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Michael J. Gigliotti, Christine Mau, Charles S. Specht, Cynthia Lawson, Sarah McNutt, Shreela Natarajan, Elias B. Rizk, and Mark Iantosca

OBJECTIVE

The WHO Classification of Tumours of the Central Nervous System (2016) classifies nonmeningothelial malignant spindle cell tumors involving the extraaxial tissues of the posterior fossa as melanocytic tumors and malignant mesenchymal tumors (sarcomas). The objective of this study was to conduct a review of the literature pertaining to the management strategies of posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors in the pediatric population.

METHODS

The authors performed an institutional search of their pathology database for patients younger than 18 years of age who presented with posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors. A literature review was also performed using the PubMed database, with “posterior fossa” or “spindle cell tumors” or “Ewing sarcoma” or “high-grade” or “spindle cell sarcoma” or “leptomeningeal melanocytoma” as keywords. The database search was restricted to pediatric patients (age ≤ 18 years). Parameters reported from the literature review included patient age, tumor location, presenting symptoms, treatment modalities (resection, chemotherapy, and/or radiotherapy), leptomeningeal spread at or after the time of treatment, and follow-up length and resulting outcome.

RESULTS

The authors report 3 rare cases of posterior fossa malignant spindle cell tumors, including Ewing sarcoma in a 13-year-old male; high-grade spindle cell sarcoma, not otherwise specified in a 10-year-old male; and primary leptomeningeal melanocytoma in a 16-year-old female. All 3 patients underwent resection and radiotherapy and either chemotherapy or targeted immunotherapy. At the last follow-up, all patients were alive with either resolution or stable disease.

CONCLUSIONS

A review of these 3 cases and the existing literature support managing patients with intracranial malignant spindle cell tumors with multimodal therapy that can include a combination of resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy or immunotherapy to prolong progression-free and overall survival.

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David R. Hallan, Alyssa M. Nguyen, Menglu Liang, Sarah McNutt, Madison Goss, Erin Bell, Shreela Natarajan, Andrea Nichol, Christopher Messner, Elizabeth Bracken, and Michael Glantz

OBJECTIVE

Abstracts act as short, efficient sources of new information. This intentional brevity potentially diminishes scientific reliability of described findings. The authors’ objective was to 1) determine the proportion of abstracts submitted to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) annual meeting that subsequently are published in peer-reviewed journals, 2) assess AANS abstract publications for publication bias, and 3) assess AANS abstract publications for differing results.

METHODS

The authors screened all abstracts from the annual 2012 AANS meeting and identified their corresponding full-text publication, if applicable, by searching PubMed/MEDLINE. The abstract and subsequent publication were analyzed for result type (positive or negative) and differences in results.

RESULTS

Overall, 49.3% of abstracts were published as papers. Many (18.1%) of these published papers differed in message from their original abstract. Publication bias exists, with positive abstracts being 40% more likely to be published than negative abstracts. The top journals in which the full-text articles were published were Journal of Neurosurgery (13.1%), Neurosurgery (7.3%), and World Neurosurgery (5.4%).

CONCLUSIONS

Here, the authors demonstrate that alone, abstracts are not reliable sources of information. Many abstracts ultimately remain unpublished; therefore, they do not attain a level of scientific scrutiny that merits alteration of clinical care. Furthermore, many that are published have differing results or conclusions. In addition, positive publication bias exists, as positive abstracts are more likely to be published than negative abstracts.