Our understanding of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common form of primary brain cancer, has been significantly advanced by recent efforts to characterize the cancer genome using unbiased high-throughput sequencing analyses. While these studies have documented hundreds of mutations, gene copy alterations, and chromosomal abnormalities, only a subset of these alterations are likely to impact tumor initiation or maintenance. Furthermore, genes that are not altered at the genomic level may play essential roles in tumor initiation and maintenance. Identification of these genes is critical for therapeutic development and investigative methodologies that afford insight into biological function. This requirement has largely been fulfilled with the emergence of RNA interference (RNAi) and high-throughput screening technology. In this article, the authors discuss the application of genome-wide, high-throughput RNAi-based genetic screening as a powerful tool for the rapid and cost-effective identification of genes essential for cancer proliferation and survival. They describe how these technologies have been used to identify genes that are themselves selectively lethal to cancer cells, or synthetically lethal with other oncogenic mutations. The article is intended to provide a platform for how RNAi libraries might contribute to uncovering glioma cell vulnerabilities and provide information that is highly complementary to the structural characterization of the glioblastoma genome. The authors emphasize that unbiased, systems-level structural and functional genetic approaches are complementary efforts that should facilitate the identification of genes involved in the pathogenesis of GBM and permit the identification of novel drug targets.
Kristopher T. Kahle, David Kozono, Kimberly Ng, Grace Hsieh, Pascal O. Zinn, Masayuki Nitta and Clark C. Chen
Yoshihiro Muragaki, Jiro Akimoto, Takashi Maruyama, Hiroshi Iseki, Soko Ikuta, Masayuki Nitta, Katsuya Maebayashi, Taiichi Saito, Yoshikazu Okada, Sadao Kaneko, Akira Matsumura, Toshihiko Kuroiwa, Katsuyuki Karasawa, Yoichi Nakazato and Takamasa Kayama
The objective of the present study was to perform a prospective evaluation of the potential efficacy and safety of intraoperative photodynamic therapy (PDT) using talaporfin sodium and irradiation using a 664-nm semiconductor laser in patients with primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors.
In 27 patients with suspected newly diagnosed or recurrent primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors, a single intravenous injection of talaporfin sodium (40 mg/m2) was administered 1 day before resection of the neoplasm. The next day after completion of the tumor removal, the residual lesion and/or resection cavity were irradiated using a 664-nm semiconductor laser with a radiation power density of 150 mW/cm2 and a radiation energy density of 27 J/cm2. The procedure was performed 22–27 hours after drug administration. The study cohort included 22 patients with a histopathologically confirmed diagnosis of primary malignant parenchymal brain tumor. Thirteen of these neoplasms (59.1%) were newly diagnosed glioblastomas multiforme (GBM).
Among all 22 patients included in the study cohort, the 12-month overall survival (OS), 6-month progression-free survival (PFS), and 6-month local PFS rates after surgery and PDT were 95.5%, 91%, and 91%, respectively. Among patients with newly diagnosed GBMs, all these parameters were 100%. Side effects on the skin, which could be attributable to the administration of talaporfin sodium, were noted in 7.4% of patients and included rash (2 cases), blister (1 case), and erythema (1 case). Skin photosensitivity test results were relatively mild and fully disappeared within 15 days after administration of photosensitizer in all patients.
Intraoperative PDT using talaporfin sodium and a semiconductor laser may be considered as a potentially effective and sufficiently safe option for adjuvant management of primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors. The inclusion of intraoperative PDT in a combined treatment strategy may have a positive impact on OS and local tumor control, particularly in patients with newly diagnosed GBMs. Clinical trial registration no.: JMA-IIA00026 (https://dbcentre3.jmacct.med.or.jp/jmactr/App/JMACTRS06/JMACTRS06.aspx?seqno=862).
Taiichi Saito, Manabu Tamura, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Yuichi Kubota, Satoko Fukuchi, Masayuki Nitta, Mikhail Chernov, Saori Okamoto, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Kaoru Kurisu, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Yoshikazu Okada and Hiroshi Iseki
The objective in the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of cortico-cortical evoked potentials (CCEP) monitoring for the intraoperative assessment of speech function during resection of brain tumors.
Intraoperative monitoring of CCEP was applied in 13 patients (mean age 34 ± 14 years) during the removal of neoplasms located within or close to language-related structures in the dominant cerebral hemisphere. For this purpose strip electrodes were positioned above the frontal language area (FLA) and temporal language area (TLA), which were identified with direct cortical stimulation and/or preliminary mapping with the use of implanted chronic subdural grid electrodes. The CCEP response was defined as the highest observed negative peak in either direction of stimulation. In 12 cases the tumor was resected during awake craniotomy.
An intraoperative CCEP response was not obtained in one case because of technical problems. In the other patients it was identified from the FLA during stimulation of the TLA (7 cases) and from the TLA during stimulation of the FLA (5 cases), with a mean peak latency of 83 ± 15 msec. During tumor resection the CCEP response was unchanged in 5 cases, decreased in 4, and disappeared in 3. Postoperatively, all 7 patients with a decreased or absent CCEP response after lesion removal experienced deterioration in speech function. In contrast, in 5 cases with an unchanged intraoperative CCEP response, speaking abilities after surgery were preserved at the preoperative level, except in one patient who experienced not dysphasia, but dysarthria due to pyramidal tract injury. This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01). The time required to recover speech function was also significantly associated with the type of intraoperative change in CCEP recordings (p < 0.01) and was, on average, 1.8 ± 1.0, 5.5 ± 1.0, and 11.0 ± 3.6 months, respectively, if the response was unchanged, was decreased, or had disappeared.
Monitoring CCEP is feasible during the resection of brain tumors affecting language-related cerebral structures. In the intraoperative evaluation of speech function, it can be a helpful adjunct or can be used in its direct assessment with cortical and subcortical mapping during awake craniotomy. It can also be used to predict the prognosis of language disorders after surgery and decide on the optimal resection of a neoplasm.
Masayuki Nitta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Soko Ikuta, Takashi Komori, Katsuya Maebayashi, Hiroshi Iseki, Manabu Tamura, Taiichi Saito, Saori Okamoto, Mikhail Chernov, Motohiro Hayashi and Yoshikazu Okada
There is no standard therapeutic strategy for low-grade glioma (LGG). The authors hypothesized that adjuvant therapy might not be necessary for LGG cases in which total radiological resection was achieved. Accordingly, they established a treatment strategy based on the extent of resection (EOR) and the MIB-1 index: patients with a high EOR and low MIB-1 index were observed without postoperative treatment, whereas those with a low EOR and/or high MIB-1 index received radiotherapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy. In the present retrospective study, the authors reviewed clinical data on patients with primarily diagnosed LGGs who had been treated according to the above-mentioned strategy, and they validated the treatment policy. Given their results, they will establish a new treatment strategy for LGGs stratified by EOR, histological subtype, and molecular status.
One hundred fifty-three patients with diagnosed LGG who had undergone resection or biopsy at Tokyo Women's Medical University between January 2000 and August 2010 were analyzed. The patients consisted of 84 men and 69 women, all with ages ≥ 15 years. A total of 146 patients underwent surgical removal of the tumor, and 7 patients underwent biopsy.
Postoperative RT and nitrosourea-based chemotherapy were administered in 48 and 35 patients, respectively. Extent of resection was significantly associated with both overall survival (OS; p = 0.0096) and progression-free survival (PFS; p = 0.0007) in patients with diffuse astrocytoma but not in those with oligodendroglial subtypes. Chemotherapy significantly prolonged PFS, especially in patients with oligodendroglial subtypes (p = 0.0009). Patients with a mutant IDH1 gene had significantly longer OS (p = 0.034). Multivariate analysis did not identify MIB-1 index or RT as prognostic factors, but it did identify chemotherapy as a prognostic factor for PFS and EOR as a prognostic factor for OS and PFS.
The findings demonstrated that EOR was significantly correlated with patient survival; thus, one should aim for maximum tumor resection. In addition, patients with a higher EOR can be safely observed without adjuvant therapy. For patients with partial resection, postoperative chemotherapy should be administered for those with oligodendroglial subtypes, and repeat resection should be considered for those with astrocytic tumors. More aggressive treatment with RT and chemotherapy may be required for patients with a poor prognosis, such as those with diffuse astrocytoma, 1p/19q nondeleted tumors, or IDH1 wild-type oligodendroglial tumors with partial resection.
Taiichi Saito, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Manabu Tamura, Masayuki Nitta, Shunsuke Tsuzuki, Yoshiyuki Konishi, Kotoe Kamata, Ryuta Kinno, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Hiroshi Iseki and Takakazu Kawamata
Identification of language areas using functional brain mapping is sometimes impossible using current methods but essential to preserve language function in patients with gliomas located within or near the frontal language area (FLA). However, the factors that influence the failure to detect language areas have not been elucidated. The present study evaluated the difficulty in identifying the FLA in dominant-side frontal gliomas that involve the pars triangularis (PT) to determine the factors that influenced failed positive language mapping.
Awake craniotomy was performed on 301 patients from April 2000 to October 2013 at Tokyo Women's Medical University. Recurrent cases were excluded, and patients were also excluded if motor mapping indicated their glioma was in or around the motor area on the dominant or nondominant side. Eighty-two consecutive cases of primary frontal glioma on the dominant side were analyzed for the present study. MRI was used for all patients to evaluate whether tumors involved the PT and to perform language functional mapping with a bipolar electrical stimulator. Eighteen of 82 patients (mean age 39 ± 13 years) had tumors that showed involvement of the PT, and the detailed characteristics of these 18 patients were examined.
The FLA could not be identified with intraoperative brain mapping in 14 (17%) of 82 patients; 11 (79%) of these 14 patients had a tumor involving the PT. The negative response rate in language mapping was only 5% in patients without involvement of the PT, whereas this rate was 61% in patients with involvement of the PT. Univariate analyses showed no significant correlation between identification of the FLA and sex, age, histology, or WHO grade. However, failure to identify the FLA was significantly correlated with involvement of the PT (p < 0.0001). Similarly, multivariate analyses with the logistic regression model showed that only involvement of the PT was significantly correlated with failure to identify the FLA (p < 0.0001). In 18 patients whose tumors involved the PT, only 1 patient had mild preoperative dysphasia. One week after surgery, language function worsened in 4 (22%) of 18 patients. Six months after surgery, 1 (5.6%) of 18 patients had a persistent mild speech deficit. The mean extent of resection was 90% ± 7.1%.
Identification of the FLA can be difficult in patients with frontal gliomas on the dominant side that involve the PT, but the positive mapping rate of the FLA was 95% in patients without involvement of the PT. These findings are useful for establishing a positive mapping strategy for patients undergoing awake craniotomy for the treatment of frontal gliomas on the dominant side. Thoroughly positive language mapping with subcortical electrical stimulation should be performed in patients without involvement of the PT. More careful continuous neurological monitoring combined with subcortical electrical stimulation is needed when removing dominant-side frontal gliomas that involve the PT.
Tomokazu Takakura, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Manabu Tamura, Takashi Maruyama, Masayuki Nitta, Chiharu Niki and Takakazu Kawamata
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) as a prognostic predictor for upper-extremity motor functional recovery from postsurgical neurological deficits.
Preoperative and postoperative nTMS studies were prospectively applied in 14 patients (mean age 39 ± 12 years) who had intraparenchymal brain neoplasms located within or adjacent to the motor eloquent area in the cerebral hemisphere. Mapping by nTMS was done 3 times, i.e., before surgery, and 1 week and 3 weeks after surgery. To assess the response induced by nTMS, motor evoked potential (nTMS-MEP) was recorded using a surface electromyography electrode attached to the abductor pollicis brevis (APB). The cortical locations that elicited the largest electromyography response by nTMS were defined as hotspots. Hotspots for APB were confirmed as positive responsive sites by direct electrical stimulation (DES) during awake craniotomy. The distances between hotspots and lesions (DHS-L) were measured. Postoperative neurological deficits were assessed by manual muscle test and dynamometer. To validate the prognostic value of nTMS in recovery from upper-extremity paresis, the following were investigated: 1) the correlation between DHS-L and the serial grip strength change, and 2) the correlation between positive nTMS-MEP at 1 week after surgery and the serial grip strength change.
From the presurgical nTMS study, MEPs from targeted muscles were identified in 13 cases from affected hemispheres. In one case, MEP was not evoked due to a huge tumor. Among 9 cases from which intraoperative DES mapping for hand motor area was available, hotspots for APB identified by nTMS were concordant with DES-positive sites. Compared with the adjacent group (DHS-L < 10 mm, n = 6), the nonadjacent group (DHS-L ≥ 10 mm, n = 7) showed significantly better recovery of grip strength at 3 months after surgery (p < 0.01). There were correlations between DHS-L and recovery of grip strength at 1 week, 3 weeks, and 3 months after surgery (r = 0.74, 0.68, and 0.65, respectively). Postsurgical nTMS was accomplished in 13 patients. In 9 of 13 cases, nTMS-MEP from APB muscle was positive at 1 week after surgery. Excluding the case in which nTMS-MEP was negative from the presurgical nTMS study, recoveries in grip strength were compared between 2 groups, in which nTMS-MEP at 1 week after surgery was positive (n = 9) or negative (n = 3). Significant differences were observed between the 2 groups at 1 week, 3 weeks, and 3 months after surgery (p < 0.01). Positive nTMS-MEP at 1 week after surgery correlated well with the motor recovery at 1 week, 3 weeks, and 3 months after surgery (r = 0.87, 0.88, and 0.77, respectively).
Navigated TMS is a useful tool for identifying motor eloquent areas. The results of the present study have demonstrated the predictive value of nTMS in upper-extremity motor function recovery from postsurgical neurological deficits. The longer DHS-L and positive nTMS-MEP at 1 week after surgery have prognostic values of better recovery from postsurgical neurological deficits.
Yu Fujii, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Masayuki Nitta, Taiichi Saito, Soko Ikuta, Hiroshi Iseki, Kazuhiro Hongo and Takakazu Kawamata
WHO Grade III gliomas are relatively rare and treated with multiple modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The impact of the extent of resection (EOR) on improving survival in patients with this tumor type is unclear. Moreover, because of the heterogeneous radiological appearance of Grade III gliomas, the MRI sequence that best correlates with tumor volume is unknown. In the present retrospective study, the authors evaluated the prognostic significance of EOR.
Clinical and radiological data from 122 patients with newly diagnosed WHO Grade III gliomas who had undergone intraoperative MRI–guided resection at a single institution between March 2000 and December 2011 were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were divided into 2 groups by histological subtype: 81 patients had anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) or anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (AOA), and 41 patients had anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO). EOR was calculated using pre- and postoperative T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MR images. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate the prognostic significance of EOR on overall survival (OS).
The 5-, 8-, and 10-year OS rates for all patients were 74.28%, 70.59%, and 65.88%, respectively. The 5- and 8-year OS rates for patients with AA and AOA were 72.2% and 67.2%, respectively, and the 10-year OS rate was 62.0%. On the other hand, the 5- and 8-year OS rates for patients with AO were 79.0% and 79.0%; the 10-year OS rate is not yet available. The median pre- and postoperative T2-weighted high–signal intensity volumes were 56.1 cm3 (range 1.3–268 cm3) and 5.9 cm3 (range 0–180 cm3), respectively. The median EOR of T2-weighted high–signal intensity lesions (T2-EOR) and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted lesions were 88.8% (range 0.3%–100%) and 100% (range 34.0%–100%), respectively. A significant survival advantage was associated with resection of 53% or more of the preoperative T2-weighted high–signal intensity volume in patients with AA and AOA, but not in patients with AO. Univariate analysis showed that preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score (p = 0.0019), isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) mutation (p = 0.0008), and T2-EOR (p = 0.0208) were significant prognostic factors for survival in patients with AA and AOA. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that T2-EOR (HR 3.28; 95% CI 1.22–8.81; p = 0.0192) and IDH1 mutation (HR 3.90; 95% CI 1.53–10.75; p = 0.0044) were predictive of survival in patients with AA and AOA.
T2-EOR was one of the most important prognostic factors for patients with AA and AOA. A significant survival advantage was associated with resection of 53% or more of the preoperative T2-weighted high–signal intensity volume in patients with AA and AOA.
Shuhei Morita, Masayuki Nitta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Komori, Kenta Masui, Takashi Maruyama, Koichi Ichimura, Yoshiko Nakano, Tatsuo Sawada, Shunichi Koriyama, Shunsuke Tsuzuki, Takayuki Yasuda, Kazutoshi Hashimoto, Akihiro Niwa and Takakazu Kawamata
In this report, the authors present the first case of adult brainstem pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) with the H3 K27M mutation. A 53-year-old man was incidentally found to have a 2.5-cm partially enhanced tumor in the tectum on MRI. The enhancement in the lesion increased over 3 years, and gross-total removal was performed via the occipital transtentorial approach. The resected tissue indicated PA, WHO Grade I, and genetic analysis revealed the H3 K27M mutation. However, although the radiological, surgical, and pathological findings all corresponded to PA, this entity can easily be misdiagnosed as diffuse midline glioma with the H3 K27M mutation, which is classified as a WHO Grade IV tumor according to the updated classification. This case highlights the phenotypic spectrum of PA, as well as the biology of the H3 K27M–mutated gliomas, and may prove to be an exception to the rule that diffuse midline gliomas with the H3 K27M mutation behave in an aggressive manner. Based on the findings of this case, the authors conclude that, in addition to detecting the existence of the H3 K27M mutation, an integrated approach in which a combination of clinical, pathological, and genetic information is used should be applied for accurate diagnosis and determination of the appropriate treatment for diffuse midline gliomas.
Masayuki Nitta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Hiroshi Iseki, Takashi Komori, Soko Ikuta, Taiichi Saito, Takayuki Yasuda, Junji Hosono, Saori Okamoto, Shunichi Koriyama and Takakazu Kawamata
In this study on the effectiveness and safety of photodynamic therapy (PDT) using talaporfin sodium and a semiconductor laser, the long-term follow-up results of 11 patients with glioblastoma enrolled in the authors’ previous phase II clinical trial (March 2009–2012) and the clinical results of 19 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma prospectively enrolled in a postmarket surveillance (March 2014–December 2016) were analyzed and compared with those of 164 patients treated without PDT during the same period.
The main outcome measures were the median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) times. Moreover, the adverse events and radiological changes after PDT, as well as the patterns of recurrence, were analyzed and compared between the groups. Kaplan-Meier curves were created to assess the differences in OS and PFS between the groups. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the prognostic factors, including PDT, among patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
The median PFS times of the PDT and control groups were 19.6 and 9.0 months, with 6-month PFS rates of 86.3% and 64.9%, respectively (p = 0.016). The median OS times were 27.4 and 22.1 months, with 1-year OS rates of 95.7% and 72.5%, respectively (p = 0.0327). Multivariate analyses found PDT, preoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale score, and IDH mutation to be significant independent prognostic factors for both OS and PFS. Eighteen of 30 patients in the PDT group experienced tumor recurrence, including local recurrence, distant recurrence, and dissemination in 10, 3, and 4 patients, respectively. Conversely, 141 of 164 patients in the control group experienced tumor recurrence, including 101 cases of local recurrence. The rate of local recurrence tended to be lower in the PDT group (p = 0.06).
The results of the present study suggest that PDT with talaporfin sodium and a semiconductor laser provides excellent local control, with few adverse effects even in cases of multiple laser irradiations, as well as potential survival benefits for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
Taiichi Saito, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Manabu Tamura, Takashi Maruyama, Masayuki Nitta, Shunsuke Tsuzuki, Satoko Fukuchi, Mana Ohashi and Takakazu Kawamata
Resection of gliomas in the precentral gyrus carries a risk of severe motor dysfunction. To prevent permanent, severe postoperative motor dysfunction, reliable intraoperative predictors of postoperative function are required. Since 2005, the authors have removed gliomas in the precentral gyrus with combined functional mapping and estimation of intraoperative voluntary movement (IVM) during awake craniotomy and transcortical motor evoked potentials (MEPs). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether intraoperative findings of combined monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEP monitoring were useful for predicting postoperative motor function of patients with gliomas in the precentral gyrus.
The current study included 30 patients who underwent resection of precentral gyrus gliomas during awake craniotomy from April 2000 to January 2018. All tumors were removed with monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEPs. Postoperative motor function was classified as stable or declined, with the extent of decline categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. We defined moderate and severe deficits were those that hindered daily life.
In 28 of 30 cases, available waveforms were obtained with transcortical MEPs. The mean extent of resection (EOR) was 93%. Relative to preoperative status, motor function 6 months after surgery was considered stable in 20 patients and was considered to show mild decline in 7, moderate decline in 2, and severe decline in 1. Motor function 6 months after surgery was significantly correlated with IVM (p = 0.0096), changes in transcortical MEPs (decline ≤ or > 50%) (p = 0.0163), EOR, and ischemic lesions on postoperative MRI. Six patients with no change in IVM showed stable motor function 6 months after surgery. Only 2 patients with a decline in IVM and a decline in MEPs ≤ 50% had a decline in motor function 6 months after surgery (18%; 2/11 patients), whereas 11 patients with a decline in IVM and a decline in MEPs > 50% had such a decline in motor function (73%; 8/11 patients) including 2 patients with moderate and 1 with severe deficits. Three patients with moderate or severe motor deficits showed the lowest MEP values (< 100 µV).
Combined judgment from monitoring of IVM during awake craniotomy and transcortical MEPs is useful for predicting postoperative motor function during removal of gliomas in the precentral gyrus. Maximum resection was achieved with an acceptable morbidity rate. Thus, these tumors should not be considered unresectable.