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Grant M. Fischer, Elmira Vaziri Fard, Manish N. Shah, Rajan P. Patel, Gretchen Von Allmen, Leomar Y. Ballester and Meenakshi B. Bhattacharjee

Although rare, hyaline cytoplasmic inclusions isolated to astrocytes of the cerebral cortex have been identified in a spectrum of diseases ranging from intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients with only mild to moderate developmental delays to Aicardi syndrome. These inclusions classically stain positive for filamin A, giving rise to the term “filaminopathies.” The authors report on 2 pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy and developmental delay who uniquely displayed filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions in resected brain tissues. Additionally, these inclusions stained positive for S100 and negative for glial fibrillary acidic protein, chromogranin, neurofilament, CD34, vimentin, periodic acid–Schiff (PAS), and Alcian blue. These are the first reported cases of filamin A–negative hyaline astrocytic inclusions, providing a novel variation on a previously reported entity and justification to further investigate the pathogenesis of these inclusions. The authors compare their findings with previously reported cases and review the literature on hyaline astrocytic inclusions in intractable pediatric epilepsy.

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Ping Zhu, Xianglin L. Du, Angel I. Blanco, Leomar Y. Ballester, Nitin Tandon, Mitchel S. Berger, Jay-Jiguang Zhu and Yoshua Esquenazi

OBJECTIVE

The object of this study was to investigate the impact of facility type (academic center [AC] vs non-AC) and facility volume (high-volume facility [HVF] vs low-volume facility [LVF]) on low-grade glioma (LGG) outcomes.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study included 5539 LGG patients (2004–2014) from the National Cancer Database. Patients were categorized by facility type and volume (non-AC vs AC, HVF vs LVF). An HVF was defined as the top 1% of facilities according to the number of annual cases. Outcomes included overall survival, treatment receipt, and postoperative outcomes. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional-hazards models were applied. The Heller explained relative risk was computed to assess the relative importance of each survival predictor.

RESULTS

Significant survival advantages were observed at HVFs (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.55–0.82, p < 0.001) and ACs (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.73–0.97, p = 0.015), both prior to and after adjusting for all covariates. Tumor resection was 41% and 26% more likely to be performed at HVFs vs LVFs and ACs vs non-ACs, respectively. Chemotherapy was 40% and 88% more frequently to be utilized at HVFs vs LVFs and ACs vs non-ACs, respectively. Prolonged length of stay (LOS) was decreased by 42% and 24% at HVFs and ACs, respectively. After tumor histology, tumor pattern, and codeletion of 1p19q, facility type and surgical procedure were the most important contributors to survival variance. The main findings remained consistent using propensity score matching and multiple imputation.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides evidence of survival benefits among LGG patients treated at HVFs and ACs. An increased likelihood of undergoing resections, receiving adjuvant therapies, having shorter LOSs, and the multidisciplinary environment typically found at ACs and HVFs are important contributors to the authors’ finding.

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David I. Sandberg, Natasha Kharas, Bangning Yu, Christopher F. Janssen, Amanda Trimble, Leomar Y. Ballester, Rajan Patel, Afroz S. Mohammad, William F. Elmquist and Rachael W. Sirianni

OBJECTIVE

Chemotherapy infusions directly into the fourth ventricle may play a role in treating malignant fourth-ventricular tumors. This study tested the safety and pharmacokinetics of short-term and long-term administration of MTX110 (soluble panobinostat; Midatech Pharma) into the fourth ventricle of nonhuman primates.

METHODS

Four rhesus macaque monkeys underwent posterior fossa craniectomy and catheter insertion into the fourth ventricle. In group I (n = 2), catheters were externalized and lumbar drain catheters were placed simultaneously to assess CSF distribution after short-term infusions. MTX110 (0.5 ml of 300 μM panobinostat solution) was infused into the fourth ventricle daily for 5 consecutive days. Serial CSF and serum panobinostat levels were measured. In group II (n = 2), fourth-ventricle catheters were connected to a subcutaneously placed port for subsequent long-term infusions. Four cycles of MTX110, each consisting of 5 daily infusions (0.5 ml of 300 μM panobinostat solution), were administered over 8 weeks. Animals underwent detailed neurological evaluations, MRI scans, and postmortem histological analyses.

RESULTS

No neurological deficits occurred after intraventricular MTX110 infusions. MRI scans showed catheter placement within the fourth ventricle in all 4 animals, with extension to the cerebral aqueduct in 1 animal and into the third ventricle in 1 animal. There were no MRI signal changes in the brainstem, cerebellum, or elsewhere in the brains of any of the animals. Histologically, normal brain cytoarchitecture was preserved with only focal mild postsurgical changes in all animals. Panobinostat was undetectable in serum samples collected 2 and 4 hours after infusions in all samples in both groups. In group I, the mean peak panobinostat level in the fourth-ventricle CSF (6242 ng/ml) was significantly higher than that in the lumbar CSF (9 ng/ml; p < 0.0001). In group II, the mean peak CSF panobinostat level (11,042 ng/ml) was significantly higher than the mean trough CSF panobinostat level (33 ng/ml; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

MTX110 can be safely infused into the fourth ventricle in nonhuman primates at supratherapeutic doses. Postinfusion CSF panobinostat levels peak immediately in the fourth ventricle and then rapidly decrease over 24 hours. Panobinostat is detectable at low levels in CSF measured from the lumbar cistern up to 4 hours after infusions. These results will provide background data for a pilot clinical trial in patients with recurrent medulloblastoma.