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Dong Liu, Desheng Xu, Zhiyuan Zhang, Yipei Zhang and Ligao Zheng

Object

The authors sought to assess the results of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) in patients with vestibular schwannomas (VSs).

Methods

Seventy-four consecutive patients (33 men and 41 women) were evaluated by means of serial imaging studies, clinical examinations, and questionnaires. Nineteen patients had undergone resection of their VS. Facial nerve function was normal in 63 patients (85.1%) before GKS, and 63.5% of them had useful hearing. The prescription peripheral dose varied between 10 and 14 Gy (mean 12.27 ± 0.96 Gy); the corresponding central dose was 21 to 30 Gy (mean 24.9 ± 2.18 Gy). The mean volume of the tumor at GKS was 10.79 ± 5.52 ml (range 0.11–27.8 ml). A mean of eight isocenters (range 3–17) was used for treating these lesions.

At a median follow-up period of 68.3 months (range 30–122 months), tumor shrinkage was observed in 60 patients (81.1%), and the tumor size was stable in 11 (14.8%). Persistent neuroimaging demonstrated evidence of progression in only three patients (4.1%): two underwent repeated GKS after an interval of 18 months and one continues to be observed. Five patients experienced trigeminal dysfunction: in three the dysfunction was transient and in the other two the dysfunction persists. Three patients suffered facial palsy. Useful hearing was preserved in 34 patients. Thirteen patients experienced some degree of hearing improvement. Deterioration of hearing was found in 13 of 62 patients who had Class I or II hearing before treatment.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery prevents tumor growth; it achieves excellent neurological function preservation and produces few treatment-related complications.

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Mohamed Elsharkawy, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Most intracranial schwannomas arise from cranial nerve (CN) VIII. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a mainstay of treatment for vestibular schwannomas. Intracranial schwannomas arising from other CNs are much less common. We evaluate the efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery on nonvestibular schwannomas including trigeminal, hypoglossal, abducent, facial, trochlear, oculomotor, glossopharyngeal, and jugular foramen tumors.

Methods

Thirty-six patients with nonvestibular schwannomas were treated at the University of Virginia Gamma Knife center from 1989 to 2008. The median patient age was 48 years (mean 45.6 years, range 10–72 years). Schwannomas arose from the following CNs: CN III (in 1 patient), CN IV (in 1), CN V (in 25), CN VI (in 2), CN VII (in 1), CN IX (in 1), and CN XII (in 3). In 2 patients, tumors arose from the jugular foramen. The median tumor volume was 2.9 cm3 (mean 3.3 cm3, range 0.07–8.8 cm3). The median margin dose was 13.5 Gy (range 9.3–20 Gy); the median maximum dose was 30 Gy (range 21.7–50.0 Gy).

Results

The mean and median follow-up times of 36 patients were 54 and 37 months, respectively (range 2–180 months). At the last radiological follow-up, the tumor size had decreased in 20 patients, remained stable in 9 patients, and increased in 7 patients. The 2-year actuarial progression-free survival was 91%. Higher maximum dose was statistically related to tumor control (p = 0.027).

Thirty-three patients had adequate clinical follow-up. Among them, 21 patients had improvement in their presenting symptoms, 8 patients were stable after treatment with no worsening of their presenting symptoms, 2 patients developed new symptoms, and 1 patient experienced symptom deterioration. Notably, 1 patient with neurofibromatosis Type 2 developed new symptoms that were unrelated to the tumor treated with Gamma Knife surgery.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery is a reasonably effective treatment option for patients with nonvestibular schwannomas. Patients require careful follow-up for tumor progression and signs of neurological deterioration.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Zhiyuan Xu, David J. Salvetti, Paul J. Schmitt and Mary Lee Vance

Object

Cushing's disease is a challenging neuroendocrine disorder. Although resection remains the primary treatment option for most patients, the disease persists if there is residual or recurrent tumor. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been used to treat patients with persistent Cushing's disease after a prior resection. The authors report on the long-term risks and benefits of radiosurgery for Cushing's disease.

Methods

A retrospective review of a prospectively collected database of radiosurgery patients was undertaken at the University of Virginia. All patients with Cushing's disease treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) were identified. Those without at least 12 months of clinical and radiological follow-up were excluded from this analysis. Rates of endocrine remission, tumor control, and adverse events were assessed. Statistical methods were used to identify favorable and unfavorable prognostic factors.

Results

Ninety-six patients with the required follow-up data were identified. The mean tumor margin dose was 22 Gy. The median follow-up was 48 months (range 12–209.8 months). At the last follow-up, remission of Cushing's disease occurred in 70% of patients. The median time to remission among all patients was 16.6 months (range 1–165.7 months). The median time to remission in those who had temporarily stopped taking ketoconazole at the time of GKS was 12.6 months, whereas it was 21.8 months in those who continued to receive ketoconazole (p < 0.012). Tumor control was achieved in 98% of patients. New loss of pituitary function occurred in 36% of patients. New or worsening cranial neuropathies developed in 5 patients after GKS, with the most common involving cranial nerves II and III.

Conclusions

Gamma Knife surgery offers a high rate of tumor control and a reasonable rate of endocrine remission in patients with Cushing's disease. The cessation of cortisol-lowering medications around the time of GKS appears to result in a more rapid rate of remission. Delayed hypopituitarism and endocrine recurrence develop in a minority of patients and underscore the need for long-term multidisciplinary follow-up.

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Jason P. Sheehan, Zhiyuan Xu, Britney Popp, Leigh Kowalski and David Schlesinger

Object

The survival of patients with high-grade gliomas remains unfavorable. Mibefradil, a T-type calcium channel inhibitor capable of synchronizing dividing cells at the G1 phase, has demonstrated potential benefit in conjunction with chemotherapeutic agents for gliomas in in vitro studies. In vivo study of mibefradil and radiosurgery is lacking. The authors used an intracranial C6 glioma model in rats to study tumor response to mibefradil and radiosurgery.

Methods

Two weeks after implantation of C6 cells into the animals, each rat underwent MRI every 2 weeks thereafter for 8 weeks. After tumor was confirmed on MRI, the rats were randomly assigned to one of the experimental groups. Tumor volumes were measured on MR images. Experimental Group 1 received 30 mg/kg of mibefradil intraperitoneally 3 times a day for 1 week starting on postoperative day (POD) 15; Group 2 received 8 Gy of cranial radiation via radiosurgery delivered on POD 15; Group 3 underwent radiosurgery on POD 15, followed by 1 week of mibefradil; and Group 4 received mibefradil on POD 15 for 1 week, followed by radiosurgery sometime from POD 15 to POD 22. Twenty-seven glioma-bearing rats were analyzed. Survival was compared between groups using Kaplan-Meier methodology.

Results

Median survival in Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 35, 31, 43, and 52 days, respectively (p = 0.036, log-rank test). Two animals in Group 4 survived to POD 60, which is twice the expected survival of untreated animals in this model. Analysis of variance and a post hoc test indicated no tumor volume differences on PODs 15 and 29. However, significant volume differences were found on POD 43; mean tumor volumes for Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 250, 266, 167, and 34 mm3, respectively (p = 0.046, ANOVA). A Cox proportional hazards regression test showed survival was associated with tumor volume on POD 29 (p = 0.001) rather than on POD 15 (p = 0.162). In vitro assays demonstrated an appreciable and dose-dependent increase in apoptosis between 2- and 7-μM concentrations of mibefradil.

Conclusions

Mibefradil response is schedule dependent and enhances survival and reduces glioblastoma when combined with ionizing radiation.

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Cheng-Chia Lee, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason Sheehan

Object

The use of radiosurgery has been well accepted for treating small to medium-size metastatic brain tumors (MBTs). However, its utility in treating large MBTs remains uncertain due to potentially unfavorable effects such as progressive perifocal brain edema and neurological deterioration. In this retrospective study the authors evaluated the local tumor control rate and analyzed possible factors affecting tumor and brain edema response.

Methods

The authors defined a large brain metastasis as one with a measurement of 3 cm or more in at least one of the 3 cardinal planes (coronal, axial, or sagittal). A consecutive series of 109 patients with 119 large intracranial metastatic lesions were treated with Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) between October 2000 and December 2012; the median tumor volume was 16.8 cm3 (range 6.0–74.8 cm3). The pre-GKS Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score for these patients ranged from 70 to 100. The most common tumors of origin were non–small cell lung cancers (29.4% of cases in this series). Thirty-six patients (33.0%) had previously undergone a craniotomy (1–3 times) for tumor resection. Forty-three patients (39.4%) underwent whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) before GKS. Patients were treated with GKS and followed clinically and radiographically at 2- to 3-month intervals thereafter.

Results

The median duration of imaging follow-up after GKS for patients with large MBTs in this series was 6.3 months. In the first follow-up MRI studies (performed within 3 months after GKS), 77 lesions (64.7%) had regressed, 24 (20.2%) were stable, and 18 (15.1%) were found to have grown. Peritumoral brain edema as defined on T2-weighted MRI sequences had decreased in 79 lesions (66.4%), was stable in 21 (17.6%), but had progressed in 19 (16.0%). In the group of patients who survived longer than 6 months (76 patients with 77 MBTs), 88.3% of the MBTs (68 of 77 lesions) had regressed or remained stable at the most recent imaging follow-up, and 89.6% (69 of 77 lesions) showed regression of perifocal brain edema volume or stable condition. The median duration of survival after GKS was 8.3 months for patients with large MBTs. Patients with small cell lung cancer and no previous WBRT had a significantly higher tumor control rate as well as better brain edema relief. Patients with a single metastasis, better KPS scores, and no previous radiosurgery or WBRT were more likely to decrease corticosteroid use after GKS. On the other hand, higher pre-GKS KPS score was the only factor that showed a statistically significant association with longer survival.

Conclusions

Treating large MBTs using either microsurgery or radiosurgery is a challenge for neurosurgeons. In selected patients with large brain metastases, radiosurgery offered a reasonable local tumor control rate and favorable functional preservation. Exacerbation of underlying edema was rare in this case series. Far more commonly, edema and steroid use were lessened after radiosurgery. Radiosurgery appears to be a reasonable option for some patients with large MBTs.

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Dong Liu, Yanhe Li, Yipei Zhang, Zhiyuan Zhang, Guoxiang Song and Desheng Xu

OBJECTIVE

This article is a preliminary evaluation of the efficacy of volume-staged Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) in the treatment of patients with orbital venous malformations (OVMs).

METHODS

Twenty patients with moderate to large OVMs were treated with volume-staged GKRS between March 2005 and October 2015. The series included 8 male and 12 female patients with an average age of 22.5 years (range 9–45 years). The diagnoses were confirmed intraoperatively and at pathological examination in 14 cases and presumed in accordance with clinical and imaging findings in 6 cases. The median OVM volume was 12.2 cm3 (range 7.1–34.6 cm3). The median interval between stages was 10 months (range 6–12 months). The tumor margin dose for each stage ranged from 11.0 to 13.5 Gy. The median duration of follow-up was 45.5 months (range 18–98 months).

RESULTS

Periodically scheduled MRI studies demonstrated evidence of a significant reduction of the original OVM volume in all cases. Visual acuity (VA) was preserved in 18 cases (90%). Five patients (25%) experienced vision improvement of varying degrees, and 13 (65%) experienced long-term preservation of VA at their pre-GKRS level. Deterioration in VA was observed in only 2 cases (10%). MRI demonstrated OVM regression after treatment in all cases, and all patients were found to have reduction of exophthalmos after volume-staged GKRS. Follow-up MRI revealed recurrence in only 1 case (5%). Three patients (15%) developed transient conjunctival edema.

CONCLUSIONS

This retrospective investigation indicates that volume-staged GKRS provides an effective management option in selected patients with OVMs, providing excellent visual outcomes. The study adds substantial support for volume-staged GKRS as a major treatment for OVMs.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Robert M. Starke, Zhiyuan Xu and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Ruptured intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are at a significantly greater risk for future hemorrhage than unruptured lesions, thereby necessitating treatment in the majority of cases. In a retrospective, single-center study, the authors describe the outcomes after radiosurgery in a large cohort of patients with ruptured AVMs.

Methods

From an institutional review board–approved, prospectively collected AVM radiosurgery database, the authors identified all patients with a history of AVM rupture. They analyzed obliteration rates in all patients in whom radiological follow-up data were available (n = 639). However, to account for the latency period associated with radiosurgery, only those patients with more than 2 years of radiological follow-up and those with earlier AMV obliteration were included in the analysis of prognostic factors related to obliteration and complications. This resulted in a cohort of 565 patients with ruptured AVMs for whom data were analyzed; these patients had a median radiological follow-up of 57 months and a median age of 29 years. Twenty-one percent of the patients underwent preradiosurgery embolization. The median volume and prescription dose were 2.1 cm3 and 22 Gy, respectively. The Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 56% of patients, the median radiosurgery-based AVM score was 1.08, and the Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (RAS) score was 3 to 4 points in 44%. Survival and regression analyses were performed to determine obliteration rates over time and predictors of obliteration and complications.

Results

In the overall population of 639 patients with ruptured AVMs, the obliteration rate was 11.1% based on MRI only (71 of 639 patients), 56.0% based on angiography (358 of 639), and 67.1% based on combined modalities (429 of 639 patients). In the cohort of patients with 2 years of follow-up or an earlier AVM obliteration, the cumulative obliteration rate was 76% and the actuarial obliteration rates were 41% and 64% at 3 and 5 years, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified the absence of preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), increased prescription dose (p = 0.001), the presence of a single draining vein (p = 0.046), no postradiosurgery-related hemorrhage (p = 0.007), and lower Virginia RAS score (p = 0.020) as independent predictors of obliteration. The annual risk of a hemorrhage occurring during the latency period was 2.0% and the rate of hemorrhage-related morbidity and mortality was 1.6%. Multivariate analysis showed that decreased prescription dose (p < 0.001) and multiple draining veins (p = 0.003) were independent predictors of postradiosurgery hemorrhage. The rates of symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes were 8% and 2.7%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, a single draining vein (p < 0.001) and higher Virginia RAS score (p = 0.005) were independent predictors of radiation-induced changes following radiosurgery.

Conclusions

Radiosurgery effectively treats ruptured AVMs with an acceptably low risk-to-benefit ratio. For patients with ruptured AVMs, favorable outcomes are more likely when preradiosurgical embolization is avoided and a higher prescription dose can be delivered.

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Dale Ding, Chun-Po Yen, Zhiyuan Xu, Robert M. Starke and Jason P. Sheehan

Object

Low-grade, or Spetzler-Martin (SM) Grades I and II, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are associated with lower surgical morbidity rates than higher-grade lesions. While radiosurgery is now widely accepted as an effective treatment approach for AVMs, the risks and benefits of the procedure for low-grade AVMs, as compared with microsurgery, remain poorly understood. The authors of this study present the outcomes for a large cohort of low-grade AVMs treated with radiosurgery.

Methods

From an institutional radiosurgery database comprising approximately 1450 AVM cases, all patients with SM Grade I and II lesions were identified. Patients with less than 2 years of radiological follow-up, except those with complete AVM obliteration, were excluded from analysis. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazards and logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with obliteration, radiation-induced changes (RICs), and hemorrhage following radiosurgery.

Results

Five hundred two patients harboring low-grade AVMs were eligible for analysis. The median age was 35 years, 50% of patients were male, and the most common presentation was hemorrhage (47%). The median AVM volume and prescription dose were 2.4 cm3 and 23 Gy, respectively. The median radiological and clinical follow-up intervals were 48 and 62 months, respectively. The cumulative obliteration rate was 76%. The median time to obliteration was 40 months, and the actuarial obliteration rates were 66% and 80% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Independent predictors of obliteration were no preradiosurgery embolization (p < 0.001), decreased AVM volume (p = 0.005), single draining vein (p = 0.013), lower radiosurgery-based AVM scale score (p = 0.016), and lower Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale (Virginia RAS) score (p = 0.001). The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4% with increased AVM volume (p = 0.034) and lower prescription dose (p = 0.006) as independent predictors. Symptomatic and permanent RICs were observed in 8.2% and 1.4% of patients, respectively. No preradiosurgery hemorrhage (p = 0.011), a decreased prescription dose (p = 0.038), and a higher Virginia RAS score (p = 0.001) were independently associated with postradiosurgery RICs.

Conclusions

Spetzler-Martin Grade I and II AVMs are very amenable to successful treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery. While patient, physician, and institutional preferences frequently dictate the final course of treatment, radiosurgery offers a favorable risk-to-benefit profile for the management of low-grade AVMs.

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Or Cohen-Inbar, Cheng-Chia Lee, Zhiyuan Xu, David Schlesinger and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

The authors review outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) of cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and their correlation to postradiosurgery adverse radiation effects (AREs).

METHODS

From a prospective institutional review board–approved database, the authors identified patients with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up and thin-slice T2-weighted MRI sequences for volumetric analysis. A total of 105 AVM patients were included. The authors analyzed the incidence and quantitative changes in AREs as a function of time after GKRS. Statistical analysis was performed to identify factors related to ARE development and changes in the ARE index.

RESULTS

The median clinical follow-up was 53.8 months (range 24–212.4 months), and the median MRI follow-up was 36.8 months (range 24–212.4 months). 47.6% of patients had an AVM with a Spetzler-Martin grade ≥ III. The median administered margin and maximum doses were 22 and 40 Gy, respectively. The overall obliteration rate was 70.5%. Of patients who showed complete obliteration, 74.4% developed AREs within 4–6 months after GKRS. Late-onset AREs (i.e., > 12 months) correlated to a failure to obliterate the nidus. 58.1% of patients who developed appreciable AREs (defined as ARE index > 8) proceeded to have a complete nidus obliteration. Appreciable AREs were found to be influenced by AVM nidus volume > 3 ml, lobar location, number of draining veins and feeding arteries, prior embolization, and higher margin dose. On the other hand, a minimum ARE index > 8 predicted obliteration (p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

ARE development after radiosurgery follows a temporal pattern peaking at 7–12 months after stereotactic radiosurgery. The ARE index serves as an important adjunct tool in patient follow-up and outcome prediction.

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I. Jonathan Pomeraniec, Robert F. Dallapiazza, Zhiyuan Xu, John A. Jane Jr. and Jason P. Sheehan

OBJECT

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is frequently employed to treat residual or recurrent nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas. There is no consensus as to whether GKRS should be used early after surgery or if radiosurgery should be withheld until there is evidence of radiographic progression of tumor.

METHODS

This is a retrospective review of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas who underwent transsphenoidal surgery followed by GKRS between 1996 and 2013 at the University of Virginia Health System. Patients were stratified based on the interval between resection and radiosurgery. Operative results and imaging and clinical outcomes were compared across groups following early (≤ 6 months) or late (> 6 months) radiosurgery.

RESULTS

Sixty-four patients met the study criteria and were grouped based on early (n = 32) or late (n = 32) GKRS following transsphenoidal resection. There was a greater risk of tumor progression after GKRS in the late radiosurgical group (p = 0.027) over a median radiographic follow-up period of 68.5 months. Furthermore, there was a significantly higher occurrence of post-GKRS endocrinopathy in the late radiosurgical cohort (p = 0.041). Seventeen percent of patients without endocrinopathy in the early cohort developed new endocrinopathies during the follow-up period versus 64% in the late cohort (p = 0.036). This difference was primarily due to a significantly higher rate of tumor growth during the observation period of the late treatment cohort (p = 0.014). Of these patients with completely new endocrinopathies, radiation-associated pituitary insufficiency developed in 1 of 2 patients in the early group and in 3 of 7 (42.9%) patients in the late group.

CONCLUSIONS

Early treatment with GKRS appears to decrease the rate of radiographic and symptomatic progression of subtotally resected nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas compared with late GKRS treatment after a period of expectant management. Delaying radiosurgery may place the patient at increased risk for adenoma progression and endocrinopathy.