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Theresa Kraetzig, Lily McLaughlin, Mark H. Bilsky and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

Myxopapillary ependymoma is a benign WHO Grade I tumor most commonly located in the conus–cauda equina region of the spine. Although this tumor is defined by an overall excellent survival, dissemination throughout the whole neuraxis occurs frequently. The current study evaluated the clinical characteristics and significance of myxopapillary ependymoma metastases.

METHODS

Patients who underwent surgery from 2005 to 2015 for treatment of spinal myxopapillary ependymoma were included in the study. Charts were reviewed for primary tumor symptoms and initial treatment, local recurrence, response to salvage therapy, and presence and behavior of distant metastases.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients with spinal myxopapillary ependymoma were included in the study (52.6% female). The median age at first diagnosis was 32 years old (range 9–58 years old), and 26.3% were ≤ 18 years old. The median follow-up of all included patients was 48 months (range 6–456 months). Of the primary tumors, 84.2% were located in the lower thoracic or upper lumbar spine, spanning 1–3 levels in 94.7%. All patients underwent surgery for initial treatment: in 78.9% a gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved, with adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) in 20%. Of the 21.2% who underwent a subtotal resection (STR), 75% underwent postoperative RT. Tumor progression was noted in 26.3% of patients after a median 36-month follow-up (range 12–240 months). In 57.9% of patients, distant metastases were found, of which 36.4% were present at initial diagnosis. Further metastases occurred within a median of 20 months (range 2–360 months). Following a diagnosis of metastatic tumor, 72.7% did not show progression and no symptoms were observed during a median follow-up of 36 months (range 6–216 months). Metastases occurred in all parts of the neuroaxis, but were principally localized in the thoracic and sacral spine in 38.9% and 33.3%, respectively; the brain was involved in 11.1%. In 54.5%, more than 1 level was affected. Overall survival was 100% with an excellent clinical and neurological outcome in 78.9% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS

Metastatic dissemination within the CNS can be observed in many patients with myxopapillary ependymoma. GTR of the primary tumor should be the primary treatment goal, and additional RT is recommended after STR. For distant metastases of myxopapillary ependymoma without clinical manifestation, close clinical and MRI follow-up represents a sufficient strategy because most of the metastases remain asymptomatic and do not show progression over time. Additional resection or irradiation as salvage therapy would be recommended if metastases become symptomatic.

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Ori Barzilai, Lily McLaughlin, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Mark H. Bilsky and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

As patients with metastatic cancer live longer, an increased emphasis is placed on long-term therapeutic outcomes. The current study evaluates outcomes of long-term cancer survivors following surgery for spinal metastases.

METHODS

The study population included patients surgically treated at a tertiary cancer center between January 2010 and December 2015 who survived at least 24 months postoperatively. A retrospective chart and imaging review was performed to collect data regarding patient demographics; tumor histology; type and extent of spinal intervention; radiation data, including treatment dose and field; long-term sequelae, including local tumor control; and reoperations, repeat irradiation, or postoperative kyphoplasty at a previously treated level.

RESULTS

Eighty-eight patients were identified, of whom 44 were male, with a mean age of 61 years. The mean clinical follow-up for the cohort was 44.6 months (range 24.2–88.3 months). Open posterolateral decompression and stabilization was performed in 67 patients and percutaneous minimally invasive surgery in 21. In the total cohort, 84% received postoperative adjuvant radiation and 27% were operated on for progression following radiation. Posttreatment local tumor progression was identified in 10 patients (11%) at the index treatment level and 5 additional patients had a marginal failure; all of these patients were treated with repeat irradiation with 5 patients requiring a reoperation. In total, at least 1 additional surgical intervention was performed at the index level in 20 (23%) of the 88 patients: 11 for hardware failure, 5 for progression of disease, 3 for wound complications, and 1 for postoperative hematoma. Most reoperations (85%) were delayed at more than 3 months from the index surgery. Wound infections or dehiscence requiring additional surgical intervention occurred in 3 patients, all of which occurred more than a year postoperatively. Kyphoplasty at a previously operated level was performed in 3 cases due to progressive fractures.

CONCLUSIONS

Durable tumor control can be achieved in long-term cancer survivors surgically treated for symptomatic spinal metastases with limited complications. Complications observed after long-term follow-up include local tumor recurrence/progression, marginal tumor control failures, early or late hardware complications, late wound complications, and progressive spinal instability or deformity.

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Madeleine Sowash, Ori Barzilai, Sweena Kahn, Lily McLaughlin, Patrick Boland, Mark H. Bilsky and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to review clinical outcomes following resection of giant spinal schwannomas.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of a case series of patients with giant spinal schwannomas at a tertiary cancer hospital.

RESULTS

Thirty-two patients with giant spinal schwannomas underwent surgery between September 1998 and May 2013. Tumor size ranged from 2.5 cm to 14.6 cm with a median size of 5.8 cm. There were 9 females (28.1%) and 23 males (71.9%), and the median age was 47 years (range 23–83 years). The median follow-up duration was 36.0 months (range 12.2–132.4 months). Three patients (9.4%) experienced recurrence and required further treatment. All recurrences developed following subtotal resection (STR) of cellular or melanotic schwannoma. There were 3 melanotic (9.4%) and 6 cellular (18.8%) schwannomas included in this study. Among these histological variants, a 33.3% recurrence rate was noted. In 1 case of melanotic schwannoma, malignant transformation occurred. No recurrence occurred following gross-total resection (GTR) or when a fibrous capsule remained due to its adherence to functional nerve roots.

CONCLUSIONS

Resection is the treatment of choice for symptomatic or growing giant schwannomas, frequently requiring anterior or combined approaches, with the goals of symptom relief and prevention of recurrence. In this series, tumors that underwent GTR, or where only capsule remained, did not recur. Only melanotic and cellular schwannomas that underwent STR recurred.

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Eric Lis, Ilya Laufer, Ori Barzilai, Yoshiya Yamada, Sasan Karimi, Lily McLaughlin, George Krol and Mark H. Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

Percutaneous vertebral augmentation procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are often performed in cancer patients to relieve mechanical axial-load pain due to pathological collapse deformities. The collapsed vertebrae in these patients can be associated with varying degrees of spinal canal compromise that can be worsened by kyphoplasty. In this study the authors evaluated changes to the spinal canal, in particular the cross-sectional area of the thecal sac, following balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) prior to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients with symptomatic vertebral compression fractures caused by metastatic disease who underwent kyphoplasty prior to single-fraction SRS. The pre-BKP cross-sectional image, usually MRI, was compared to the post-BKP CT myelogram required for radiation treatment planning. The cross-sectional area of the thecal sac was calculated pre- and postkyphoplasty, and intraprocedural CT imaging was reviewed for epidural displacement of bone fragments, tumor, or polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) extravasation. The postkyphoplasty imaging was also evaluated for evidence of fracture progression or fracture reduction.

RESULTS

Among 30 consecutive patients, 41 vertebral levels were treated with kyphoplasty, and 24% (10/41) of the augmented levels showed a decreased cross-sectional area of the thecal sac. All 10 of these vertebral levels had preexisting epidural disease and destruction of the posterior vertebral body cortex. No bone fragments were displaced posteriorly. Minor epidural PMMA extravasation occurred in 20% (8/41) of the augmented levels but was present in only 1 of the 10 vertebral segments that showed a decreased cross-sectional area of the thecal sac postkyphoplasty.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with preexisting epidural disease and destruction of the posterior vertebral body cortex who are undergoing BKP for pathological fractures, there is an increased risk of further mass effect upon the thecal sac and the potential to alter the SRS treatment planning.

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Yoshiya Yamada, Evangelia Katsoulakis, Ilya Laufer, Michael Lovelock, Ori Barzilai, Lily A. McLaughlin, Zhigang Zhang, Adam M. Schmitt, Daniel S. Higginson, Eric Lis, Michael J. Zelefsky, James Mechalakos and Mark H. Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

An analysis of factors contributing to durable radiographic control of spinal metastases was undertaken, drawing from a large single-institution database in an attempt to elucidate indications and dose requirements for successful treatment.

METHODS

All patients treated at a single institution with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of the spine as first-line therapy were assessed for local progression of the treated site, defined as radiographic enlargement of the treated tumor and/or biopsy-proven evidence of active tumor cells. All patients were followed with CT, PET, or MR imaging every 3–6 months until death. Treatment decisions were made by a multidisciplinary team of radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and neuroradiologists. Target volumes were defined according to the international consensus guidelines and were reviewed in a multidisciplinary conference. Image-guided techniques and intensity modulation were used for every case. The tumor's histological type, gross tumor volume (GTV), dose that covers 95% of the GTV (GTV D95), percentage of GTV covered by 95% of the prescribed dose (GTV V95), planning target volume (PTV), dose that covers 95% of the PTV (PTV D95), and percentage of PTV covered by 95% of the prescribed dose (PTV V95) were analyzed for significance in relation to local control, based on time to local progression.

RESULTS

A total of 811 lesions were treated in 657 patients between 2003 and 2015 at a single institution. The mean follow-up and overall survival for the entire cohort was 26.9 months (range 2–141 months). A total of 28 lesions progressed and the mean time to failure was 26 months (range 9.7–57 months). The median prescribed dose was 2400 cGy (range 1600–2600 cGy). Both GTV D95 and PTV D95 were highly significantly associated with local failure in univariate analysis, but GTV and PTV and histological type did not reach statistical significance. The median GTV D95 for the cohort equal to or above the GTV D95 1830 cGy cut point (high dose) was 2356 cGy, and it was 1709 cGy for the cohort of patients who received less than 1830 cGy (low dose). In terms of PTV D95, the median dose for those equal to or above the cut point of 1740 cGy (high dose) was 2233 cGy, versus 1644 cGy for those lesions below the PTV D95 cut point of 1740 cGy (low dose).

CONCLUSIONS

High-dose single-session SRS provides durable long-term control, regardless of the histological findings or tumor size. In this analysis, the only significant factors predictive of local control were related to the actual dose of radiation given. Although the target volumes were well treated with the intended dose, those lesions irradiated to higher doses (median GTV D95 2356 cGy, minimum 1830 cGy) had a significantly higher probability of durable local control than those treated with lower doses (median PTV D95 2232 cGy, minimum of 1740 cGy) (p < 0.001). Patients in the high-dose cohort had a 2% cumulative rate of local failure. Histological findings were not associated with local failure, suggesting that radioresistant histological types benefit in particular from radiosurgery. For patients with a favorable prognosis, a higher dose of SRS is important for long-term outcomes.

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Ibrahim Hussain, Ori Barzilai, Anne S. Reiner, Lily McLaughlin, Natalie M. DiStefano, Shahiba Ogilvie, Anne L. Versteeg, Charles G. Fisher, Mark H. Bilsky and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

The Spinal Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS) correlates with preoperative disability and response to stabilization, with patients with higher scores experiencing greater relief after surgery. However, there is a paucity of data demonstrating the extent to which each component contributes to preoperative clinical status and response to stabilization surgery. The objectives of this study were 2-fold. First, to determine how SINS components correlate with pre- and postoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Second, to determine whether patients with higher SINS (10–12) in the “indeterminate” group respond differently to surgery compared to patients with lower SINS (7–9).

METHODS

SINS and PROs were prospectively collected in 131 patients undergoing stabilization surgery for metastatic spinal disease. Association of SINS components and their individual scores with preoperative symptom burden and PRO symptom change after surgery was analyzed using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient (rho) and the Kruskal-Wallis test. SINS and association with preoperative PRO scores and mean differences in post- and preoperative PRO scores were compared for 2 SINS categories within the indeterminate group (7–9 vs 10–12) using the Wilcoxon 2-sample test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

RESULTS

The presence of mechanical pain, followed by metastatic location, correlated most strongly with preoperative functional disability measures and lower disability PRO scores following surgical stabilization. Blastic rather than lytic bone lesions demonstrated stronger association with pain reduction following stabilization. Following surgery, patients with SINS 10–12 demonstrated markedly greater improvement in pain and disability PRO scores nearly across the board compared to patients with SINS 7–9.

CONCLUSIONS

The presence of mechanical pain has the strongest correlation with preoperative disability and improvement in pain and disability PRO scores after surgery. Radiographic components of SINS also correlate with preoperative symptom severity and postoperative PRO, supporting their utilization in evaluation of spinal instability. Among patients with indeterminate SINS, patients with higher scores experience greater reduction in pain and disability PRO scores following surgical stabilization, suggesting that the indeterminate-SINS group includes distinct populations.

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Michael S. Virk, James E. Han, Anne S. Reiner, Lily A. McLaughlin, Daniel M. Sciubba, Eric Lis, Yoshiya Yamada, Mark Bilsky and Ilya Laufer

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of symptomatic vertebral body compression fractures (VCFs) requiring kyphoplasty or surgery in patients treated with 24-Gy single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS

This retrospective analysis included all patients who had been treated with 24-Gy, single-fraction, image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy for histologically confirmed solid tumor metastases over an 8-year period (2005–2013) at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Charts and imaging studies were reviewed for post-SRS kyphoplasty or surgery for mechanical instability. A Spinal Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS) was calculated for each patient both at the time of SRS and at the time of intervention for VCF.

RESULTS

Three hundred twenty-three patients who had undergone single-fraction SRS between C-1 and L-5 were included in this analysis. The cumulative incidence of VCF 5 years after SRS was 7.2% (95% CI 4.1–10.2), whereas that of death following SRS at the same time point was 82.5% (95% CI 77.5–87.4). Twenty-six patients with 36 SRS-treated levels progressed to symptomatic VCF requiring treatment with kyphoplasty (6 patients), surgery (10 patients), or both (10 patients). The median time to symptomatic VCF was 13 months. Seven patients developed VCF at 11 levels adjacent to the SRS-treated level. Fractured levels had no evidence of tumor progression. The median SINS changed from 6.5 at SRS (interquartile range [IQR] 4.3–8.8) to 11.5 at stabilization (IQR 9–13). In patients without prior stabilization at the level of SRS, there was an association between the SINS and the time to fracture.

CONCLUSIONS

Five years after ablative single-fraction SRS to spinal lesions, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic VCF at the treated level without tumor recurrence was 7.2%. Higher SINSs at the time of SRS correlated with earlier fractures.

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Brad E. Zacharia, Sweena Kahn, Evan D. Bander, Gustav Y. Cederquist, William P. Cope, Lily McLaughlin, Alexa Hijazi, Anne S. Reiner, Ilya Laufer and Mark Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

The authors of this study aimed to identify the incidence of and risk factors for preoperative deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in patients undergoing surgical treatment for spinal metastases.

METHODS

Univariate analysis of patient age, sex, ethnicity, laboratory values, comorbidities, preoperative ambulatory status, histopathological classification, spinal level, and surgical details was performed. Factors significantly associated with DVT univariately were entered into a multivariate logistic regression model.

RESULTS

The authors identified 314 patients, of whom 232 (73.9%) were screened preoperatively for a DVT. Of those screened, 22 (9.48%) were diagnosed with a DVT. The screened patients were older (median 62 vs 55 years, p = 0.0008), but otherwise similar in baseline characteristics. Nonambulatory status, previous history of DVT, lower partial thromboplastin time, and lower hemoglobin level were statistically significant and independent factors associated with positive results of screening for a DVT. Results of screening were positive in only 6.4% of ambulatory patients in contrast to 24.4% of nonambulatory patients, yielding an odds ratio of 4.73 (95% CI 1.88–11.90). All of the patients who had positive screening results underwent preoperative placement of an inferior vena cava filter.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients requiring surgery for spinal metastases represent a population with unique risks for venous thromboembolism. This study showed a 9.48% incidence of DVT in patients screened preoperatively. The highest rates of preoperative DVT were identified in nonambulatory patients, who were found to have a 4-fold increase in the likelihood of harboring a DVT. Understanding the preoperative thrombotic status may provide an opportunity for early intervention and risk stratification in this critically ill population.