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Takanori Kamiryo, Kenji Tada, Shoji Shiraishi, Naoki Shinojima, Hideo Nakamura, Masato Kochi, Jun-ichi Kuratsu, Hideyuki Saya and Yukitaka Ushio

Object. One of the most frequent genetic abnormalities found in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is homozygous deletion of the p16 tumor suppressor gene. The authors investigated whether this deletion is associated with prognosis in patients with GBM.

Methods. In 46 adult patients with supratentorial GBM, homozygous deletion of the p16 gene in tumor DNA was examined using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. The deletion was confirmed in 14 (30.4%) of 46 patients, eight (30.8%) of 26 men and six (30.0%) of 20 women. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, adjusted for age at surgery, the Karnofsky Performance Scale score, extent of resection, and the MIB-1 labeling index, revealed that homozygous deletion of the p16 gene was significantly associated with overall survival and progression-free survival in men, but not in women.

Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that p16 homozygous deletion is a significant unfavorable prognostic factor in male patients with GBM.

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Naoki Shinojima, Kazutaka Ohta, Shigetoshi Yano, Hideo Nakamura, Masato Kochi, Yasuji Ishimaru, Youichi Nakazato and Yukitaka Ushio

✓ Myofibroblastoma is a rare type of benign mesenchymal tumor; only two cases of intracranial myofibroblastoma have been reported in the literature. The authors report on the case of a 34-year-old woman with a myofibroblastoma in the suprasellar region who presented with the complaint of sudden onset of headache followed within 2 weeks by progressively worsening visual disturbance. Computerized tomography scanning demonstrated a mixed low- and high-density mass in the suprasellar region and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging revealed the mass to be of mixed intensity with heterogeneous enhancement. The tumor was subtotally removed via a right frontobasal translamina—terminalis approach and her vision improved immediately. Histologically, the tumor was characterized by alternating areas of spindle-shaped and round cells that were separated by collagen fibers. The diagnosis of myofibroblastoma was based on the tumor's intense immunoreactivity for α—smooth-muscle actin and the ultrastructural identification of myofibroblasts. The tumor was thought to have originated from the meninges in the suprasellar region.

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Naoki Shinojima, Masato Kochi, Jun-Ichiro Hamada, Hideo Nakamura, Shigetoshi Yano, Keishi Makino, Hiromasa Tsuiki, Kenji Tada, Jun-Ichi Kuratsu, Yasuji Ishimaru and Yukitaka Ushio

Object. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains incurable by conventional treatments, although some patients experience long-term survival. A younger age, a higher Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score, more aggressive treatment, and long progression-free intervals have been reported to be positively associated with long-term postoperative patient survival. The aim of this retrospective study was the identification of additional favorable prognostic factors affecting long-term survival in surgically treated adult patients with supratentorial GBM.

Methods. Of 113 adult patients newly diagnosed with histologically verified supratentorial GBM who were enrolled in Phase III trials during the period between 1987 and 1998, six (5.3%) who survived for longer than 5 years were defined as long-term survivors, whereas the remaining 107 patients served as controls. All six were women and were compared with the controls; they were younger (mean age 44.2 years, range 31–60 years), and their preoperative KPS scores were higher (mean 85, range 60–100). Four of the six patients underwent gross-total resection. In five patients (83.3%) the progression-free interval was longer than 5 years and in three a histopathological diagnosis of giant cell GBM was made. This diagnosis was not made in the other 107 patients.

Conclusions. Among adult patients with supratentorial GBM, female sex and histopathological characteristics consistent with giant cell GBM may be predictive of a better survival rate, as may traditional factors (that is, younger age, good KPS score, more aggressive resection, and a long progression-free interval).

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Claudio E. Tatsui, Frederick F. Lang, Joy Gumin, Dima Suki, Naoki Shinojima and Laurence D. Rhines

Object

There is currently no reproducible animal model of human spinal metastasis that allows for laboratory study of the human disease. Consequently, the authors sought to develop an orthotopic model of spinal metastasis by using a human lung cancer cell line, and to correlate neurological decline with tumor growth.

Methods

To establish a model of spinal metastasis, the authors used a transperitoneal surgical approach to implant PC-14 lung tumors into the L-3 vertebral body of nude mice via a drill hole. In 24 animals, motor function was scored daily by using the validated semiquantitative Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scale. A second group of 26 animals (6 or 7 per time point) were sacrificed at specific times, and the spines were removed, sectioned, and stained. Canal compromise was analyzed quantitatively by determining the ratio of the area of the neural elements to the area of the spinal canal on histological sections (neural/canal ratio). Correlations between BBB score and histological evaluation of tumor growth were assessed.

Results

Lung cancer xenografts grew in all animals undergoing functional evaluation (24 mice) according to a reliable and reproducible time course, with paraplegia occurring at a median interval of 30 days following tumor implantation (95% CI 28.1–31.9 days). Importantly, the analysis defined 4 key milestones based on components of the BBB score; these were observed in all animals, were consistent, and correlated with histological progression of tumor. From Days 1 to 14, the mean BBB score declined from 21 to 19. The animals progressed from normal walking with the tail up to walking with the tail constantly touching the ground (milestone 1). The median time to tail dragging was 12 days (95% CI 10.8–13.2). Histological studies on Day 14 demonstrated that tumor had progressed from partial to complete VB infiltration, with initial compression of the neural elements and epidural tumor extension to adjacent levels (mean neural/canal ratio 0.32 ± 0.05, 7 mice). From Days 15 to 20/21 (left/right leg), the mean BBB score declined from 19 to 14. Animals showed gait deterioration, with the development of dorsal stepping (milestone 2). The median time to dorsal stepping was 21 days (95% CI 19.4–22.6) in the left hindlimb and 23 days (95% CI 20.6–25.4) in the right hindlimb. Histological studies on Day 21 demonstrated an increase in the severity of the neural element compression, with tumor extending to adjacent epidural and osseous levels (mean neural/canal ratio 0.19 ± 0.05, 6 mice). From Days 22 to 26/27 (left/right leg), the mean BBB score declined from 14 to 8. Animals had progressive difficulty ambulating, to the point where they showed only sweeping movements of the hindlimb (milestone 3). The median time to hindlimb sweeping was 26 days (95% CI 23.6–28.4) and 28 days (95% CI 27.1–28.9) in the left and right hindlimbs, respectively. Histological studies on Day 28 revealed progressive obliteration of the spinal canal (mean neural/canal ratio 0.09 ± 0.01, 7 mice). From Days 29 to 36, the animals progressed to paralysis (milestone 4). The median time to paralysis was 29 days (95% CI 27.6–30.4) and 30 days (95% CI 28.1–31.9) in the left and right hindlimbs, respectively.

Conclusions

The authors have developed an orthotopic murine model of human spinal metastasis in which neurological decline reproducibly correlates with severity of tumor progression. Although developed for lung cancer, this model can be expanded to study other types of metastatic or primary spinal tumors. Ultimately, this will allow testing of targeted therapies against specific tumor types.

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Naoki Shinojima, Hideo Nakamura, Masayoshi Tasaki, Kouki Kameno, Shigeo Anai, Ken-ichi Iyama, Yukio Ando, Hiroshi Seto and Jun-ichi Kuratsu

Medulloblastoma is the most frequent malignant brain tumor of the posterior fossa in children and is considered an embryonal tumor. It has been suggested that medulloblastomas be categorized into 4 distinct molecular subgroups— WNT (DKK1), SHH (SFRP1), Group 3 (NPR3), or Group 4 (KCNA1)—since each subgroup is distinct and there is no overlap. The authors report on a 13-year-old boy with medulloblastoma. He presented with sudden-onset nausea and vomiting due to intratumoral hemorrhage. The medulloblastoma was thought to be in an early developmental stage because the tumor volume was extremely small. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the tumor was mainly composed of DKK1- and NPR3-positive areas. The individual areas of the tumor stained only for DKK1 or NPR3, with no overlap—that is, DKK1 and NPR3 expression were mutually exclusive. Samples obtained by laser microdissection of individual areas and subjected to mass spectrometry confirmed that the expression patterns of proteins were different. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for chromosome 6 showed there were 2 distinct types of cells that exhibited monosomy or disomy of chromosome 6. These results demonstrated that distinct subtypes of medulloblastoma may be present within a single tumor, an observation that has not been previously reported. Our findings in this case indicate that early-stage medulloblastoma may include more than 1 distinct subtype and hint at factors involved in the origin and development of medulloblastomas.

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Takuichiro Hide, Shigetoshi Yano, Naoki Shinojima and Jun-ichi Kuratsu

OBJECT

To avoid disorientation during endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS), the confirmation of anatomical landmarks is essential. Neuronavigation systems can be pointed at exact sites, but their spatial resolution power is too low for the detection of vessels that cannot be seen on MR images. On Doppler ultrasonography the shape of concealed arteries and veins cannot be visualized. To address these problems, the authors evaluated the clinical usefulness of the indocyanine green (ICG) endoscope.

METHODS

The authors included 38 patients with pituitary adenomas (n = 26), tuberculum sellae meningiomas (n = 4), craniopharyngiomas (n = 3), chordomas (n = 2), Rathke's cleft cyst (n = 1), dermoid cyst (n = 1), or fibrous dysplasia (n = 1). After opening the sphenoid sinus and placing the ICG endoscope, the authors injected 12.5 mg of ICG into a peripheral vein as a bolus and observed the internal carotid arteries (ICAs), cavernous sinus, intercavernous sinus, and pituitary.

RESULTS

The ICA was clearly identified by a strong fluorescence signal through the dura mater and the covering thin bone. The intercavernous and cavernous sinuses were visualized a few seconds later. In patients with tuberculum sellae meningiomas, the abnormal tumor arteries in the dura were seen and the vague outline of the attachment was identified. At the final inspection after tumor removal, perforators to the brain, optic nerves, chiasm, and pituitary stalk were visualized. ICG fluorescence signals from the hypophyseal arteries were strong enough to see and spread to the area of perfusion with the passage of time.

CONCLUSIONS

The ICA and the patent cavernous sinus were detected with the ICG endoscope in real time and at high resolution. The ICG endoscope is very useful during ETSS. The authors suggest that the real-time observation of the blood supply to the optic nerves and pituitary helps to predict the preservation of their function.

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Branavan Manoranjan and Sheila K. Singh

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Jonathan G. Thomas, Brittany C. Parker Kerrigan, Anwar Hossain, Joy Gumin, Naoki Shinojima, Felix Nwajei, Ravesanker Ezhilarasan, Patrice Love, Erik P. Sulman and Frederick F. Lang

OBJECTIVE

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to localize to gliomas after intravascular delivery. Because these cells home to areas of tissue injury, the authors hypothesized that the administration of ionizing radiation (IR) to tumor would enhance the tropism of MSCs to gliomas. Additionally, they sought to identify which radiation-induced factors might attract MSCs.

METHODS

To assess the effect of IR on MSC migration in vitro, transwell assays using conditioned medium (CM) from an irradiated commercially available glioma cell line (U87) and from irradiated patient-derived glioma stem-like cells (GSCs; GSC7-2 and GSC11) were employed. For in vivo testing, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled MSCs were injected into the carotid artery of nude mice harboring orthotopic U87, GSC7-2, or GSC17 xenografts that were treated with either 0 or 10 Gy of IR, and brain sections were quantitatively analyzed by immunofluorescence for GFP-positive cells. These GSCs were used because GSC7-2 is a weak attractor of MSCs at baseline, whereas GSC17 is a strong attractor. To determine the factors implicated in IR-induced tropism, CM from irradiated GSC7-2 and from GSC11 was assayed with a cytokine array and quantitative ELISA.

RESULTS

Transwell migration assays revealed statistically significant enhanced MSC migration to CM from irradiated U87, GSC7-2, and GSC11 compared with nonirradiated controls and in a dose-dependent manner. After their intravascular delivery into nude mice harboring orthotopic gliomas, MSCs engrafted more successfully in irradiated U87 (p = 0.036), compared with nonirradiated controls. IR also significantly increased the tropism of MSCs to GSC7-2 xenografts (p = 0.043), which are known to attract MSCs only poorly at baseline (weak-attractor GSCs). Ionizing radiation also increased the engraftment of MSCs in strong-attractor GSC17 xenografts, but these increases did not reach statistical significance. The chemokine CCL2 was released by GSC7-2 and GSC11 after irradiation in a dose-dependent manner and mediated in vitro transwell migration of MSCs. Immunohistochemistry revealed increased CCL2 in irradiated GSC7-2 gliomas near the site of MSC engraftment.

CONCLUSIONS

Administering IR to gliomas enhances MSC localization, particularly in GSCs that attract MSCs poorly at baseline. The chemokine CCL2 appears to play a crucial role in the IR-induced tropism of MSCs to gliomas.