent VCF.

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Ching-Jen Chen, Kathryn N. Kearns, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Inga S. Grills, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the basal ganglia (BG) and thalamus are associated with elevated risks of both hemorrhage if left untreated and neurological morbidity after resection. Therefore, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become a mainstay in the management of these lesions, although its safety and efficacy remain incompletely understood. The aim of this retrospective multicenter cohort study was to evaluate the outcomes of SRS for BG and thalamic AVMs and determine predictors of successful endpoints and adverse radiation effects.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed data on patients with BG or thalamic AVMs who had undergone SRS at eight institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF) from 1987 to 2014. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Multivariable models were developed to identify independent predictors of outcome.

RESULTS

The study cohort comprised 363 patients with BG or thalamic AVMs. The mean AVM volume and SRS margin dose were 3.8 cm3 and 20.7 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up duration was 86.5 months. Favorable outcome was achieved in 58.5% of patients, including obliteration in 64.8%, with rates of post-SRS hemorrhage and permanent RIC in 11.3% and 5.6% of patients, respectively. Independent predictors of favorable outcome were no prior AVM embolization (p = 0.011), a higher margin dose (p = 0.008), and fewer isocenters (p = 0.044).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is the preferred intervention for the majority of BG and thalamic AVMs. Patients with morphologically compact AVMs that have not been previously embolized are more likely to have a favorable outcome, which may be related to the use of a higher margin dose.

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Ahmed Hashmi, Matthias Guckenberger, Ron Kersh, Peter C. Gerszten, Frederick Mantel, Inga S. Grills, John C. Flickinger, John H. Shin, Daniel K. Fahim, Brian Winey, Kevin Oh, B. C. John Cho, Daniel Létourneau, Jason Sheehan and Arjun Sahgal

OBJECTIVE

This study is a multi-institutional pooled analysis specific to imaging-based local control of spinal metastases in patients previously treated with conventional external beam radiation therapy (cEBRT) and then treated with re-irradiation stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to the spine as salvage therapy, the largest such study to date.

METHODS

The authors reviewed cases involving 215 patients with 247 spinal target volumes treated at 7 institutions. Overall survival was calculated on a patient basis, while local control was calculated based on the spinal target volume treated, both using the Kaplan-Meier method. Local control was defined as imaging-based progression within the SBRT target volume. Equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2) was calculated for the cEBRT and SBRT course using an α/β of 10 for tumor and 2 for both spinal cord and cauda equina.

RESULTS

The median total dose/number of fractions of the initial cEBRT was 30 Gy/10. The median SBRT total dose and number of fractions were 18 Gy and 1, respectively. Sixty percent of spinal target volumes were treated with single-fraction SBRT (median, 16.6 Gy and EQD2/10 = 36.8 Gy), and 40% with multiple-fraction SBRT (median 24 Gy in 3 fractions, EQD2/10 = 36 Gy). The median time interval from cEBRT to re-irradiation SBRT was 13.5 months, and the median duration of patient follow-up was 8.1 months. Kaplan-Meier estimates of 6- and 12-month overall survival rates were 64% and 48%, respectively; 13% of patients suffered a local failure, and the 6- and 12-month local control rates were 93% and 83%, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) < 70 as a significant prognostic factor for worse overall survival, and single-fraction SBRT as a significant predictive factor for better local control. There were no cases of radiation myelopathy, and the vertebral compression fracture rate was 4.5%.

CONCLUSIONS

Re-irradiation spine SBRT is effective in yielding imaging-based local control with a clinically acceptable safety profile. A randomized trial would be required to determine the optimal fractionation.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are the most common cause of spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage in pediatric patients (age < 18 years). Since the cumulative lifetime risk of AVM hemorrhage is considerable in children, an improved understanding of the risk factors influencing hemorrhagic presentation may aid in the management of pediatric AVMs. The aims of this first of a 2-part multicenter, retrospective cohort study are to evaluate the incidence and determine the predictors of hemorrhagic presentation in pediatric AVM patients.

METHODS

The authors analyzed pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 7 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation (IGKRF). Patients younger than 18 years at the time of radiosurgery and who had at least 12 months of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Patient and AVM characteristics were compared between unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVMs.

RESULTS

A total of 357 pediatric patients were eligible for analysis, including 112 patients in the unruptured and 245 patients in the ruptured AVM cohorts (69% incidence of hemorrhagic presentation). The annual hemorrhage rate prior to radiosurgery was 6.3%. Hemorrhagic presentation was significantly more common in deep locations (basal ganglia, thalamus, and brainstem) than in cortical locations (frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes) (76% vs 62%, p = 0.006). Among the factors found to be significantly associated with hemorrhagic presentation in the multivariate logistic regression analysis, deep venous drainage (OR 3.2, p < 0.001) was the strongest independent predictor, followed by female sex (OR 1.7, p = 0.042) and smaller AVM volume (OR 1.1, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVMs have significantly different patient and nidal features. Pediatric AVM patients who possess 1 or more of these high-risk features may be candidates for relatively more aggressive management strategies.

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Robert M. Starke, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, David Mathieu, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Pediatric patients (age < 18 years) harboring brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are burdened with a considerably higher cumulative lifetime risk of hemorrhage than adults. Additionally, the pediatric population was excluded from recent prospective comparisons of intervention versus conservative management for unruptured AVMs. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study are to analyze the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVMs.

METHODS

We analyzed and pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 7 participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients younger than 18 years of age who had at least 12 months of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-radiosurgical hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RIC). The post-radiosurgery outcomes of unruptured versus ruptured pediatric AVMs were compared, and statistical analyses were performed to identify predictive factors.

RESULTS

The overall pediatric AVM cohort comprised 357 patients with a mean age of 12.6 years (range 2.8–17.9 years). AVMs were previously treated with embolization, resection, and fractionated external beam radiation therapy in 22%, 6%, and 13% of patients, respectively. The mean nidus volume was 3.5 cm3, 77% of AVMs were located in eloquent brain areas, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 59%. The mean radiosurgical margin dose was 21 Gy (range 5–35 Gy), and the mean follow-up was 92 months (range 12–266 months). AVM obliteration was achieved in 63%. During a cumulative latency period of 2748 years, the annual post-radiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4%. Symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes occurred in 8% and 3%, respectively. Favorable outcome was achieved in 59%. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the absence of prior AVM embolization (p = 0.001) and higher margin dose (p < 0.001) were found to be independent predictors of a favorable outcome. The rates of favorable outcome for patients treated with a margin dose ≥ 22 Gy vs < 22 Gy were 78% (110/141 patients) and 47% (101/216 patients), respectively. A margin dose ≥ 22 Gy yielded a significantly higher probability of a favorable outcome (p < 0.001). The unruptured and ruptured pediatric AVM cohorts included 112 and 245 patients, respectively. Ruptured AVMs had significantly higher rates of obliteration (68% vs 53%, p = 0.005) and favorable outcome (63% vs 51%, p = 0.033), with a trend toward a higher incidence of post-radiosurgery hemorrhage (10% vs 4%, p = 0.07). The annual post-radiosurgery hemorrhage rates were 0.8% for unruptured and 1.6% for ruptured AVMs.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiosurgery is a reasonable treatment option for pediatric AVMs. Obliteration and favorable outcomes are achieved in the majority of patients. The annual rate of latency period hemorrhage after radiosurgery for both ruptured and unruptured pediatric AVM patients conveys a significant risk until the nidus is obliterated.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, Gregory Bowden, Paul Huang, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, David Mathieu, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, John Y. K. Lee, Gene H. Barnett, Douglas Kondziolka, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent the majority of infratentorial AVMs and frequently have a hemorrhagic presentation. In this multicenter study, the authors review outcomes of cerebellar AVMs after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

Eight medical centers contributed data from 162 patients with cerebellar AVMs managed with SRS. Of these patients, 65% presented with hemorrhage. The median maximal nidus diameter was 2 cm. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent radiation-induced complications (RICs). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically, with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 7–325 months).

RESULTS

The overall actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 38.3%, 74.2%, 81.4%, and 86.1%, respectively, after single-session SRS. Obliteration and a favorable outcome were more likely to be achieved in patients treated with a margin dose greater than 18 Gy (p < 0.001 for both), demonstrating significantly better rates (83.3% and 79%, respectively). The rate of latency preobliteration hemorrhage was 0.85%/year. Symptomatic post-SRS RICs developed in 4.5% of patients (n = 7). Predictors of a favorable outcome were a smaller nidus (p = 0.0001), no pre-SRS embolization (p = 0.003), no prior hemorrhage (p = 0.0001), a higher margin dose (p = 0.0001), and a higher maximal dose (p = 0.009). The Spetzler-Martin grade was not found to be predictive of outcome. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) and the Radiosurgery-Based AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) were predictive of a favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

SRS results in successful obliteration and a favorable outcome in the majority of patients with cerebellar AVMs. Most patients will require a nidus dose of higher than 18 Gy to achieve these goals. Radiosurgical and not microsurgical scales were predictive of clinical outcome after SRS.

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Mohana Rao Patibandla, Dale Ding, Hideyuki Kano, Zhiyuan Xu, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, Jamie Whitesell, John T. Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Douglas Kondziolka, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Due to the complexity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade IV–V arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions remains controversial. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after single-session stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade IV–V AVMs and determine predictive factors.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively pooled data from 233 patients (mean age 33 years) with SM Grade IV (94.4%) or V AVMs (5.6%) treated with single-session SRS at 8 participating centers in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Pre-SRS embolization was performed in 71 AVMs (30.5%). The mean nidus volume, SRS margin dose, and follow-up duration were 9.7 cm3, 17.3 Gy, and 84.5 months, respectively. Statistical analyses were performed to identify factors associated with post-SRS outcomes.

RESULTS

At a mean follow-up interval of 84.5 months, favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RIC) and was achieved in 26.2% of patients. The actuarial obliteration rates at 3, 7, 10, and 12 years were 15%, 34%, 37%, and 42%, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 3.0%. Symptomatic and permanent RIC occurred in 10.7% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Only larger AVM diameter (p = 0.04) was found to be an independent predictor of unfavorable outcome in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. The rate of favorable outcome was significantly lower for unruptured SM Grade IV–V AVMs compared with ruptured ones (p = 0.042). Prior embolization was a negative independent predictor of AVM obliteration (p = 0.024) and radiologically evident RIC (p = 0.05) in the respective multivariate analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

In this multi-institutional study, single-session SRS had limited efficacy in the management of SM Grade IV–V AVMs. Favorable outcome was only achieved in a minority of unruptured SM Grade IV–V AVMs, which supports less frequent utilization of SRS for the management of these lesions. A volume-staged SRS approach for large AVMs represents an alternative approach for high-grade AVMs, but it requires further investigation.

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Dale Ding, Robert M. Starke, Hideyuki Kano, John Y. K. Lee, David Mathieu, John Pierce, Paul P. Huang, Caleb Feliciano, Rafael Rodriguez-Mercado, Luis Almodovar, Inga S. Grills, Danilo Silva, Mahmoud Abbassy, Symeon Missios, Douglas Kondziolka, Gene H. Barnett, L. Dade Lunsford and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECTIVE

Because of the angioarchitectural diversity of Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grade III arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), the management of these lesions is incompletely defined. The aims of this multicenter, retrospective cohort study were to evaluate the outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for SM Grade III AVMs and to determine the factors predicting these outcomes.

METHODS

The authors analyzed and pooled data from patients with SM Grade III AVMs treated with SRS at 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with these AVMs and a minimum follow-up length of 12 months were included in the study cohort. An optimal outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no post-SRS hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes (RICs). Data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses.

RESULTS

The SM Grade III AVM cohort comprised 891 patients with a mean age of 34 years at the time of SRS. The mean nidus volume, radiosurgical margin dose, and follow-up length were 4.5 cm3, 20 Gy, and 89 months, respectively. The actuarial obliteration rates at 5 and 10 years were 63% and 78%, respectively. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.2%. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 11% and 4% of the patients, respectively. Optimal outcome was achieved in 56% of the patients and was significantly more frequent in cases of unruptured AVMs (OR 2.3, p < 0.001). The lack of a previous hemorrhage (p = 0.037), absence of previous AVM embolization (p = 0.002), smaller nidus volume (p = 0.014), absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (p = 0.023), and higher margin dose (p < 0.001) were statistically significant independent predictors of optimal outcome in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

Stereotactic radiosurgery provided better outcomes for patients with small, unruptured SM Grade III AVMs than for large or ruptured SM Grade III nidi. A prospective trial or registry that facilitates a comparison of SRS with conservative AVM management might further clarify the authors' observations for these often high-risk AVMs.