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Martin J. Murphy, Steven Chang, Iris Gibbs, Quynh-Tu Le, David Martin and Daniel Kim

Object

The authors describe a new method for treating metastatic spinal tumors in which noninvasive, image-guided, frameless stereotactic radiosurgery is performed. Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers a high dose of radiation in a single or limited number of fractions to a lesion while maintaining delivery of a low dose to adjacent normal structures.

Methods

Image-guided radiosurgery was developed by coupling an orthogonal pair of real-time x-ray cameras to a dynamically manipulated robot-mounted linear accelerator that guides the radiation beam to treatment sites associated with radiographic landmarks. This procedure can be conducted in an outpatient setting without the use of frame-based skeletal fixation. The system relies on skeletal landmarks or implanted fiducial markers to locate treatment targets. Four patients with spinal metastases underwent radiosurgery with total prescription doses of 1000 to 1600 cGy in one or two fractions. Alignment of the treatment dose with the target volume was accurate to within 1.5 mm. During the course of each treatment fraction, patient movement was less than 0.5 mm on average. Dosimetry was highly conformal, with a demonstrated ability to deliver 1600 cGy to the perimeter of an irregular target volume while keeping exposure to the cord itself below 800 cGy.

Conclusions

These experiences indicate that frameless radiosurgery is a viable therapeutic option for metastatic spine disease.

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Iris C. Gibbs and Steven D. Chang

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.

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Michael Lim, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler Jr. and Steven D. Chang

Object

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.

Methods

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.

Conclusions

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.

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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.

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Gordon Li, Chirag Patil, John R. Adler, Shivanand P. Lad, Scott G. Soltys, Iris C. Gibbs, Laurie Tupper and Maxwell Boakye

Object

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

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Marco Lee, M. Yashar S. Kalani, Samuel Cheshier, Iris C. Gibbs, John R. Adler Jr. and Steven D. Chang

Object

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

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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

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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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

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.