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Stephanie Schipmann, Michael Müther, Louise Stögbauer, Sebastian Zimmer, Benjamin Brokinkel, Markus Holling, Oliver Grauer, Eric Suero Molina, Nils Warneke, and Walter Stummer

OBJECTIVE

High-grade glioma (HGG) prognosis remains dismal, with inevitable, mostly local recurrence. Regimens for improving local tumor control are therefore needed. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using porfimer sodium has been investigated but was abandoned due to side effects and lack of survival benefits. Intracellular porphyrins induced by 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) are approved for fluorescence-guided resections (FGRs), but are also photosensitizers. Activated by light, they generate reactive oxygen species with resultant cytotoxicity. The authors present a combined approach of 5-ALA FGR and PDT.

METHODS

After 5-ALA FGR in recurrent HGG, laser diffusors were strategically positioned inside the resection cavity. PDT was applied for 60 minutes (635 nm, 200 mW/cm diffusor, for 1 hour) under continuous irrigation for maintaining optical clarity and ventilation with 100% oxygen. MRI was performed at 24 hours, 14 days, and every 3 months after surgery, including diffusion tensor imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient maps.

RESULTS

Twenty patients were treated. One surgical site infection after treatment was noted at 6 months as the only adverse event. MRI revealed cytotoxic edema along resection margins in 16 (80%) of 20 cases, mostly annular around the cavity, corresponding to prior laser diffusor locations (mean volume 3.3 cm3). Edema appeared selective for infiltrated tissue or nonresected enhancing tumor. At the 14-day follow-up, enhancement developed in former regions of edema, in some cases vanishing after 4–5 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6 months (95% CI 4.8–7.2 months).

CONCLUSIONS

Combined 5-ALA FGR and PDT provides an innovative and safe method of local tumor control resulting in promising PFS. Further prospective studies are warranted to evaluate long-term therapeutic effects.

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Michael Schwake, Stephanie Schipmann, Michael Müther, Louise Stögbauer, Uta Hanning, Peter B. Sporns, Christian Ewelt, Rainer Dziewas, Jens Minnerup, Markus Holling, and Walter Stummer

OBJECTIVE

Decompressive craniectomies (DCs) are performed on patients suffering large cerebral infarctions. The efficacy of this procedure has been demonstrated in several trials. In some cases, however, this procedure alone is not sufficient and patients still suffer refractory elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP). The goal of this study was to determine whether resection of infarcted tissue, termed strokectomy, performed as a second-look procedure after DC, improves outcome in selected cases.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively evaluated data of patients who underwent a DC due to a cerebral infarction at their institution from 2009 to 2016, including patients who underwent a strokectomy procedure after DC. Clinical records, imaging data, outcome scores, and neurological symptoms were analyzed, and clinical outcomes and mortality rates in the strokectomy group were compared to those for similar patients in recently published randomized controlled trials.

RESULTS

Of 198 patients who underwent DC due to cerebral infarction, 12 patients underwent strokectomy as a second surgical procedure, with a median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score of 19 for patients with versus 16 for those without secondary strokectomy (p = 0.029). Either refractory increases of ICP > 20 mm Hg or dilated pupils in addition to herniation visible on CT images were triggers for strokectomy surgery. Ten of 12 (83%) patients had infarctions in more than one territory (p < 0.001). After 12 months, 43% of patients had a good outcome according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score (≤ 3). In the subgroup of patients suffering infarctions in more than one vascular territory, functional outcome after 12 months was better (mRS ≤ 3 in 40% of patients in comparison to 9%; p = 0.027). A 1:3 case-control analysis matched to age, side of infarction, sex, and vascular territory confirmed these results (mRS ≤ 3, 42% in comparison to 11%; p = 0.032). Age, NIHSS score on admission, and number of vascular territories involved were identified as risk factors in multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). Patients in the strokectomy group had more infections (p < 0.001). According to these results, the authors developed a scale (Münster Stroke Score, 0–6 points) to predict whether patients might benefit from additional strokectomy. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.86 (p < 0.001). The authors recommend a Münster Stroke Score of ≥ 3 as a cutoff, with a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 66%, for predicting benefit from strokectomy.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study in comparison to former studies, mortality rates were lower and clinical outcome was comparable to that of previously published trials regarding large cerebral infarctions. Second surgery including strokectomy may help achieve better outcomes, especially in cases of infarction of more than one vascular territory.

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Louise Stögbauer, Christian Thomas, Andrea Wagner, Nils Warneke, Eva Christine Bunk, Oliver Grauer, Julian Canisius, Werner Paulus, Walter Stummer, Volker Senner, and Benjamin Brokinkel

OBJECTIVE

Chemotherapeutic options for meningiomas refractory to surgery or irradiation are largely unknown. Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter methylation with subsequent TERT expression and telomerase activity, key features in oncogenesis, are found in most high-grade meningiomas. Therefore, the authors investigated the impact of the demethylating agent decitabine (5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine) on survival and DNA methylation in meningioma cells.

METHODS

hTERT promoter methylation, telomerase activity, TERT expression, and cell viability and proliferation were investigated prior to and after incubation with decitabine in two benign (HBL-52 and Ben-Men 1) and one malignant (IOMM-Lee) meningioma cell line. The global effects of decitabine on DNA methylation were additionally explored with DNA methylation profiling.

RESULTS

High levels of TERT expression, telomerase activity, and hTERT promoter methylation were found in IOMM-Lee and Ben-Men 1 but not in HBL-52 cells. Decitabine induced a dose-dependent significant decrease of proliferation and viability after incubation with doses from 1 to 10 μM in IOMM-Lee but not in HBL-52 or Ben-Men 1 cells. However, effects in IOMM-Lee cells were not related to TERT expression, telomerase activity, or hTERT promoter methylation. Genome-wide methylation analyses revealed distinct demethylation of 14 DNA regions after drug administration in the decitabine-sensitive IOMM-Lee but not in the decitabine-resistant HBL-52 cells. Differentially methylated regions covered promoter regions of 11 genes, including several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that to the authors' knowledge have not yet been described in meningiomas.

CONCLUSIONS

Decitabine decreases proliferation and viability in high-grade but not in benign meningioma cell lines. The effects of decitabine are TERT independent but related to DNA methylation changes of promoters of distinct tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes.