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Serge Marbacher, Elisabeth Klinger, Lucia Schwyzer, Ingeborg Fischer, Edin Nevzati, Michael Diepers, Ulrich Roelcke, Ali-Reza Fathi, Daniel Coluccia and Javier Fandino

Object

The accurate discrimination between tumor and normal tissue is crucial for determining how much to resect and therefore for the clinical outcome of patients with brain tumors. In recent years, guidance with 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)–induced intraoperative fluorescence has proven to be a useful surgical adjunct for gross-total resection of high-grade gliomas. The clinical utility of 5-ALA in resection of brain tumors other than glioblastomas has not yet been established. The authors assessed the frequency of positive 5-ALA fluorescence in a cohort of patients with primary brain tumors and metastases.

Methods

The authors conducted a single-center retrospective analysis of 531 patients with intracranial tumors treated by 5-ALA–guided resection or biopsy. They analyzed patient characteristics, preoperative and postoperative liver function test results, intraoperative tumor fluorescence, and histological data. They also screened discharge summaries for clinical adverse effects resulting from the administration of 5-ALA. Intraoperative qualitative 5-ALA fluorescence (none, mild, moderate, and strong) was documented by the surgeon and dichotomized into negative and positive fluorescence.

Results

A total of 458 cases qualified for final analysis. The highest percentage of 5-ALA–positive fluorescence in open resection was found in glioblastomas (96%, n = 99/103). Among other tumors, 5-ALA–positive fluorescence was detected in 88% (n = 21/32) of anaplastic gliomas (WHO Grade III), 40% (n = 8/19) of low-grade gliomas (WHO Grade II), no (n = 0/3) WHO Grade I gliomas, and 77% (n = 85/110) of meningiomas. Among metastases, the highest percentage of 5-ALA–positive fluorescence was detected in adenocarcinomas (48%, n = 13/27). Low rates or absence of positive fluorescence was found among pituitary adenomas (8%, n = 1/12) and schwannomas (0%, n = 0/7). Biopsies of high-grade primary brain tumors showed positive rates of fluorescence similar to those recorded for open resection. No clinical adverse effects associated with use of 5-ALA were observed. Only 1 patient had clinically silent transient elevation of liver enzymes.

Conclusions

Study findings suggest that the administration of 5-ALA as a surgical adjunct for resection and biopsy of primary brain tumors and brain metastases is safe. In light of the high rate of positive fluorescence in high-grade gliomas other than glioblastomas, meningiomas, and a variety of metastatic cancers, 5-ALA seems to be a promising tool for enhancing intraoperative identification of neoplastic tissue and optimizing the extent of resection.

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Georg Widhalm, Stefan Wolfsberger, Matthias Preusser, Ingeborg Fischer, Adelheid Woehrer, Joerg Wunderer, Johannes A. Hainfellner and Engelbert Knosp

Object

In residual nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas, reliable prognostic parameters indicating probability of tumor progression are needed. The Ki 67 expression/MIB-1 labeling index (LI) is considered to be a promising candidate factor. The aim in the present study was to analyze the clinical usefulness of MIB-1 LI for prognosis of tumor progression.

Methods

The authors studied a cohort of 92 patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. Based on sequential postoperative MR images, patients were classified as tumor free (51 patients) or as harboring residual tumor (41 individuals). The residual tumor group was further subdivided in groups with stable residual tumors (14 patients) or progressive residual tumors (27 patients). The MIB-1 LI was assessed in tumor specimens obtained in all patients, and statistical comparisons of MIB-1 LI of the various subgroups were performed.

Results

. The authors found no significant difference of MIB-1 LI in the residual tumor group compared with the tumor-free group. However, MIB-1 LI was significantly higher in the progressive residual tumor group, compared with the stable residual tumor group. Additionally, the time period to second surgery was significantly shorter in residual adenomas showing an MIB-1 LI > 3%.

Conclusions

The data indicate that MIB-1 LI in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas is a clinically useful prognostic parameter indicating probability of progression of postoperative tumor remnants. The MIB-1 LI may be helpful in decisions of postoperative disease management (for example, frequency of radiographic intervals, planning for reoperation, radiotherapy, and/or radiosurgery).

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Robert J. Bollo, Jonathan L. Berliner, Ingeborg Fischer, Daniel K. Miles, Elizabeth A. Thiele, David Zagzag and Howard L. Weiner

Subependymal giant cell tumors (SGCTs) are observed in 5–20% of patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) but account for ~ 25% of neurological morbidity. The authors report the case of a 7-year-old girl with TSC and multiple cortical tubers who presented with worsening seizures in the context of the rapid growth of a cystic, calcified, extraventricular SGCT in the right frontal lobe, initially thought to represent a cortical tuber. The tumor and surrounding tubers were excised, and clinical seizures resolved. This is the first report of an extraventricular SGCT in a child with TSC outside the neonatal period.

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Ashwatha Narayana, Patrick Kelly, John Golfinos, Erik Parker, Glyn Johnson, Edmond Knopp, David Zagzag, Ingeborg Fischer, Shahzad Raza, Praveen Medabalmi, Patricia Eagan and Michael L. Gruber

Object

Antiangiogenic agents have recently shown impressive radiological responses in high-grade glioma. However, it is not clear if the responses are related to vascular changes or due to antitumoral effects. The authors report the mature results of a clinical study of bevacizumab-based treatment of recurrent high-grade gliomas.

Methods

Sixty-one patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas received treatment with bevacizumab at 10 mg/ kg every 2 weeks for 4 doses in an 8-week cycle along with either irinotecan or carboplatin. The choice of concomitant chemotherapeutic agent was based on the number of recurrences and prior chemotherapy.

Results

At a median follow-up of 7.5 months (range 1–19 months), 50 (82%) of 61 patients relapsed and 42 patients (70%) died of the disease. The median number of administered bevacizumab cycles was 2 (range 1–7 cycles). The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3–7.7) and 9 (95% CI 7.6–10.4) months, respectively, as calculated from the initiation of the bevacizumab-based therapy. Radiologically demonstrated responses following therapy were noted in 73.6% of cases. Neither the choice of chemotherapeutic agent nor the performance of a resection prior to therapy had an impact on patient survival. Although the predominant pattern of relapse was local, 15 patients (30%) had diffuse disease.

Conclusions

Antiangiogenic therapy using bevacizumab appears to improve survival in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma. A possible change in the invasiveness of the tumor following therapy is worrisome and must be closely monitored.