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Jason S. Hauptman, Andrew Dadour, Taemin Oh, Christine B. Baca, Barbara G. Vickrey, Stefanie D. Vassar, Raman Sankar, Noriko Salamon, Harry V. Vinters and Gary W. Mathern

Object

Low income, government insurance, and minority status are associated with delayed treatment for neurosurgery patients. Less is known about the influence of referral location and how socioeconomic factors and referral patterns evolve over time. For pediatric epilepsy surgery patients at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), this study determined how referral location and sociodemographic features have evolved over 25 years.

Methods

Children undergoing epilepsy neurosurgery at UCLA (453 patients) were classified by location of residence and compared with clinical epilepsy and sociodemographic factors.

Results

From 1986 to 2010, referrals from Southern California increased (+33%) and referrals from outside of California decreased (−19%). Over the same period, the number of patients with preferred provider organization (PPO) and health maintenance organization (HMO) insurance increased (+148% and +69%, respectively) and indemnity insurance decreased (−96%). Likewise, the number of Hispanics (+117%) and Asians (100%) increased and Caucasians/whites decreased (−24%). The number of insurance companies decreased from 52 carriers per 100 surgical patients in 1986–1990 to 19 per 100 in 2006–2010. Patients living in the Eastern US had a younger age at surgery (−46%), shorter intervals from seizure onset to referral for evaluation (−28%) and from presurgical evaluation to surgery (−61%) compared with patients from Southern California. The interval from seizure onset to evaluation was shorter (−33%) for patients from Los Angeles County compared with those living in non-California Western US states.

Conclusions

Referral locations evolved over 25 years at UCLA, with more cases coming from local regions; the percentage of minority patients also increased. The interval from seizures onset to surgery was shortest for patients living farthest from UCLA but still within the US. Geographic location and race/ethnicity was not associated with differences in becoming seizure free after epilepsy surgery in children.

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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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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.