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Tatsuya Kobayashi, Yoshihisa Kida and Toshinori Hasegawa

Object

One hundred seven cases of craniopharyngiomas were treated using gamma knife surgery (GKS) at Komaki City Hospital during the past 12 years. The authors report the long-term results obtained in 100 patients who were followed for 6 to 148 months (mean 65.5 months).

Methods

All patients underwent GKS. The mean tumor diameter and volume were 18.8 mm and 5.8 ml, respectively; lesions were treated with a maximum dose of 21.8 Gy and marginal dose of 11.5 Gy (mean isocenters 4.5). Overall tumor responses were complete in 19, partial in 44, no change in 14, and disease progression in 23, yielding a complete response rate of 19%, overall response rate of 63%, control rate of 77%, and progression rate of 23%. Considering factors such as patient age, nature of the tumor (solid, mixed, cystic), frequency of previous treatments, and tumor size, the age and nature of the tumor were significant prognostic factors.

Changes in neurological and pituitary–hypothalamic symptoms after GKS were evaluated in 91 patients. Overall improvement was demonstrated in 17 (18.7%), no change in 59 (64.8%), and deterioration in 15 (16.5%). Outcome was documented in 93 cases: excellent in 42, good in 23, fair in seven, poor in three, and dead in 18 patients.

Conclusions

Stereotactic GKS is a safe and effective treatment as an adjuvant or boost therapy for postresection residual and/or recurrent craniopharyngiomas; the effects are durable and side effects acceptable.

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Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto and Toshinori Hasegawa

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of radiosurgery in patients with facial schwannoma.

Methods

The study population consisted of 14 patients, six men and eight women, with a mean age of 45.4 years. Most of the patients had presented with facial palsy (11 of 14 patients) and/or hearing disturbance (nine of 14 patients). Prior treatment in nine of the 14 cases consisted of tumor resection or tumor biopsy. Tumor volume ranged from 0.98 to 20.8 cm3, and the mean tumor volume was 5.5 cm3. The mean maximum radiation dose and mean tumor margin dose used for radiosurgery were 24.0 and 12.9 Gy, respectively.

During the mean follow-up period of 31.4 months (range 12–120 months), 10 of the tumors shrank and four remained unchanged. The tumor response and tumor control rates were 57 and 100%, respectively. None of the tumors progressed, and no subsequent resection was required. Facial nerve function improved in five cases, remained unchanged in eight, and became worse in one. There was no change in hearing function in any of the patients. Complications developed in only one patient: the onset of facial palsy immediately after treatment, which subsequently recovered to House–Brackmann Grade III.

Conclusions

In summary, radiosurgery was found to be a very useful method of treating facial schwannoma, for both tumor control and functional control. Radiosurgery should therefore be the treatment of first choice for facial schwannomas.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto and Jouji Koike

Object

Information on outcomes of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for patients harboring trigeminal schwannomas is limited because these tumors are rare. The authors evaluated tumor control and functional outcomes in patients who underwent GKS for trigeminal schwannomas to clarify the efficacy of this treatment.

Methods

Forty-two patients with trigeminal schwannomas but no evidence of neurofibromatosis Type 2 were treated with GKS at Komaki City Hospital between November 1991 and December 2003. Of these, 37 patients were assessed. The mean tumor volume in these patients was 10 cm3. The mean maximum radiation dose directed to the tumor was 27.9 Gy and the mean dose directed to the tumor margin was 14.2 Gy. The mean follow-up period was 54 months. In four patients (11%) there was complete tumor remission; in 20 (54%) there was partial tumor remission; in eight (22%) the disease remained stable; and in five (14%) the tumor enlarged or uncontrollable facial pain developed with radiation-induced edema requiring resection. The actuarial 5- and 10-year tumor control rates were both 84%. With respect to functional outcomes, 40% of patients noted an improvement in their symptoms, and one patient experienced new symptoms despite good tumor control.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery was a safe and effective treatment for a select group of patients harboring trigeminal schwannomas. Large tumors that compress the brainstem and cause deviation of the fourth ventricle should first be removed surgically and any remnant should be treated by GKS.

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Jacques J. Morcos

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Dai Ishii, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Joji Koike and Hiroshi Iizuka

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate radiosurgical outcomes in skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas, and to determine which tumors are appropriate for stereotactic radiosurgery as adjuvant therapy following maximum tumor resection.

Methods

Thirty-seven patients (48 lesions) were treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS); 27 had chordomas, seven had chondrosarcomas, and three had radiologically diagnosed chordomas. The mean tumor volume was 20 ml, and the mean maximum and marginal doses were 28 and 14 Gy, respectively. The mean follow-up period was 97 months from diagnosis and 59 months from GKS.

Results

The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates after GKS were 80 and 53%, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year local tumor control (LTC) rates after single or multiple GKS sessions were 76 and 67%, respectively. All patients with low-grade chondrosarcomas achieved good LTC. A tumor volume of less than 20 ml significantly affected the high rate of LTC (p = 0.0182). No patient had adverse radiation effects, other than one in whom facial numbness worsened despite successful tumor control.

Conclusions

As an adjuvant treatment after resection, GKS is a reasonable option for selected patients harboring skull base chordomas or chondrosarcomas with a residual tumor volume of less than 20 ml. Dose planning with a generous treatment volume to avoid marginal treatment failure should be made at a marginal dose of at least 15 Gy to achieve long-term tumor control.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Joji Koike, Hiroshi Iizuka and Dai Ishii

Object

The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term outcomes, including tumor control and neurological function, in patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas treated using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS).

Methods

One hundred fifteen patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas, excluding atypical or malignant meningiomas, were treated with GKS between 1991 and 2003. Forty-nine patients (43%) underwent GKS as the initial treatment. The mean tumor volume was 14 cm3, and the mean maximum and margin doses applied to the tumor were 27 and 13 Gy, respectively. The median follow-up period was 62 months. During the follow-up, 111 patients were able to be evaluated with neuroimaging.

Results

The actuarial 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 87 and 73%, respectively. Similarly, the actuarial 5- and 10-year focal tumor control rates were 94 and 92%, respectively. Regarding functional outcomes, 43 patients (46%) experienced some degree of improvement, 40 (43%) remained stable, and 11 (12%) had worse preexisting or newly developed symptoms. Patients who underwent GKS as the initial treatment experienced significant improvement of their symptoms (p = 0.006).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is a safe and effective treatment over the long term in selected patients with cavernous sinus meningiomas. Tumor progression is more likely to occur from the lesion margin outside the treatment volume. In small to medium-sized tumors, GKS is an excellent alternative to resection, preserving good neurological function. For relatively large-sized tumors, low-dose radiosurgery (≤ 12 Gy) is acceptable for the prevention of tumor progression.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Takenori Kato, Hiroshi Iizuka, Shunichiro Kuramitsu and Takashi Yamamoto

Object

Little is known about long-term outcomes, including tumor control and adverse radiation effects, in patients harboring vestibular schwannomas (VSs) treated with stereotactic radiosurgery > 10 years previously. The aim of this study was to confirm whether Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) for VSs continues to be safe and effective > 10 years after treatment.

Methods

A total of 440 patients with VS (including neurofibromatosis Type 2) treated with GKS between May 1991 and December 2000 were evaluable. Of these, 347 patients (79%) underwent GKS as an initial treatment and 93 (21%) had undergone prior resection. Three hundred fifty-eight patients (81%) had a solid tumor and 82 (19%) had a cystic tumor. The median tumor volume was 2.8 cm3 and the median marginal dose was 12.8 Gy.

Results

The median follow-up period was 12.5 years. The actuarial 5- and ≥ 10-year progression-free survival was 93% and 92%, respectively. No patient developed treatment failure > 10 years after treatment. According to multivariate analysis, significant factors related to worse progression-free survival included brainstem compression with a deviation of the fourth ventricle (p < 0.0001), marginal dose ≤ 13 Gy (p = 0.01), prior treatment (p = 0.02), and female sex (p = 0.02). Of 287 patients treated at a recent optimum dose of ≤ 13 Gy, 3 (1%) developed facial palsy, including 2 with transient palsy and 1 with persistent palsy after a second GKS, and 3 (1%) developed facial numbness, including 2 with transient and 1 with persistent facial numbness. The actuarial 10-year facial nerve preservation rate was 97% in the high marginal dose group (> 13 Gy) and 100% in the low marginal dose group (≤ 13 Gy). Ten patients (2.3%) developed delayed cyst formation. One patient alone developed malignant transformation, indicating an incidence of 0.3%.

Conclusions

In this study GKS was a safe and effective treatment for the majority of patients followed > 10 years after treatment. Special attention should be paid to cyst formation and malignant transformation as late adverse radiation effects, although they appeared to be rare. However, it is necessary to collect further long-term follow-up data before making conclusions about the long-term safety and efficacy of GKS, especially for young patients with VSs.

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Tatsuya Kobayashi, Yoshihisa Kida, Yoshimasa Mori and Toshinori Hasegawa

Object

The authors analyzed the long-term outcomes of gamma knife surgery (GKS) for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas after microsurgery and the effects of dose reduction.

Methods

A total of 107 patients with craniopharyngiomas were treated with GKS at Komaki City Hospital during the past 12 years, and 98 patients were followed up for 6 to 148 months (mean 65.5 months). The mean tumor diameter and volume were 18.8 mm and 3.5 ml, respectively. These tumors were treated with a maximal dose of 21.8 Gy and a tumor margin dose of 11.5 Gy by using a mean of 4.5 isocenters. Final overall response rates were as follows: complete response 19.4%, partial response 67.4%, tumor control 79.6%, and tumor progression 20.4%. Reducing the tumor margin dose resulted in decreased therapeutic response and increased tumor progression, although the rate of visual and pituitary function loss also decreased. Among the factors examined, age (for adults) and the nature of the tumor (cystic or mixed) were statistically significant favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors, respectively. The actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates were 94.1 and 91%, respectively. The progression-free survival rates were 60.8 and 53.8%, respectively. Patient outcomes were reportedly excellent in 45 cases, good in 23, fair in four, and poor in three; 16 patients died. Deterioration both in vision and endocrinological functions were documented as side effects in six patients (6.1%).

Conclusions

Stereotactic GKS is safe and effective, in the long term, as an adjuvant or boost therapy for residual or recurrent craniopharyngiomas after surgical removal and has minimal side effects. New treatment strategies must be devised to manage these tumors.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Yoshihisa Kida, Tatsuya Kobayashi, Masayuki Yoshimoto, Yoshimasa Mori and Jun Yoshida

Object. Gamma knife surgery (GKS) has been a safe and effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas in both the short and long term, although less is known about long-term outcomes in the past 10 years. The aim of this study was to clarify long-term outcomes in patients with vestibular schwannomas treated using GKS based on techniques in place in the early 1990s.

Methods. Eighty patients harboring a vestibular schwannoma (excluding neurofibromatosis Type 2) were treated using GKS between May 1991 and December 1993. Among these, 73 patients were assessed; seven were lost to follow up. The median duration of follow up was 135 months. The mean patient age at the time of GKS was 56 years old. The mean tumor volume was 6.3 cm3, and the mean maximal and marginal radiation doses applied to the tumor were 28.4 and 14.6 Gy, respectively. Follow-up magnetic resonance images were obtained in 71 patients. Forty-eight patients demonstrated partial tumor remission, 14 had tumors that remained stable, and nine demonstrated tumor enlargement or radiation-induced edema requiring resection. Patients with larger tumors did not fare as well as those with smaller lesions. The actuarial 10-year progression-free survival rate was 87% overall, and 93% in patients with tumor volumes less than 10 cm3. No patient experienced malignant transformation.

Conclusions. Gamma knife surgery remained an effective treatment for vestibular schwannomas for longer than 10 years. Although treatment failures usually occurred within 3 years after GKS, it is necessary to continue follow up in patients to reveal delayed tumor recurrence.