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John R. Adler and Ken R. Winston

✓ A child with epidural hematoma presented with choreiform movements which promptly resolved following the evacuation of the hematoma.

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Odette A. Harris and John R. Adler

✓ A retrospective immunohistochemical study of radiosurgically treated brain metastases was performed to determine whether residual tumor has reduced proliferative potential. The monoclonal antibodies MIB-10 and PC-10 were used as markers for proliferation. The experimental group consisted of pathological specimens obtained from five patients in whom brain metastasis previously had been treated with radiosurgery. Pathological specimens obtained from 10 patients with brain metastases, matched in histology to diseases in the experimental group but untreated by radiosurgery, served as controls. A significant decrease in proliferative indices was observed in metastatic brain cancers after radiosurgery (p < 0.001). These results indicate that the persistent tumor that is present at the site of a metastasis previously treated with radiosurgery is less viable and may not in itself be a significant finding.

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Steven D. Chang and John R. Adler Jr.

The management of patients with multiple brain metastases remains a difficult challenge for neurosurgeons. This patient population has a poor prognosis when compared with those harboring a solitary brain metastasis, and historically treatment has generally consisted of administering whole-brain radiotherapy once the diagnosis of multiple brain metastases is made. Resection can be useful in a subset of patients with multiple metastases in whom one or two of the lesions are symptomatic, as this may provide rapid reduction of mass effect and edema. Furthermore, the authors of recent studies have shown that stereotactic radiosurgery can be used in certain patients with multiple brain metastases as part of the treatment regimen. In this review the authors outline the treatment options and indications as well as a management strategy for the treatment of patients with multiple brain metastases.

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Response to the editorials

Radiosurgery and radiation oncology

M. Peter Heilbrun and John R. Adler Jr.

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M. Peter Heilbrun and John R. Adler Jr.

Neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and, increasingly, other surgical specialists recognize that radiosurgery is an important tool for managing selected disorders throughout the body. The partnership between neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists has resulted in collaborative studies that have established the clinical benefits of radiosurgery. Today, however, a range of political and financial issues is straining this relationship and thereby undermining the practice of radiosurgery.

Neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists recently restricted the definition of radiosurgery to include only cranial- and spine-focused radiation treatments. Meanwhile, organized radiation oncology decided unilaterally that radiosurgery administered to other parts of the body would be termed stereotactic body radiation therapy. Finally, neurosurgical and radiation oncology coding experts developed new Current Procedural Terminology codes for cranial vault and spine radiosurgery, which were approved for use by the Relative Value Scale Update Committee as of 2009.

The authors suggest that the neurosurgery strategy—which included 1) reasserting that all of the tasks of a radiosurgery procedure remain bundled, and 2) agreeing to limit the definition of radiosurgery to cranial vault and spine—has failed neurosurgeons who perform radiosurgery, and it may jeopardize patient access to this procedure in the future.

The authors propose that all of the involved medical specialties recognize that the application of image-guided, focused radiation therapy throughout the body requires a partnership between radiation and surgical disciplines. They also urge surgeons to reexamine their coding methods, and they maintain that Current Procedural Terminology codes should be consistent across all of the different specialties involved in these procedures. Finally, surgeons should consider appropriate training in medical physics and radiobiology to perform the tasks involved in these specific procedures; ultimately all parties should receive equivalent reimbursement for similar assigned tasks, whether performed individually or jointly.

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Ken R. Winston, Keasley Welch, John R. Adler, and Giuseppe Erba

✓ Hemicorticectomy resulted in total or near-total control of seizures in 10 of 11 children with chronic epilepsy. During a median follow-up period of 5.5 years, there have been no deaths or delayed complications. The surgical outcome after hemicorticectomy compares favorably with that of more extensive surgical procedures, yet is associated with significantly less risk. The technique for hemicorticectomy is described and illustrated.

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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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Barton L. Guthrie, Gary K. Steinberg, and John R. Adler

✓ Stereotaxic biopsy has been shown to be a reliable means of diagnosing posterior fossa lesions. The authors describe a technique for infratentorial transcerebellar stereotaxic access to posterior fossa parenchymal lesions using the Brown-Roberts-Wells apparatus in its standard commercial configuration. The necessity for tissue diagnosis of these lesions is briefly discussed.

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John R. Adler, Richard S. Cox, Irving Kaplan, and David P. Martin

✓ In a series of 33 patients with reasonably controlled primary cancers, stereotactic radiosurgery was used to treat 52 brain metastases. After a mean radiological follow-up time of 5.5 months, six lesions (12%) had stabilized in size, 26 (50%) were significantly reduced, and 15 (29%) had disappeared. One large melanoma metastasis progressed relentlessly despite treatment. Five lesions (9%) had decreased in size slightly before enlarging. In two of these lesions, biopsy revealed only necrosis. In almost all cases, treatment was associated with decreased peritumoral edema. However, a group of patients with large metastases and extensive prior brain irradiation has been identified in whom prolonged symptomatic cerebral edema poses a problem. It is concluded that radiosurgery is a viable alternative to surgical resection for some cases of brain metastasis.

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Steven D. Chang, Elizabeth Lee, Gordon T. Sakamoto, Nalani P. Brown, and John R. Adler Jr.

Object

Patients with multiple brain metastases are often treated primarily with fractionated whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). In previous reports the authors have shown that patients with four or fewer brain metastases can benefit from stereotactic radiosurgery in addition to fractionated WBRT. In this paper the authors review their experience using linear accelerator stereotactic radiosurgery to treat patients with multiple brain metastases.

Methods

Fifty-three patients with 149 brain metastases underwent stereotactic radiosurgery. The mean age of patients was 53.1 years (range 20–78 years). There were 23 men and 30 women. The primary tumor location was lung (27 patients), melanoma (10), breast (six), ovary (six), and other (four). All patients harbored at least two metastatic tumors treated with radiosurgery; 27 patients (51%) harbored two lesions, 17 (32%) three lesions, eight (15%) four lesions, and one patient (2%) harbored five lesions. The mean radiation dose administered was 19.6 Gy (range 14–30 Gy), and the mean secondary collimator size was 15.7 mm (range 7.5–40 mm). One hundred thirty-two (89%) of the 149 treated tumors were available for review on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 3 months posttreatment. Fifty-two percent were smaller in size, 31% were stable, 9% had increased in size, and 8% had disappeared. New metastatic tumors appeared in 12 (23%) of the 53 patients on MR imaging within 6 months posttreatment. Radiation-induced necrosis occurred at the site of eight (5.4%) of the 149 tumors at 6 months. Seven tumors (4.7%) subsequently required surgical resection for either tumor progression (four cases) or worsening edema from radiation-induced necrosis (three cases). Median actuarial survival was 9.6 months.

Conclusions

Stereotactic radiosurgery can be used to treat patients with up to four brain metastases with a 91% rate of either decrease or stabilization in tumor size and a low rate of radiation-induced necrosis. In the authors' study only a small number of patients subsequently required surgical resection of a treated lesion.