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Yoshiyasu Iwai, Kazuhiro Yamanaka and Hidetoshi Ikeda

Object

In this study, the authors evaluate the long-term results after Gamma Knife radiosurgery of cranial base meningiomas. This study is a follow-up to their previously published report on the early results.

Methods

Between January 1994 and December 2001, the authors treated benign cranial base meningiomas in 108 patients using low-dose Gamma Knife radiosurgery. The tumor volumes ranged from 1.7 to 55.3 cm3 (median 8.1 cm3), and the radiosurgery doses ranged from 8 to 12 Gy (median 12 Gy) to the tumor margin.

Results

The mean duration of follow-up was 86.1 months (range 20–144 months). Tumor volume decreased in 50 patients (46%), remained stable in 51 patients (47%), and increased (local failure) in 7 patients (6%). Eleven patients experienced tumor recurrence outside the treatment field. Among these patients, marginal failure was seen in 5 and distant recurrence was seen in 6. Seven patients were thought to have malignant transformation based on histological or radiological characteristics of the lesion. The actuarial progression-free survival rate, including malignant transformation and outside recurrence, was 93% at 5 years and 83% at 10 years. Neurological status improved in 16 patients (15%). Permanent radiation injury occurred in 7 patients (6%).

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a safe and effective treatment for cranial base meningiomas as demonstrated with a long-term follow-up period of > 7 years. Surgeons must be aware of the possibility of treatment failure, defined as local failure, marginal failure, and malignant transformation; however, this may be the natural course of meningiomas and not related to radiosurgery.

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Masaaki Yamamoto, Yoshihisa Kida, Seiji Fukuoka, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Hidefumi Jokura, Atsuya Akabane and Toru Serizawa

Object

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKS) is currently used for primary or postoperative management of cavernous sinus (CS) hemangiomas. The authors describe their experience with 30 cases of CS hemangioma successfully managed with GKS.

Methods

Thirty patients with CS hemangiomas, including 19 female and 11 male patients with a mean age of 53 years (range 19–78 years) underwent GKS at 7 facilities in Japan. Pathological entity was confirmed using surgical specimens in 17 patients, and neuroimaging diagnosis only in 13. Eight patients were asymptomatic before GKS, while 22 had ocular movement disturbances and/or optic nerve impairments. The mean tumor volume was 11.5 cm3 (range 1.5–51.4 cm3). The mean dose to the tumor periphery was 13.8 Gy (range 10.0–17.0 Gy).

Results

The mean follow-up period was 53 months (range 12–138 months). Among the 22 patients with symptoms prior to GKS, complete remission was achieved in 2, improvement in 13, and no change in 7. Hemifacial sensory disturbance developed following GKS in 1 patient. The most recent MR images showed remarkable shrinkage in 18, shrinkage in 11, and no change in 1 patient.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife radiosurgery proved to be an effective treatment strategy for managing CS hemangiomas. Given the diagnostic accuracy of recently developed neuroimaging techniques and the potentially serious bleeding associated with biopsy sampling or attempted surgical removal, the authors recommend that GKS be the primary treatment in most patients who have a clear neuroimaging diagnosis of this condition.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Takenori Kato, Yoshihisa Kida, Motohiro Hayashi, Takahiko Tsugawa, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Mitsuya Sato, Hisayo Okamoto, Tadashige Kano, Seiki Osano, Osamu Nagano and Kiyoshi Nakazaki

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to explore the efficacy and safety of stereotactic radiosurgery for patients with facial nerve schwannomas (FNSs).

METHODS

This study was a multiinstitutional retrospective analysis of 42 patients with FNSs treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) at 1 of 10 medical centers of the Japan Leksell Gamma Knife Society (JLGK1301). The median age of the patients was 50 years. Twenty-nine patients underwent GKS as the initial treatment, and 13 patients had previously undergone surgery. At the time of the GKS, 33 (79%) patients had some degree of facial palsy, and 21 (50%) did not retain serviceable hearing. Thirty-five (83%) tumors were solid, and 7 (17%) had cystic components. The median tumor volume was 2.5 cm3, and the median prescription dose to the tumor margin was 12 Gy.

RESULTS

The median follow-up period was 48 months. The last follow-up images showed partial remission in 23 patients and stable tumors in 19 patients. Only 1 patient experienced tumor progression at 60 months, but repeat GKS led to tumor shrinkage. The actuarial 3- and 5-year progression-free survival rates were 100% and 92%, respectively. During the follow-up period, 8 patients presented with newly developed or worsened preexisting facial palsy. The condition was transient in 3 of these patients. At the last clinical follow-up, facial nerve function improved in 8 (19%) patients, remained stable in 29 (69%), and worsened in 5 (12%; House-Brackmann Grade III in 4 patients, Grade IV in 1 patient). With respect to hearing function, 18 (90%) of 20 evaluated patients with a pure tone average of ≤ 50 dB before treatment retained serviceable hearing.

CONCLUSIONS

GKS is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with either primary or residual FNSs. All patients, including 1 patient who required repeat GKS, achieved good tumor control at the last follow-up. The incidence of newly developed or worsened preexisting facial palsy was 12% at the last clinical follow-up. In addition, the risk of hearing deterioration as an adverse effect of radiation was low. These results suggest that GKS is a safe alternative to resection.

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Naohiro Tsuyuguchi, Ichiro Sunada, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Kazuhiro Yamanaka, Kiyoaki Tanaka, Toshihiro Takami, Yumiko Otsuka, Shinichi Sakamoto, Kenji Ohata, Takeo Goto and Mitsuhiro Hara

Object. In this study the authors examined how to differentiate radiation necrosis from recurrent metastatic brain tumor following stereotactic radiosurgery by using positron emission tomography (PET) with l-[methyl-11C]methionine (MET).

Methods. In 21 adult patients with suspected recurrent metastatic brain tumor or radiation injury, MET-PET scans were obtained. These patients had previously undergone stereotactic radiosurgery and subsequent contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) examinations before nuclear medicine imaging. Positron emission tomography images were obtained as a static scan of 10 minutes performed 20 minutes after injection of 370 MBq of MET. On MET-PET scans, the portion of the tumor with the highest accumulation of MET was selected as the region of interest (ROI), and the ratio of tumor tissue to normal tissue (T/N) was defined as the mean counts of radioisotope per pixel in the tumor divided by the mean counts per pixel in normal gray matter. The standardized uptake value (SUV) was calculated using the same ROI in the tumor. The accuracy of the MET-PET scan was evaluated by correlating findings with results of subsequent histological analysis (11 cases) or, in cases in which surgery or biopsy was not performed, with subsequent clinical course and MR imaging findings (10 cases).

Histological examinations performed in 11 cases showed viable tumor cells with necrosis in nine and necrosis with no viable tumor cells in two. Another 10 cases were characterized as radiation necrosis because the patients exhibited stable neurological symptoms with no sign of massive enlargement of the lesion on follow-up MR images after 5 months. The mean T/N was 1.15 in the radiation necrosis group (12 cases) and 1.62 in the tumor recurrence group (nine cases). The mean SUV was 1.78 in the necrosis group and 2.5 in the recurrence group. There were statistically significant differences between the recurrence and necrosis groups in T/N and SUV. Furthermore, the borderline T/N value was 1.42 according to a 2 × 2 factorial table (high T/N or low T/N, recurrence or necrosis). From this result, the sensitivity and specificity of MET-PET scanning in detecting tumor recurrence were determined to be 77.8 and 100%, respectively.

Conclusions. The use of MET-PET scanning is a sensitive and accurate technique for differentiating between metastatic brain tumor recurrence and radiation necrosis following stereotactic radiosurgery. This study reveals important information for creating strategies to treat postradiation reactions.

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Toshinori Hasegawa, Takenori Kato, Yoshihisa Kida, Ayaka Sasaki, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Takeshi Kondoh, Takahiko Tsugawa, Manabu Sato, Mitsuya Sato, Osamu Nagano, Kotaro Nakaya, Kiyoshi Nakazaki, Tadashige Kano, Koichi Hasui, Yasushi Nagatomo, Soichiro Yasuda, Akihito Moriki, Toru Serizawa, Seiki Osano and Akira Inoue

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to explore the efficacy and safety of stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with jugular foramen schwannomas (JFSs).

METHODS

This study was a multiinstitutional retrospective analysis of 117 patients with JFSs who were treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) at 18 medical centers of the Japan Leksell Gamma Knife Society. The median age of the patients was 53 years. Fifty-six patients underwent GKS as their initial treatment, while 61 patients had previously undergone resection. At the time of GKS, 46 patients (39%) had hoarseness, 45 (38%) had hearing disturbances, and 43 (36%) had swallowing disturbances. Eighty-five tumors (73%) were solid, and 32 (27%) had cystic components. The median tumor volume was 4.9 cm3, and the median prescription dose administered to the tumor margin was 12 Gy. Five patients were treated with fractionated GKS and maximum and marginal doses of 42 and 21 Gy, respectively, using a 3-fraction schedule.

RESULTS

The median follow-up period was 52 months. The last follow-up images showed partial remission in 62 patients (53%), stable tumors in 42 patients (36%), and tumor progression in 13 patients (11%). The actuarial 3- and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 91% and 89%, respectively. The multivariate analysis showed that pre-GKS brainstem edema and dumbbell-shaped tumors significantly affected PFS. During the follow-up period, 20 patients (17%) developed some degree of symptomatic deterioration. This condition was transient in 12 (10%) of these patients and persistent in 8 patients (7%). The cause of the persistent deterioration was tumor progression in 4 patients (3%) and adverse radiation effects in 4 patients (3%), including 2 patients with hearing deterioration, 1 patient with swallowing disturbance, and 1 patient with hearing deterioration and hypoglossal nerve palsy. However, the preexisting hoarseness and swallowing disturbances improved in 66% and 63% of the patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

GKS resulted in good tumor control in patients with either primary or residual JFSs. Although some patients experienced some degree of symptomatic deterioration after treatment, persistent adverse radiation effects were seen in only 3% of the entire series at the last follow-up. Lower cranial nerve deficits were extremely rare adverse radiation effects, and preexisting hoarseness and swallowing disturbances improved in two-thirds of patients. These results indicated that GKS was a safe and reasonable alternative to surgical resection in selected patients with JFSs.

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Mika Habu, Hiroshi Tokimura, Hirofumi Hirano, Soichiro Yasuda, Yasushi Nagatomo, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Jun Kawagishi, Koshi Tatewaki, Shunji Yunoue, Francia Campos, Yasuyuki Kinoshita, Akira Shimatsu, Akira Teramoto and Kazunori Arita

OBJECT

With advancement of cancer treatment and development of neuroimaging techniques, contemporary clinical pictures of pituitary metastases (PMs) must have changed from past reports. The goal of this paper was to elucidate the clinical features of PMs and current clinical practice related to those lesions. In this retrospective study, questionnaires were sent to 87 physicians who had treated PMs in Japan.

RESULTS

Between 1995 and 2010, 201 patients with PMs were treated by the participating physicians. The diagnosis of PM was histologically verified in 69 patients (34.3%). In the other 132 patients (65.7%), the PM was diagnosed by their physicians based on neuroimaging findings and clinical courses. The most frequent primary tumor was lung (36.8%), followed by breast (22.9%) and kidney (7.0%) cancer. The average interval between diagnosis of primary cancer and detection of PM was 2.8 ± 3.9 (SD) years. Major symptoms at diagnosis were visual disturbance in 30.3%, diabetes insipidus in 27.4%, fatigue in 25.4%, headache in 20.4%, and double vision in 17.4%. Major neuroimaging features were mass lesion in the pituitary stalk (63.3%), constriction of tumor at the diaphragmatic hiatus (44.7%), hypothalamic mass lesion (17.4%), and hyperintensity in the optic tract (11.4%). Surgical treatment was performed in 26.9% of patients, and 74.6% had radiation therapy; 80.0% of patients who underwent radiotherapy had stereotactic radiotherapy. The median survival time was 12.9 months in total. Contributing factors for good prognosis calculated by Cox proportional hazard analysis were younger age, late metastasis to the pituitary gland, smaller PM size, and radiation therapy. The Kaplan-Meier survival was significantly better in patients with breast cancer and renal cell cancer than in those with lung cancer.

CONCLUSIONS

At the time of this writing, approximately 60% (120/201) of PMs had been treated by stereotactic radiation therapy in Japan. The median survival time was much longer than that reported in past series. To confirm the changes of clinical features and medical practice, a prospective and population-based survey is mandatory.

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Takuya Kawabe, Masaaki Yamamoto, Yasunori Sato, Shoji Yomo, Takeshi Kondoh, Osamu Nagano, Toru Serizawa, Takahiko Tsugawa, Hisayo Okamoto, Atsuya Akabane, Kazuyasu Aita, Manabu Sato, Hidefumi Jokura, Jun Kawagishi, Takashi Shuto, Hideya Kawai, Akihito Moriki, Hiroyuki Kenai, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Masazumi Gondo, Toshinori Hasegawa, Soichiro Yasuda, Yasuhiro Kikuchi, Yasushi Nagatomo, Shinya Watanabe and Naoya Hashimoto

OBJECTIVE

In 1999, the World Health Organization categorized large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) of the lung as a variant of large cell carcinoma, and LCNEC now accounts for 3% of all lung cancers. Although LCNEC is categorized among the non–small cell lung cancers, its biological behavior has recently been suggested to be very similar to that of a small cell pulmonary malignancy. The clinical outcome for patients with LCNEC is generally poor, and the optimal treatment for this malignancy has not yet been established. Little information is available regarding management of LCNEC patients with brain metastases (METs). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for patients with brain METs from LCNEC.

METHODS

The Japanese Leksell Gamma Knife Society planned this retrospective study in which 21 Gamma Knife centers in Japan participated. Data from 101 patients were reviewed for this study. Most of the patients with LCNEC were men (80%), and the mean age was 67 years (range 39–84 years). Primary lung tumors were reported as well controlled in one-third of the patients. More than half of the patients had extracranial METs. Brain metastasis and lung cancer had been detected simultaneously in 25% of the patients. Before GKRS, brain METs had manifested with neurological symptoms in 37 patients. Additionally, prior to GKRS, resection was performed in 17 patients and radiation therapy in 10. A small cell lung carcinoma–based chemotherapy regimen was chosen for 48 patients. The median lesion number was 3 (range 1–33). The median cumulative tumor volume was 3.5 cm3, and the median radiation dose was 20.0 Gy. For statistical analysis, the standard Kaplan-Meier method was used to determine post-GKRS survival. Competing risk analysis was applied to estimate GKRS cumulative incidences of maintenance of neurological function and death, local recurrence, appearance of new lesions, and complications.

RESULTS

The overall median survival time (MST) was 9.6 months. MSTs for patients classified according to the modified recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) system were 25.7, 11.0, and 5.9 months for Class 1+2a (20 patients), Class 2b (28), and Class 3 (46), respectively. At 12 months after GKRS, neurological death–free and deterioration–free survival rates were 93% and 87%, respectively. Follow-up imaging studies were available in 78 patients. The tumor control rate was 86% at 12 months after GKRS.

CONCLUSIONS

The present study suggests that GKRS is an effective treatment for LCNEC patients with brain METs, particularly in terms of maintaining neurological status.

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Hideyuki Kano, Takashi Shuto, Yoshiyasu Iwai, Jason Sheehan, Masaaki Yamamoto, Heyoung L. McBride, Mitsuya Sato, Toru Serizawa, Shoji Yomo, Akihito Moriki, Yukihiko Kohda, Byron Young, Satoshi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Kenai, Christopher Duma, Yasuhiro Kikuchi, David Mathieu, Atsuya Akabane, Osamu Nagano, Douglas Kondziolka and L. Dade Lunsford

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the management of intracranial hemangioblastomas.

METHODS

Six participating centers of the North American Gamma Knife Consortium and 13 Japanese Gamma Knife centers identified 186 patients with 517 hemangioblastomas who underwent SRS. Eighty patients had 335 hemangioblastomas associated with von Hippel–Lindau disease (VHL) and 106 patients had 182 sporadic hemangioblastomas. The median target volume was 0.2 cm3 (median diameter 7 mm) in patients with VHL and 0.7 cm3 (median diameter 11 mm) in those with sporadic hemangioblastoma. The median margin dose was 18 Gy in VHL patients and 15 Gy in those with sporadic hemangioblastomas.

RESULTS

At a median of 5 years (range 0.5–18 years) after treatment, 20 patients had died of intracranial disease progression and 9 patients had died of other causes. The overall survival after SRS was 94% at 3 years, 90% at 5 years, and 74% at 10 years. Factors associated with longer survival included younger age, absence of neurological symptoms, fewer tumors, and higher Karnofsky Performance Status. Thirty-three (41%) of the 80 patients with VHL developed new tumors and 17 (16%) of the106 patients with sporadic hemangioblastoma had recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor. The 5-year rate of developing a new tumor was 43% for VHL patients, and the 5-year rate of developing a recurrence of residual tumor from the original tumor was 24% for sporadic hemangioblastoma patients. Factors associated with a reduced risk of developing a new tumor or recurrences of residual tumor from the original tumor included younger age, fewer tumors, and sporadic rather than VHL-associated hemangioblastomas. The local tumor control rate for treated tumors was 92% at 3 years, 89% at 5 years, and 79% at 10 years. Factors associated with an improved local tumor control rate included VHL-associated hemangioblastoma, solid tumor, smaller tumor volume, and higher margin dose. Thirteen patients (7%) developed adverse radiation effects (ARE) after SRS, and one of these patients died due to ARE.

CONCLUSIONS

When either sporadic or VHL-associated tumors were observed to grow on serial imaging studies, SRS provided tumor control in 79%–92% of tumors.