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Rohan Ramakrishna, Shaan M. Raza, Michael Kupferman, Ehab Hanna and Franco DeMonte

OBJECT

Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a locally aggressive tumor of salivary gland origin. Little data exist to guide treatment when this tumor extends to involve the structures of the skull base.

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with a diagnosis of ACC affecting the skull base were identified from a prospective database at MD Anderson Cancer Center (from 1992 to 2010).

RESULTS

Median follow-up for study patients was 6.75 years. The 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates were 78% and 50%, respectively. Sixty-six percent of patients had progression of their disease. The 5- and 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 46.7% and 21.0%, respectively. Gross-total resection was achieved in 75% of patients, with 49% having microscopically negative margins at the time of first operation. On univariate analysis, resections with microscopically negative margins were associated with a significant OS advantage (20.1 ± 3.3 years) compared with resections that left residual disease, even if microscopic (10.3 ± 1.6 years, p = 0.035). In patients who underwent reoperation, the effect persisted, with improved OS in those with negative margins (21.4 ± 0.0 vs 16.7 ± 4.0 years, p = 0.06). The use of adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with an OS advantage (16.2 ± 2.5 vs 5.5 ± 2.2 years, p = 0.03) at initial diagnosis and improved PFS (7.8 ± 1.0 vs 2.1 ± 0.62 years, p = 0.005), whereas repeat irradiation provided no benefit. The use of adjuvant chemotherapy at diagnosis or at recurrence was not associated with any significant advantage. Multivariate analysis revealed margin-negative resection at initial operation and at recurrence retained OS significance, even after controlling for age, radiation therapy, and T stage.

CONCLUSIONS

ACC of the skull base is best treated with a multidisciplinary approach aimed at maximal, safe resection. Adjuvant radiotherapy should be offered, whereas chemotherapy does not confer benefit.

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Gautam U. Mehta, Franco DeMonte, Shirley Y. Su, Michael E. Kupferman, Ehab Y. Hanna and Shaan M. Raza

Chondrosarcomas of the skull base are malignant tumors for which surgery is the primary therapeutic option. Gross-total resection has been demonstrated to improve survival in patients with these tumors. Chondrosarcomas arising from the petroclival synchondrosis harbor particularly unique anatomical considerations that have long been a barrier to achieving such a resection. Endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid approaches have been recently used to gain improved access to such lesions; however, these approaches have classically relied on a medial to lateral transclival trajectory, which provides limited exposure for complete resection of lateral disease. In this paper the authors describe an endoscopic endonasal transpterygoid transnasopharyngeal approach that provides comprehensive access to the petroclival region through dissection of the eustachian tube with resection of the cartilaginous torus tubarius. Of note, the authors have previously demonstrated the superior outcomes and validity of this approach relative to other cranial base techniques for petroclival chondrosarcomas. Surgical outcomes in 5 cases of chondrosarcoma without medial extension are detailed. Gross-total resection was achieved in 4 of 5 patients. Postoperative complications included transient palatal numbness in all patients and eustachian tube dysfunction due to the approach. With tympanostomy tube placement, no patient had persistent hearing loss. Overall, this approach appears to be a safe and effective technique for resection of petroclival chondrosarcomas.

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Shaan M. Raza, Rohan Ramakrishna, Randal S. Weber, Michael E. Kupferman, Paul W. Gidley, Ehab Y. Hanna and Franco DeMonte

OBJECT

A relative paucity of information exists regarding outcomes from craniofacial resection for advanced nonmelanoma skin cancers involving the skull base. In light of advances in surgical technique and adjuvant therapy protocols, the authors reviewed their surgical experience to determine disease control rates, overall survival (OS), morbidity, and mortality.

METHODS

A retrospective review of 24 patients with nonmelanoma cutaneous cancers with skull base involvement treated with craniofacial resection at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1994 to 2012 was performed. Of these patients, 19 (79%) had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 4 (17%) had basosquamous carcinoma (BSCC), and 1 patient (4%) had adenocarcinoma. Factors as assessed were prior treatment, TNM staging, tumor involvement, extent of intracranial extension, margin status, postoperative complications, recurrence, disease status at last follow-up, and long-term survival. The majority of tumors were T4 (67%) according to the TNM classification; perineural extension was noted in 58%, cavernous sinus involvement in 25%, and dural involvement in 29%.

RESULTS

Postoperative complications occurred in 4 patients (17%) including 1 death. Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated for OS and progression-free survival (PFS). Median OS was 43.2 months with an 82% 1-year OS and 37% 5-year OS; the median PFS was 91.2 months. Margin status was positively associated with median OS in SCC (91 months [for negative margins] vs 57 months, p = 0.8) and in BSCC (23.7 vs 3.2 months, p < 0.05). Postoperative radiotherapy was associated with improved median OS (43.2 vs 22 months, p = 0.6). Brain involvement was uniformly fatal after 1 year, while cavernous sinus involvement (31 vs 43 months, p = 0.82), perineural disease (31 vs 54 months, p = 0.30), and T4 stage (22 vs 91.2 months, p = 0.09) were associated with worsened OS. Similar associations were found with median PFS.

CONCLUSIONS

Aggressive multimodality management with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy can positively impact locoregional control and OS. With improvements in technique and adjuvant therapy protocols, treatment can still be considered in situations of perineural disease and cavernous sinus involvement and as a salvage option for patients in whom prior treatment has failed. As patients with advanced NMSCs often have few options, craniofacial resection, as part of a coordinated multimodal management plan, is justified if it can be performed safely.

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Moran Amit, Diana Bell, Patrick J. Hunt, Ehab Hanna, Shirley Y. Su, Michael Kupferman, Mohamed Aashiq, Hideaki Takahashi, Paul W. Gidley, Marc-Elie Nader, Franco DeMonte and Shaan M. Raza

OBJECTIVE

Infratemporal fossa (ITF) tumors are unique in histological characteristics and difficult to treat. Predictors of patient outcomes in this context are not known. The objective of this study was to identify independent predictors of outcome and to characterize patterns of failure in patients with ITF carcinoma.

METHODS

All patients who had been surgically treated for anterolateral skull base malignancy between 1999 and 2017 at the authors’ institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics, preoperative performance status, tumor stage, tumor characteristics, treatment modalities, and pathological data were collected. Primary outcomes were disease-specific survival (DSS) and local progression-free survival (LPFS) rates. Overall survival (OS) and patterns of progression were secondary outcomes.

RESULTS

Forty ITF malignancies with skull base involvement were classified as carcinoma. Negative margins were achieved in 23 patients (58%). Median DSS and LPFS were 32 and 12 months, respectively. Five-year DSS and OS rates were 55% and 36%, respectively. The 5-year LPFS rate was 69%. The 5-year overall PFS rate was 53%. Disease recurrence was noted in 28% of patients. Age, preoperative performance status, and margin status were statistically significant prognostic factors for DSS. Lower preoperative performance status and positive surgical margins increased the probability of local recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS

The ability to achieve negative margins was significantly associated with improved tumor control rates and DSS. Cranial base surgical approaches must be considered in multimodal treatment regimens for anterolateral skull base carcinomas.