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Mark W. Kieran, Liliana C. Goumnerova, Michael Prados and Nalin Gupta

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Albert H. Kim, Elizabeth A. Thompson, Lance S. Governale, Catalina Santa, Kevin Cahll, Mark W. Kieran, Susan N. Chi, Nicole J. Ullrich, R. Michael Scott and Liliana C. Goumnerova

Object

Low-grade glial and glioneuronal brain tumors are frequently encountered in the pediatric population and can be effectively treated by resection. The authors aimed to use imaging to evaluate how often tumors recurred and to determine if recurrences were associated with any clinical symptoms, along with the financial costs of imaging, in patients with radiographically proven gross-total resection (GTR) at Boston Children's Hospital. These data were assessed to propose guidelines regarding postoperative surveillance.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective cohort analysis of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program database from 1993 to 2003 to identify patients with glial or glioneuronal tumors initially evaluated at Boston Children's Hospital. Among the 888 patients evaluated for any type of brain tumor during this period, 67 patients had WHO Grade I glial or glioneuronal lesions with radiographically proven GTR and available follow-up data. The frequency and timing of postoperative imaging was compared with the institutional protocol. Recurrence-free survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Financial costs of imaging were available from 2001 to 2009 and were averaged to extrapolate the postoperative surveillance costs.

Results

Among the 67 patients with GTR, 13 recurrences were detected radiographically with a mean time to recurrence of 32.4 months (range 2.9–128.5 months). The mean duration of follow-up after surgery was 6.6 years. The recurrence-free survival at 2 and 5 years after GTR for all low-grade glial and glioneuronal tumors was 0.90 (95% CI 0.82–0.97) and 0.82 (95% CI 0.73–0.92), respectively. No clinical symptoms were associated with any of the recurrences, and no deaths occurred. Under the institutional protocol of surveillance imaging, the estimated cost per recurrence at 5 years was $104,094 per patient. The proposed protocol would reduce the number of MR scans in the first 5 years from 10 to 5, providing a potential cost savings of $52,047 per recurrence.

Conclusions

Given the slow-growing, clinically asymptomatic nature of low-grade glial and glioneuronal tumors coupled with the financial and psychological costs of repeated imaging, the authors propose a postoperative surveillance MRI schedule that is less intensive than current institutional practice.

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Maria-Jesus Lobon-Iglesias, Vicente Santa-Maria Lopez, Patricia Puerta Roldan, Santiago Candela-Cantó, Monica Ramos-Albiac, Marta Gomez-Chiari, Stephanie Puget, Stephanie Bolle, Liliana Goumnerova, Mark W. Kieran, Ofelia Cruz, Jacques Grill and Andres Morales La Madrid

OBJECTIVE

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a highly aggressive and lethal brainstem tumor in children. In the 1980s, routine biopsy at presentation was abandoned since it was claimed “unnecessary” for diagnosis. In the last decade, however, several groups have reincorporated this procedure as standard of care or in the context of clinical trials. Expert neurosurgical teams report no mortality and acceptable morbidity, and no relevant complications have been previously described. The aim of this study was to review needle tract dissemination as a potential complication in DIPG.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the incidence of dissemination through surgical tracts in DIPG patients who underwent biopsy procedures at diagnosis in 3 dedicated centers. Clinical records and images as well as radiation dosimetry from diagnosis to relapse were reviewed.

RESULTS

Four patients (2 boys and 2 girls, age range 6–12 years) had surgical tract dissemination: in 3 cases in the needle tract and in 1 case in the Ommaya catheter tract. The median time from biopsy to identification of dissemination was 5 months (range 4–6 months). The median overall survival was 11 months (range 7–12 months). Disseminated lesions were in the marginal radiotherapy field (n = 2), out of the field (n = 1), and in the radiotherapy field (n = 1).

CONCLUSIONS

Although surgical tract dissemination in DIPG is a rare complication (associated with 2.4% of procedures in this study), it should be mentioned to patients and family when procedures involving a surgical tract are proposed. The inclusion of the needle tract in the radiotherapy field may have only limited benefit. Future studies are warranted to explore the benefit of larger radiotherapy fields in patients with DIPG.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010