Sacral tumors represent a small subset of spinal lesions and typically include chordomas, metastases, other primary bone tumors, and benign schwannomas. Resection is the standard treatment for many sacral tumors, but many types of sacral lesions have the potential for recurrence after excision. In these cases, adjuvant radiotherapy is often beneficial. Although conventional radiotherapy plays an important role in the management of spinal lesions, the radiation doses required for adequate local control of many sacral lesions generally exceed the tolerance doses of normal tissues, thus limiting its definitive role in the management of sacral tumors. Recent advances in the field of stereotactic radio-surgery have allowed precise targeting of the sacrum. In this report the authors review the use of these two forms of radiation treatment and their role in managing sacral tumors.
Iris C. Gibbs and Steven D. Chang
Michael Lim, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler Jr., and Steven D. Chang
Since the mid-1990s the use of radiosurgery for glomus jugulare tumors has grown in popularity. Despite its increased use, follow-up periods for radiosurgery are short and the numbers of patients reported are small. To add to the available information, the authors report their experience with the application of linear accelerator (LINAC) or CyberKnife modalities in 13 patients with 16 tumors.
All patients were treated with frame-based LINAC or CyberKnife radiosurgery, with doses ranging from 1400 to 2700 cGy. Patients were retrospectively assessed for posttreatment side effects, which included hearing loss, tongue weakness, and vocal hoarseness. The patients' most recent magnetic resonance (MR) images were also assessed for changes in tumor size.
The median follow-up duration was 41 months and the mean follow-up period was 60 months. All tumors remained stable or decreased in size on follow-up MR images. All patients had stable neurological symptoms, and one experienced transient ipsilateral tongue weakness and hearing loss, both of which subsequently resolved. One patient experienced transient ipsilateral vocal cord paresis; however, this individual had received previous external-beam radiation therapy.
The authors' findings continue to support radiosurgery as an effective and safe method of treatment for glomus jugulare tumors that results in low rates of morbidity.
Marco Lee, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Samuel Cheshier, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler Jr., and Steven D. Chang
Many benign intracranial tumors are amenable to radiotherapy treatment including meningiomas, schwannomas, pituitary tumors, and craniopharyngiomas. The authors present their experience in the treatment of craniopharyngiomas in 16 patients using frameless CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The authors discuss the role of radiation therapy in the management of these tumors, and more specifically, the role of CyberKnife SRS.
Sixteen patients were treated for residual or recurrent craniopharyngioma between 2000 and 2007 with CyberKnife SRS at Stanford University Medical Center. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging and visual and neuroendocrine evaluations before and at regular intervals after SRS. A multisession treatment regimen and a nonisocentric treatment plan for each patient were used with a mean marginal dose of 21.6 Gy and a mean maximal dose of 29.9 Gy.
There were adequate clinical data to assess outcomes in 11 of 16 patients. Evaluation of patients between 13 and 71 years of age (mean 34.5 years) with a mean follow-up period of 15.4 months revealed no deterioration in visual or neuroendocrine function. Tumor shrinkage was achieved in 7 of these 11 patients, and tumor control in another 3. One patient had cystic enlargement of the residual tumor.
The authors' early experience with the application of CyberKnife SRS to residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas has been positive; control or shrinkage of the tumor was achieved in 91% of patients, with no visual or neuroendocrine complications. Longer-term follow-up with a larger group of patients is required to fully evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this treatment modality.
James Pan, Allen L. Ho, Myreille D'Astous, Eric S. Sussman, Patricia A. Thompson, Armine T. Tayag, Louisa Pangilinan, Scott G. Soltys, Iris C. Gibbs, and Steven D. Chang
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been an attractive treatment option for hemangioblastomas, especially for lesions that are surgically inaccessible and in patients with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease and multiple lesions. Although there has been a multitude of studies examining the utility of SRS in intracranial hemangioblastomas, SRS has only recently been used for spinal hemangioblastomas due to technical limitations. The purpose of this study is to provide a long-term evaluation of the effectiveness of image-guided radiosurgery in halting tumor progression and providing symptomatic relief for spinal hemangioblastomas.
Between 2001 and 2011, 46 spinal hemangioblastomas in 28 patients were treated using the CyberKnife image-guided radiosurgery system at the authors' institution. Fourteen of these patients also had VHL disease. The median age at treatment was 43.5 years (range 19–85 years). The mean prescription radiation dose to the tumor periphery was 21.6 Gy (range 15–35 Gy). The median tumor volume was 0.264 cm3 (range 0.025–70.9 cm3). Tumor response was evaluated on serial, contrast-enhanced CT and MR images. Clinical response was evaluated by clinical and imaging evaluation.
The mean follow-up for the cohort was 54.3 months. Radiographic follow-up was available for 19 patients with 34 tumors; 32 (94.1%) tumors were radiographically stable or displayed signs of regression. Actuarial control rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 96.1%, 92.3%, and 92.3%, respectively. Clinical evaluation on follow-up was available for 13 patients with 16 tumors; 13 (81.2%) tumors in 10 patients had symptomatic improvement. No patient developed any complications related to radiosurgery.
Image-guided SRS is safe and effective for the primary treatment of spinal hemangioblastomas and is an attractive alternative to resection, especially for those with VHL disease.
Gordon Li, Chirag Patil, John R. Adler, Shivanand P. Lad, Scott G. Soltys, Iris C. Gibbs, Laurie Tupper, and Maxwell Boakye
By targeting the medial branches of the dorsal rami, radiofrequency ablation and facet joint injections can provide temporary amelioration of facet joint–producing (or facetogenic) back pain. The authors used CyberKnife radiosurgery to denervate affected facet joints with the goal of obtaining a less invasive yet more thorough and durable antinociceptive rhizotomy.
Patients with refractory low-back pain, in whom symptoms are temporarily resolved by facet joint injections, were eligible. The patients were required to exhibit positron emission tomography–positive findings at the affected levels. Radiosurgical rhizotomy, targeting the facet joint, was performed in a single session with a marginal prescription dose of 40 Gy and a maximal dose of 60 Gy.
Seven facet joints in 5 patients with presumptive facetogenic back pain underwent CyberKnife lesioning. The median follow-up was 9.8 months (range 3–16 months). The mean planning target volume was 1.7 cm3 (range 0.9–2.7 cm3). A dose of 40 Gy was prescribed to a mean isodose line of 79% (range 75–80%). Within 1 month of radiosurgery, improvement in pain was observed in 3 of the 5 patients with durable responses at 16, 12, and 6 months, respectively, of follow-up. Two patients, after 12 and 3 months of follow-up, have neither improved nor worsened. No patient has experienced acute or late-onset toxicity.
These preliminary results suggest that CyberKnife radiosurgery could be a safe, effective, and non-invasive alternative to radiofrequency ablation for managing facetogenic back pain. No patient suffered recurrent symptoms after radiosurgery. It is not yet known whether pain relief due to such lesions will be more durable than that produced by alternative procedures. A larger series of patients with long-term follow-up is ongoing.
Norman L. Lehman, Charlotte D. Jacobs, Phillip A. Holsten, Sivakumar Jaikumar, Trang D. Lehman, Iris C. Gibbs, and Lawrence M. Shuer
✓A primary paraspinal leiomyosarcoma invading the spine is an exceedingly rare neoplasm that may clinically mimic a schwannoma. The authors report a case involving a 45-year-old man with a primary leiomyosarcoma of the cervical paraspinal musculature that invaded the spinal canal at C1–2 and subsequently metastasized to the lungs and pancreas. Aggressive treatment consisting of resection of the primary tumor, adjunctive radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and surgical debulking of metastatic disease resulted in local tumor control at the primary site and long-term survival of the patient.
Nida Fatima, Antonio Meola, Victoria Y. Ding, Erqi Pollom, Scott G. Soltys, Cynthia F. Chuang, Nastaran Shahsavari, Steven L. Hancock, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler, and Steven D. Chang
The CyberKnife (CK) has emerged as an effective frameless and noninvasive method for treating a myriad of neurosurgical conditions. Here, the authors conducted an extensive retrospective analysis and review of the literature to elucidate the trend for CK use in the management paradigm for common neurosurgical diseases at their institution.
A literature review (January 1990–June 2019) and clinical review (January 1999–December 2018) were performed using, respectively, online research databases and the Stanford Research Repository of patients with intracranial and spinal lesions treated with CK at Stanford. For each disease considered, the coefficient of determination (r2) was estimated as a measure of CK utilization over time. A change in treatment modality was assessed using a t-test, with statistical significance assessed at the 0.05 alpha level.
In over 7000 patients treated with CK for various brain and spinal lesions over the past 20 years, a positive linear trend (r2 = 0.80) in the system's use was observed. CK gained prominence in the management of intracranial and spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs; r2 = 0.89 and 0.95, respectively); brain and spine metastases (r2 = 0.97 and 0.79, respectively); benign tumors such as meningioma (r2 = 0.85), vestibular schwannoma (r2 = 0.76), and glomus jugulare tumor (r2 = 0.89); glioblastoma (r2 = 0.54); and trigeminal neuralgia (r2 = 0.81). A statistically significant difference in the change in treatment modality to CK was observed in the management of intracranial and spinal AVMs (p < 0.05), and while the treatment of brain and spine metastases, meningioma, and glioblastoma trended toward the use of CK, the change in treatment modality for these lesions was not statistically significant.
Evidence suggests the robust use of CK for treating a wide range of neurological conditions.
Navjot Sandhu, Kathryn R. K. Benson, Kiran A. Kumar, Rie V. Eyben, Daniel T. Chang, Iris C. Gibbs, Steven L. Hancock, Antonio Meola, Steven D. Chang, Gordon Li, Melanie Hayden-Gephart, Scott G. Soltys, and Erqi L. Pollom
Colorectal cancer (CRC) and other gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are believed to have greater radioresistance than other histologies. The authors report local control and toxicity outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to spinal metastases from GI primary cancers.
A retrospective single-center review was conducted of patients with spinal metastases from GI primary cancers treated with SRS from 2004 to 2017. Patient demographics and lesion characteristics were summarized using medians, interquartile ranges (IQRs), and proportions. Local failure (LF) was estimated using the cumulative incidence function adjusted for the competing risk of death and compared using Gray’s test for equality. Multivariable analyses were conducted using Cox proportional hazard models, adjusting for death as a competing risk, on a per-lesion basis. Patients were stratified in the Cox model to account for repeated measures for clustered outcomes. Median survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
A total of 74 patients with 114 spine lesions were included in our analysis. The median age of the cohort was 62 years (IQR 53–70 years). Histologies included CRC (46%), hepatocellular carcinoma (19%), neuroendocrine carcinoma (13%), pancreatic carcinoma (12%), and other (10%). The 1- and 2-year cumulative incidence rates of LF were 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] 16%–33%) and 32% (95% CI 23%–42%), respectively. Univariable analysis revealed that older age (p = 0.015), right-sided primary CRCs (p = 0.038), and single fraction equivalent dose (SFED; α/β = 10) < 20 Gy (p = 0.004) were associated with higher rates of LF. The 1-year cumulative incidence rates of LF for SFED < 20 Gy10 versus SFED ≥ 20 Gy10 were 35% and 7%, respectively. After controlling for gross tumor volume and prior radiation therapy to the lesion, SFED < 20 Gy10 remained independently associated with worse LF (hazard ratio 2.92, 95% CI 1.24–6.89, p = 0.014). Toxicities were minimal, with pain flare observed in 6 patients (8%) and 15 vertebral compression fractures (13%).
Spinal metastases from GI primary cancers have high rates of LF with SRS at a lower dose. This study found that SRS dose is a significant predictor of failure and that prescribed SFED ≥ 20 Gy10 (biological equivalent dose ≥ 60 Gy10) is associated with superior local control.
Kristin J. Redmond, Simon S. Lo, Scott G. Soltys, Yoshiya Yamada, Igor J. Barani, Paul D. Brown, Eric L. Chang, Peter C. Gerszten, Samuel T. Chao, Robert J. Amdur, Antonio A. F. De Salles, Matthias Guckenberger, Bin S. Teh, Jason Sheehan, Charles R. Kersh, Michael G. Fehlings, Moon-Jun Sohn, Ung-Kyu Chang, Samuel Ryu, Iris C. Gibbs, and Arjun Sahgal
Although postoperative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal metastases is increasingly performed, few guidelines exist for this application. The purpose of this study is to develop consensus guidelines to promote safe and effective treatment for patients with spinal metastases.
Fifteen radiation oncologists and 5 neurosurgeons, representing 19 centers in 4 countries and having a collective experience of more than 1300 postoperative spine SBRT cases, completed a 19-question survey about postoperative spine SBRT practice. Responses were defined as follows: 1) consensus: selected by ≥ 75% of respondents; 2) predominant: selected by 50% of respondents or more; and 3) controversial: no single response selected by a majority of respondents.
Consensus treatment indications included: radioresistant primary, 1–2 levels of adjacent disease, and previous radiation therapy. Contraindications included: involvement of more than 3 contiguous vertebral bodies, ASIA Grade A status (complete spinal cord injury without preservation of motor or sensory function), and postoperative Bilsky Grade 3 residual (cord compression without any CSF around the cord). For treatment planning, co-registration of the preoperative MRI and postoperative T1-weighted MRI (with or without gadolinium) and delineation of the cord on the T2-weighted MRI (and/or CT myelogram in cases of significant hardware artifact) were predominant. Consensus GTV (gross tumor volume) was the postoperative residual tumor based on MRI. Predominant CTV (clinical tumor volume) practice was to include the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor, the relevant anatomical compartment and any residual disease. Consensus was achieved with respect to not including the surgical hardware and incision in the CTV. PTV (planning tumor volume) expansion was controversial, ranging from 0 to 2 mm. The spinal cord avoidance structure was predominantly the true cord. Circumferential treatment of the epidural space and margin for paraspinal extension was controversial. Prescription doses and spinal cord tolerances based on clinical scenario, neurological compromise, and prior overlapping treatments were controversial, but reasonable ranges are presented. Fifty percent of those surveyed practiced an integrated boost to areas of residual tumor and density override for hardware within the beam path. Acceptable PTV coverage was controversial, but consensus was achieved with respect to compromising coverage to meet cord constraint and fractionation to improve coverage while meeting cord constraint.
The consensus by spinal radiosurgery experts suggests that postoperative SBRT is indicated for radioresistant primary lesions, disease confined to 1–2 vertebral levels, and/or prior overlapping radiotherapy. The GTV is the postoperative residual tumor, and the CTV is the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor and anatomical compartment plus residual disease. Hardware and scar do not need to be included in CTV. While predominant agreement was reached about treatment planning and definition of organs at risk, future investigation will be critical in better understanding areas of controversy, including whether circumferential treatment of the epidural space is necessary, management of paraspinal extension, and the optimal dose fractionation schedules.