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  • Author or Editor: Tobias A. Mattei x
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Tobias A. Mattei and Daniel R. Fassett

Lumbosacropelvic pseudarthrosis after long spinal fusions for treatment of adult degenerative scoliosis remains a challenging condition. Moreover, although pelvic fixation with iliac screws is widely used in deformity surgery to provide a biomechanically strong distal anchor for long thoracolumbar constructs, there are very few options available after failed pelvic fixation with iliac screws. The authors conducted a retrospective review of the surgical charts and imaging findings of patients subjected to revision surgery for lumbosacropelvic pseudarthrosis from August 2011 to August 2012. This review identified 5 patients in whom a salvage technique combining both S-1 and S-2 sacral alar-iliac (SAI) screws had been performed. In this technical note, the authors present a detailed anatomical discussion and an appraisal of the sequential intraoperative steps of this new technique involving a combination of S-1 and S-2 SAI screws. The discussion is illustrated with a surgical case in which this technique was used to treat a patient with pseudarthrosis that had developed after fixation with classic iliac screws. In conclusion, although S-2 SAI screws have previously been reported as an interesting alternative to classic iliac wing screws, this report is the first on the use of combined S-1 and S-2 SAI screws for pelvic fixation as a salvage technique for lumbosacropelvic instability. According to the reported experience, this technique provides a biomechanically robust construct for definitive pelvic fixation during revision surgeries in the challenging scenarios of pseudarthrosis and instability of the lumbosacropelvic region.

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Azeem A. Rehman, Kevin B. Elmore and Tobias A. Mattei

Glioblastoma is both the most common and most lethal primary CNS malignancy in adults, accounting for 45.6% of all malignant CNS tumors, with a 5-year survival rate of only 5.0%, despite the utilization of multimodal therapy including resection, chemotherapy, and radiation. Currently available treatment options for glioblastoma often remain limited, offering brief periods of improved survival, but with substantial side effects. As such, improvements in current treatment strategies or, more likely, the implementation of novel strategies altogether are warranted. In this topic review, the authors provide a comprehensive review on the potential of alternating electric fields (AEFs) in the treatment of glioblastoma. Alternating electric fields—also known as tumor-treating fields (TTFs)—represent an entirely original therapeutic modality with preliminary studies suggesting comparable, and at times improved, efficacy to standard chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. A recent multicenter, Phase III, randomized clinical trial comparing NovoTTF-100A monotherapy to physician's best choice chemotherapy in patients with recurrent glioblastoma revealed that AEFs have similar efficacy to standard chemotherapeutic agents with a more favorable side-effects profile and improved quality of life. In particular, AEFs were shown to have limited systemic adverse effects, with the most common side effect being contact dermatitis on the scalp at the sites of transducer placement. This study prompted FDA approval of the NovoTTF-100A system in April 2011 as a standalone therapy for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma refractory to surgical and radiation treatment. In addition to discussing the available clinical evidence regarding the utilization of AEFs in glioblastoma, this article provides essential information regarding the supposed therapeutic mechanism as well as modes of potential tumor resistance to such novel therapy, delineating future perspectives regarding basic science research on the issue.

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Tobias A. Mattei and Oscar J. Abdounur

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Tao Yang and Qin-Shui Yin