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Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Staged Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Large Brain Metastases

Neurosurgery 83:114–121, 2018

Treatment options are limited for large, unresectable brain metastases.

OBJECTIVE: To report a single institution series of staged stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that allows for tumor response between treatments in order to optimize the therapeutic ratio.

METHODS: Patients were treated with staged SRS separated by 1 mo with a median dose at first SRS of 15 Gy (range 10-21 Gy) and a median dose at second SRS of 14 Gy (range 10-18 Gy). Overall survival was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cumulative incidences were estimated for neurological death, radiation necrosis, local failure (marginal or central), and distant brain failure. Absolute cumulative dose–volume histogram was created for each treated lesion. Logistic regression and competing risks regression were performed for each discrete dose received by a certain volume.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients with 39 lesions were treated with staged radiosurgery. Overall survival at 6 and 12mowas 65.0% and 60.0%, respectively. Cumulative incidence of local failure at 6 and 12 mo was 3.2% and 13.3%, respectively. Of the patients who received staged therapy, 4 of 33 experienced local failure. Radiation necrosis was seen in 4 of 39 lesions. Two of 33 patients experienced a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group toxicity grade >2 (2 patients had grade 4 toxicities). Dosimetric analysis revealed that dose (Gy) received by volume of brain (ie, VDose(Gy))was associated with radiation necrosis, including the range V44.5Gy to V87.8Gy.

CONCLUSION: Staged radiosurgery is a safe and effective option for large, unresectable brain metastases. Prospective studies are required to validate the findings in this study.

State of the Art Treatment of Spinal Metastatic Disease

Neurosurgery 82:757–769, 2018

Treatment paradigms for patients with spine metastases have evolved significantly over the past decade. Incorporating stereotactic radiosurgery into these paradigms has been particularly transformative, offering precise delivery of tumoricidal radiation doses with sparing of adjacent tissues. Evidence supports the safety and efficacy of radiosurgery as it currently offers durable local tumor control with low complication rates even for tumors previously considered radioresistant to conventional radiation.

The role for surgical intervention remains consistent, but a trend has been observed toward less aggressive, often minimally invasive, techniques. Using modern technologies and improved instrumentation, surgical outcomes continue to improve with reduced morbidity.

Additionally, targeted agents such as biologics and checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized cancer care, improving both local control and patient survivals. These advances have brought forth a need for new prognostication tools and a more critical review of long-term outcomes. The complex nature of current treatment schemes necessitates a multidisciplinary approach including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventionalists, and pain specialists.

This review recapitulates the current state-of-the-art, evidence-based data on the treatment of spinal metastases, integrating these data into a decision framework, NOMS, which integrates the 4 sentinel decision points in metastatic spine tumors: Neurologic, Oncologic, Mechanical stability, and Systemic disease and medical co-morbidities.

Stereotactic radiosurgery alone or combined with embolization for brain arteriovenous malformations

J Neurosurg 128:1338–1348, 2018

Embolization of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) prior to stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been reported to negatively affect obliteration rates. The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the outcomes of AVMs treated with embolization plus SRS (E+SRS group) and those of AVMs treated with SRS alone (SRS group).

METHODS A literature review was performed using PubMed to identify studies with 10 or more AVM patients and obliteration data for both E+SRS and SRS groups. A meta-analysis was performed to compare obliteration rates between the E+SRS and SRS groups.

RESULTS Twelve articles comprising 1716 patients were eligible for analysis. Among the patients with radiological follow-up data, complete obliteration was achieved in 48.4% of patients (330/681) in the E+SRS group compared with 62.7% of patients (613/978) in the SRS group. A meta-analysis of the pooled data revealed that the obliteration rate was significantly lower in the E+SRS group (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.41–0.64, p < 0.00001). Symptomatic adverse radiation effects were observed in 6.6% (27/412 patients) and 11.1% (48/433 patients) of the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The annual post-SRS hemorrhage rate was 2.0%–6.5% and 0%–2.0% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively. The rates of permanent morbidity were 0%–6.7% and 0%–13.5% for the E+SRS and SRS groups, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS Arteriovenous malformation treatment with combined embolization and SRS is associated with lower obliteration rates than those with SRS treatment alone. However, this comparison does not fully account for differences in the initial AVM characteristics in the E+SRS group as compared with those in the SRS group. Further studies are warranted to address these limitations.

The relationship of dose to nerve volume in predicting pain recurrence after stereotactic radiosurgery in trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 128:891–896, 2018

Approximately 75%–92% of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) achieve pain relief after Gamma Knife surgery (GKS), although a proportion of these patients will experience recurrence of their pain. To evaluate the reasons for durability or recurrence, this study determined the impact of trigeminal nerve length and volume, the nerve dose-volume relationship, and the presence of neurovascular compression (NVC) on pain outcomes after GKS for TN.

METHODS Fifty-eight patients with 60 symptomatic nerves underwent GKS for TN between 2013 and 2015, including 15 symptomatic nerves secondary to multiple sclerosis (MS). High-resolution MRI was acquired the day of GKS. The median maximum dose was 80 Gy for initial GKS and 65 Gy for repeat GKS. NVC, length and volume of the trigeminal nerve within the subarachnoid space of the posterior fossa, and the ratio of dose to nerve volume were assessed as predictors of recurrence.

RESULTS Follow-up was available on 55 patients. Forty-nine patients (89.1%) reported pain relief (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] Grades I–IIIb) after GKS at a median duration of 1.9 months. The probability of maintaining pain relief (BNI Grades I–IIIb) without requiring resumption or an increase in medication was 93% at 1 year and 84% at 2 years for patients without MS, and 68% at 1 year and 51% at 2 years for all patients. The nerve length, nerve volume, target distance from the brainstem, and presence of NVC were not predictive of pain recurrence. Patients with a smaller volume of nerve (< 35% of the total nerve volume) that received a high dose (≥ 80% isodose) were less likely to experience recurrence of their TN pain after 1 year (mean time to recurrence: < 35%, 32.2 ± 4.0 months; > 35%, 17.9 ± 2.8 months, log-rank test, c2 = 4.3, p = 0.039).

CONCLUSIONS The ratio of dose to nerve volume may predict recurrence of TN pain after GKS. Prospective studies are needed to determine the optimal dose to nerve volume ratio and whether this will result in longer pain-free outcomes.

Stereotactic radiosurgery in the treatment of parasellar meningiomas: long-term volumetric evaluation

J Neurosurg 128:362–372, 2018

Parasellar meningiomas tend to invade the suprasellar, cavernous sinus, and petroclival regions, encroaching on adjacent neurovascular structures. As such, they prove difficult to safely and completely resect. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has played a central role in the treatment of parasellar meningiomas. Evaluation of tumor control rates at this location using simplified single-dimension measurements may prove misleading. The authors report the influence of SRS treatment parameters and the timing and volumetric changes of benign WHO Grade I parasellar meningiomas after SRS on long-term outcome.

METHODS Patients with WHO Grade I parasellar meningiomas treated with single-session SRS and a minimum of 6 months of follow-up were selected. A total of 189 patients (22.2% males, n = 42) form the cohort. The median patient age was 54 years (range 19–88 years). SRS was performed as a primary upfront treatment for 44.4% (n = 84) of patients. Most (41.8%, n = 79) patients had undergone 1 resection prior to SRS. The median tumor volume at the time of SRS was 5.6 cm3 (0.2–54.8 cm3). The median margin dose was 14 Gy (range 5–35 Gy). The volumes of the parasellar meningioma were determined on follow-up scans, computed by segmenting the meningioma on a slice-by-slice basis with numerical integration using the trapezoidal rule.

RESULTS The median follow-up was 71 months (range 6–298 months). Tumor volume control was achieved in 91.5% (n = 173). Tumor progression was documented in 8.5% (n = 16), equally divided among infield recurrences (4.2%, n = 8) and out-of-field recurrences (4.2%, n = 8). Post-SRS, new or worsening CN deficits were observed in 54 instances, of which 19 involved trigeminal nerve dysfunction and were 18 related to optic nerve dysfunction. Of these, 90.7% (n = 49) were due to tumor progression and only 9.3% (n = 5) were attributable to SRS. Overall, this translates to a 2.64% (n = 5/189) incidence of direct SRS-related complications. These patients were treated with repeat SRS (6.3%, n = 12), repeat resection (2.1%, n = 4), or both (3.2%, n = 6). For patients treated with a margin dose ≥ 16 Gy, the 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 15-year actuarial progression-free survival rates are 100%, 100%, 95.7%, 95.7%, 95.7%, 95.7%, and 95.7%, respectively. Patients treated with a margin dose < 16 Gy, had 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 15-year actuarial progressionfree survival rates of 99.4%, 97.7%, 95.1%, 88.1%, 82.1%, 79.4%, and 79.4%, respectively. This difference was deemed statistically significant (p = 0.043). Reviewing the volumetric patient-specific measurements, the early follow-up volumetric measurements (at the 3-year follow-up) reliably predicted long-term volume changes and tumor volume control (at the 10-year follow-up) (p = 0.029).

CONCLUSIONS SRS is a durable and minimally invasive treatment modality for benign parasellar meningiomas. SRS offers high rates of growth control with a low incidence of neurological deficits compared with other treatment modalities for meningiomas in this region. Volumetric regression or stability during short-term follow-up of 3 years after SRS was shown to be predictive of long-term tumor control.

 

ABC/2 Method Does not Accurately Predict Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation Volume

Neurosurgery 82:220–225, 2018

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a treatment option for cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) to prevent intracranial hemorrhage. The decision to proceed with SRS is usually based on calculated nidal volume. Physicians commonly use the ABC/2 formula, based on digital subtraction angiography (DSA), when counseling patients for SRS.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether AVM volume calculated using the ABC/2 method on DSA is accuratewhen compared to the exact volume calculated from thin-cut axial sections used for SRS planning.

METHODS: Retrospective search of neurovascular database to identify AVMs treated with SRS from 1995 to 2015. Maximum nidal diameters in orthogonal planes on DSA images were recorded to determine volume using ABC/2 formula. Nidal target volume was extracted from operative reports of SRS. Volumes were then compared using descriptive statistics and paired t-tests.

RESULTS: Ninety intracranial AVMs were identified. Median volume was 4.96 cm3 [interquartile range (IQR) 1.79-8.85] with SRS planning methods and 6.07 cm3 (IQR 1.3-13.6) with ABC/2 methodology. Moderate correlation was seen between SRS and ABC/2 (r = 0.662; P<.001). Paired sample t-tests revealed significant differences between SRS volume and ABC/2 (t = –3.2; P = .002). When AVMs were dichotomized based on ABC/2 volume, significant differences remained (t = 3.1, P = .003 for ABC/2 volume < 7 cm3; t = –4.4, P < .001 for ABC/2 volume > 7 cm3).

CONCLUSION: The ABC/2 method overestimates cerebral AVM volume when compared to volumetric analysis from SRS planning software. For AVMs > 7 cm3, the overestimation is even greater. SRS planning techniques were also significantly different than values derived from equations for cones and cylinders.

Prospective comparison of long-term pain relief rates after first-time microvascular decompression and stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia

J Neurosurg 128:68–77, 2018

Common surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) include microvascular decompression (MVD), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Although the efficacy of each procedure has been described, few studies have directly compared these treatment modalities on pain control for TN. Using a large prospective longitudinal database, the authors aimed to 1) directly compare long-term pain control rates for first-time surgical treatments for idiopathic TN, and 2) identify predictors of pain control.

METHODS The authors reviewed a prospectively collected database for all patients who underwent treatment for TN between 1997 and 2014 at the University of California, San Francisco. Standardized collection of data on preoperative clinical characteristics, surgical procedure, and postoperative outcomes was performed. Data analyses were limited to those patients who received a first-time procedure for treatment of idiopathic TN with > 1 year of follow-up.

RESULTS Of 764 surgical procedures performed at the University of California, San Francisco, for TN (364 SRS, 316 MVD, and 84 RFA), 340 patients underwent first-time treatment for idiopathic TN (164 MVD, 168 SRS, and 8 RFA) and had > 1 year of follow-up. The analysis was restricted to patients who underwent MVD or SRS. Patients who received MVD were younger than those who underwent SRS (median age 63 vs 72 years, respectively; p < 0.001). The mean follow-up was 59 ± 35 months for MVD and 59 ± 45 months for SRS. Approximately 38% of patients who underwent MVD or SRS had > 5 years of follow-up (60 of 164 and 64 of 168 patients, respectively). Immediate or short-term (< 3 months) postoperative pain-free rates (Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Intensity score of I) were 96% for MVD and 75% for SRS. Percentages of patients with Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Intensity score of I at 1, 5, and 10 years after MVD were 83%, 61%, and 44%, and the corresponding percentages after SRS were 71%, 47%, and 27%, respectively. The median time to pain recurrence was 94 months (25th–75th quartiles: 57–131 months) for MVD and 53 months (25th–75th quartiles: 37–69 months) for SRS (p = 0.006). A subset of patients who had MVD also underwent partial sensory rhizotomy, usually in the setting of insignificant vascular compression. Compared with MVD alone, those who underwent MVD plus partial sensory rhizotomy had shorter pain-free intervals (median 45 months vs no median reached; p = 0.022). Multivariable regression demonstrated that shorter preoperative symptom duration (HR 1.005, 95% CI 1.001–1.008; p = 0.006) was associated with favorable outcome for MVD and that post-SRS sensory changes (HR 0.392, 95% CI 0.213–0.723; p = 0.003) were associated with favorable outcome for SRS.

CONCLUSIONS In this longitudinal study, patients who received MVD had longer pain-free intervals compared with those who underwent SRS. For patients who received SRS, postoperative sensory change was predictive of favorable outcome. However, surgical decision making depends upon many factors. This information can help physicians counsel patients with idiopathic TN on treatment selection.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brainstem Arteriovenous Malformations

Neurosurgery 81:910–920, 2017

The management of brainstem arteriovenous malformations (bAVMs) is a formidable challenge. bAVMs harbor higher morbidity and mortality compared to other locations.

OBJECTIVE: To review the outcomes following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of bAVMs in a multicenter study.

METHODS: Six medical centers contributed data from 205 patients through the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Median age was 32 yr (6-81). Median nidus volume was 1.4 mL (0.1-69 mL). Favorable outcome (FO) was defined as AVM obliteration and no post-treatment hemorrhage or permanent symptomatic radiation-induced complications.

RESULTS: Overall obliteration was reported in 65.4% (n = 134) at a mean follow-up of 69 mo. Obliteration was angiographically proven in 53.2% (n = 109) and on MRA in 12.2% (n=25). Actuarial rate of obliteration at 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 yr after SRS was 24.5%, 43.3%, 62.3%, 73%, and 81.8% respectively. Patients treated with a margin dose >20 Gy were more likely to achieve obliteration (P = .001). Obliteration occurred earlier in patients who received a higher prescribed margin dose (P = .05) and maximum dose (P = .041). Post-SRS hemorrhage occurred in 8.8% (n = 18). Annual post gamma knife latency period hemorrhage was 1.5%. Radiation-induced complications were radiologically evident in 35.6% (n = 73), symptomatic in 14.6% (n=30), and permanent in 14.6% (n=30, which included long-tract signs and new cranial nerve deficits). FO was achieved in 64.4% (n = 132). Predictors of an FO were a higher Virginia radiosurgery AVM scale score (P = .003), prior hemorrhage (P = .045), and a lower prescribed maximum dose (P = .006).

CONCLUSION: SRS for bAVMs results in obliteration and avoids permanent complications in the majority of patients.

Stereotactic radiosurgery for cerebellar arteriovenous malformations: an international multicenter study

J Neurosurg 127:512–521, 2017

Cerebellar arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) represent the majority of infratentorial AVMs and frequently have a hemorrhagic presentation. In this multicenter study, the authors review outcomes of cerebellar AVMs after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

METHODS: Eight medical centers contributed data from 162 patients with cerebellar AVMs managed with SRS. Of these patients, 65% presented with hemorrhage. The median maximal nidus diameter was 2 cm. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration and no posttreatment hemorrhage or permanent radiation-induced complications (RICs). Patients were followed clinically and radiographically, with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 7–325 months).

RESULTS: The overall actuarial rates of obliteration at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 38.3%, 74.2%, 81.4%, and 86.1%, respectively, after single-session SRS. Obliteration and a favorable outcome were more likely to be achieved in patients treated with a margin dose greater than 18 Gy (p < 0.001 for both), demonstrating significantly better rates (83.3% and 79%, respectively). The rate of latency preobliteration hemorrhage was 0.85%/year. Symptomatic post-SRS RICs developed in 4.5% of patients (n = 7). Predictors of a favorable outcome were a smaller nidus (p = 0.0001), no pre-SRS embolization (p = 0.003), no prior hemorrhage (p = 0.0001), a higher margin dose (p = 0.0001), and a higher maximal dose (p = 0.009). The Spetzler-Martin grade was not found to be predictive of outcome. The Virginia Radiosurgery AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) and the Radiosurgery-Based AVM Scale score (p = 0.0001) were predictive of a favorable outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: SRS results in successful obliteration and a favorable outcome in the majority of patients with cerebellar AVMs. Most patients will require a nidus dose of higher than 18 Gy to achieve these goals. Radiosurgical and not microsurgical scales were predictive of clinical outcome after SRS.

Cystic Vestibular Schwannomas Respond Best to Radiosurgery

Neurosurgery 81:490–497, 2017

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) have a well-documented response to Gamma Knife R  (Elekta AB, Stockholm, Sweden) Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, there are limited data available regarding the volumetric response of cystic tumors.

OBJECTIVE: This report correlates the radiographic appearance of VS before radiosurgery with the delayed volumetric response.

METHODS: This study reviewed our SRS experience with 219 VS patients between 2003 and 2013. Patients were treatment naïve and had a significant extracanalicular tumor volume. Magnetic resonance imaging at the time of SRS identified 42 contrast-enhancing macrocystic tumors, 45 contrast-enhancing microcystic tumors, and 132 homogeneously enhancing tumors with no intratumoral cyst formation. The median follow-up was 49.1 months. The median tumor volume was 2.6 cm3 (0.70-16.1 cm3) and the median dose was 12.5 Gy (11-13 Gy).

RESULTS: The actuarial tumor control rate was 99.4% at 2 years and 96.4% at 5 years. A volumetric reduction of >20% occurred in 85.4% of macrocystic tumors, 76.1% of microcystic tumors, and 62.8% of homogeneously enhancing VS. The median volume decrease per year for macrocystic, microcystic, and homogenous tumors was 17.2%, 7.5%, and 7.9% per year respectively (P < .001). A 2:1 blinded volumetric case match showed a significant size reduction in macrocystic tumors compared to noncystic tumors (P = .007). Serviceable hearing was maintained in 61.5% of patients that had Gardner-Robertson grade I-II hearing before treatment. Surgical resection or repeat radiosurgery was performed in 8 patients (3.6%) who had sustained tumor progression.

CONCLUSION: SRS provided VS tumor control in >95% of patients, regardless of radiographic characteristics. Tumor volume regression was most evident in patients with cystic tumors.

Preserving normal facial nerve function and improving hearing outcome in large vestibular schwannomas with a combined approach

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1197–1211

To perform planned subtotal resection followed by gamma knife surgery (GKRS) in a series of patients with large vestibular schwannoma (VS), aiming at an optimal functional outcome for facial and cochlear nerves.

Methods Patient characteristics, surgical and dosimetric features, and outcome were collected prospectively at the time of treatment and during the follow-up.

Results A consecutive series of 32 patients was treated between July 2010 and June 2016. Mean follow-up after surgery was 29 months (median 24, range 4–78). Mean presurgical tumor volume was 12.5 cm3 (range 1.47–34.9). Postoperative status showed normal facial nerve function (House– Brackmann I) in all patients. In a subgroup of 17 patients with serviceable hearing before surgery and in which cochlear nerve preservation was attempted at surgery, 16 (94.1%) retained serviceable hearing. Among them, 13 had normal hearing (Gardner–Robertson class 1) before surgery, and 10 (76.9%) retained normal hearing after surgery. Mean duration between surgery and GKRS was 6.3 months (range 3.8–13.9). Mean tumor volume at GKRS was 3.5 cm3 (range 0.5–12.8), corresponding to mean residual volume of 29.4% (range 6– 46.7) of the preoperative volume. Mean marginal dose was 12 Gy (range 11–12). Mean follow-up after GKRS was 24 months (range 3–60). Following GKRS, there were no new neurological deficits, with facial and hearing functions remaining identical to those after surgery in all patients. Three patients presented with continuous growth after GKRS, were considered failures, and benefited from the same combined approach a second time.

Conclusion Our data suggest that large VS management, with planned subtotal resection followed by GKRS, might yield an excellent clinical outcome, allowing the normal facial nerve and a high level of cochlear nerve functions to be retained. Our functional results with this approach in large VS are comparable with those obtained with GKRS alone in small- and medium-sized VS. Longer term follow-up is necessary to fully evaluate this approach, especially regarding tumor control.

 

Trigeminal nerve contrast enhancement after radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 127:219–225, 2017

Contrast enhancement of the retrogasserian trigeminal nerve on MRI scans frequently develops after radiosurgical ablation for the management of medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The authors sought to evaluate the clinical significance of this imaging finding in patients who underwent a second radiosurgical procedure for recurrent TN.

METHODS During a 22-year period, 360 patients underwent Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) as their first surgical procedure for TN at the authors’ center. The authors retrospectively analyzed the data from 59 patients (mean age 72 years, range 33–89 years) who underwent repeat SRS for recurrent pain at a median of 30 months (range 6–146 months) after the first SRS. The isocenter was 4 mm, and the median maximum doses for the first and second procedures were 80 Gy and 70 Gy, respectively. A neuroradiologist and a neurosurgeon blinded to the treated side evaluated the presence of nerve contrast enhancement on MRI series at the time of the repeat procedure. The authors correlated the presence of this imaging change with clinical outcomes. Pain outcomes and development of trigeminal sensory dysfunction were evaluated with the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) Pain Scale and BNI Numbness Scale, respectively. The mean length of follow-up after the second SRS was 58 months (95% CI 49–68 months).

RESULTS At the time of the repeat SRS, contrast enhancement of the trigeminal nerve on MRI scans was observed in 31 patients (53%). Five years after the SRS, patients with this enhancement had lower actuarial rates of complete pain relief after the repeat SRS (27% [95% CI 7%–47%]) than patients without the enhancement (76% [95% CI 58%–94%]) (p < 0.001). At the 5-year follow-up, patients with the contrast enhancement also had a higher risk for trigeminal sensory loss after repeat SRS (75% [95% CI 59%–91%]) than patients without contrast enhancement (26% [95% CI 10%–42%]) (p = 0.001). Dysesthetic pain after repeat SRS was observed for 8 patients with and for 2 patients without contrast enhancement.

CONCLUSIONS Trigeminal nerve contrast enhancement on MRI scans observed at the time of a repeat SRS for TN was associated with less satisfactory pain control and more frequently detected facial sensory loss. Residual contrast enhancement at the time of a repeat SRS may warrant consideration of dose reduction or further separation of the radiosurgical targets.

Radiosurgery for Unruptured Brain Arteriovenous Malformations: An International Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study

Neurosurgery 80:888–898, 2017

The role of intervention in the management of unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze in a multicenter, retrospective cohort study, the outcomes following radiosurgery for unruptured AVMs and determine predictive factors.

METHODS: We evaluated and pooled AVM radiosurgery data from 8 institutions participating in the International Gamma Knife Research Foundation. Patients with unruptured AVMs and ≥12 mo of follow-up were included in the study cohort. Favorable outcome was defined as AVM obliteration, no postradiosurgical hemorrhage, and no permanently symptomatic radiation-induced changes.

RESULTS: The unruptured AVM cohort comprised 938 patients with a median age of 35 yr. The median nidus volume was 2.4 cm3, 71% of AVMs were located in eloquent brain areas, and the Spetzler-Martin grade was III or higher in 57%. The median radiosurgical margin dose was 21 Gy and follow-up was 71 mo. AVM obliteration was achieved in 65%. The annual postradiosurgery hemorrhage rate was 1.4%. Symptomatic and permanent radiation-induced changes occurred in 9% and 3%, respectively. Favorable outcome was achieved in 61%. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, smaller AVM maximum diameter (P = .001), the absence of AVM-associated arterial aneurysms (P = .001), and higher margin dose (P = .002) were found to be independent predictors of a favorable outcome. A margin dose ≥ 20 Gy yielded a significantly higher rate of favorable outcome (70% vs 36%; P < .001)

CONCLUSION: Radiosurgery affords an acceptable risk to benefit profile for patients harboring unruptured AVMs. These findings justify further prospective studies comparing radiosurgical intervention to conservative management for unruptured AVMs.

 

Consensus guidelines for postoperative spine SBRT

J Neurosurg Spine 26:299–306, 2017

Although postoperative stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for spinal metastases is increasingly performed, few guidelines exist for this application. The purpose of this study is to develop consensus guidelines to promote safe and effective treatment for patients with spinal metastases.

METHODS Fifteen radiation oncologists and 5 neurosurgeons, representing 19 centers in 4 countries and having a collective experience of more than 1300 postoperative spine SBRT cases, completed a 19-question survey about postoperative spine SBRT practice. Responses were defined as follows: 1) consensus: selected by ≥ 75% of respondents; 2) predominant: selected by 50% of respondents or more; and 3) controversial: no single response selected by a majority of respondents.

RESULTS Consensus treatment indications included: radioresistant primary, 1–2 levels of adjacent disease, and previous radiation therapy. Contraindications included: involvement of more than 3 contiguous vertebral bodies, ASIA Grade A status (complete spinal cord injury without preservation of motor or sensory function), and postoperative Bilsky Grade 3 residual (cord compression without any CSF around the cord). For treatment planning, co-registration of the preoperative MRI and postoperative T1-weighted MRI (with or without gadolinium) and delineation of the cord on the T2-weighted MRI (and/or CT myelogram in cases of significant hardware artifact) were predominant. Consensus GTV (gross tumor volume) was the postoperative residual tumor based on MRI. Predominant CTV (clinical tumor volume) practice was to include the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor, the relevant anatomical compartment and any residual disease. Consensus was achieved with respect to not including the surgical hardware and incision in the CTV. PTV (planning tumor volume) expansion was controversial, ranging from 0 to 2 mm. The spinal cord avoidance structure was predominantly the true cord. Circumferential treatment of the epidural space and margin for paraspinal extension was controversial. Prescription doses and spinal cord tolerances based on clinical scenario, neurological compromise, and prior overlapping treatments were controversial, but reasonable ranges are presented. Fifty percent of those surveyed practiced an integrated boost to areas of residual tumor and density override for hardware within the beam path. Acceptable PTV coverage was controversial, but consensus was achieved with respect to compromising coverage to meet cord constraint and fractionation to improve coverage while meeting cord constraint.

CONCLUSIONS The consensus by spinal radiosurgery experts suggests that postoperative SBRT is indicated for radioresistant primary lesions, disease confined to 1–2 vertebral levels, and/or prior overlapping radiotherapy. The GTV is the postoperative residual tumor, and the CTV is the postoperative bed defined as the entire extent of preoperative tumor and anatomical compartment plus residual disease. Hardware and scar do not need to be included in CTV. While predominant agreement was reached about treatment planning and definition of organs at risk, future investigation will be critical in better understanding areas of controversy, including whether circumferential treatment of the epidural space is necessary, management of paraspinal extension, and the optimal dose fractionation schedules.

Staged-Volume Radiosurgery of Large Arteriovenous Malformations Improves Outcome by Reducing the Rate of Adverse Radiation Effects

Neurosurgery 80:180–192, 2017

The treatment of large arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) remains challenging. Recently, staged-volume radiosurgery (SVRS) has become an option.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the outcome of SVRS on large AVMs with our historical, single- stage radiosurgery (SSRS) series.

METHODS: We have been prospectively collecting data of patients treated by SVRS since 2007. There were 84 patients who had a median age of 37 years (range, 9-62 years) who were treated until July 2013. The outcomes of 76 of those who had follow-ups available were analyzed and compared with the outcomes of 122 patients treated with the best SSRS technique.

RESULTS: There were 21.5% of AVMs that were deep seated, and 44% presented with hemorrhage resulting in 45% fixed neurological deficit. There were 14% of patients who had undergone embolization before radiosurgery. The median nidus treatment volume was 19.7 cm 3 (6.65-68.7) and 17.5 Gy (13-22.5) prescription isodose was given. Of the 44 lesions having radiological follow-up at 4 years, 61.4% were completely obliterated. Previous embolization (50% with and 63% without) and higher Spetzler-Martin grades appeared to be the negative factors in successful obliteration, but treatment volume was not. Within 3 years after radiosurgery, the annual bleed rates of unruptured and previously ruptured AVMs were 3.2% and 5.6%, respectively. Three bleeds were fatal and 2 resulted in significant modified Rankin scale 3 morbidity. These rates differ little from SSRS. Temporary adverse radiation effects (AREs) did not change significantly, but permanent AREs dropped from 15% to 6.5% (P = .03) compared with SSRS.

CONCLUSION: Obliteration and hemorrhage rates of large AVMs treated by SVRS are similar to historical SSRS. However, SVRS offers a lower rate of AREs.

 

Long-Term Results of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Skull Base Meningiomas

Long-Term Results of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Skull Base Meningiomas

Neurosurgery 79:58–68, 2016

Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is well established in the management of inaccessible, recurrent, or residual benign skull base meningiomas. Most series report clinical outcome parameters and complications in the short intermediate period after radiosurgery. Reports of long-term tumor control and neurological status are still lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To report the presentation, treatment, and long-term outcome of skull base meningiomas after GKRS.

METHODS: From a prospectively collected institutional review board-approved database, we selected patients with a World Health Organization grade I skull base meningioma treated with a single-session GKRS and a minimum of 60 months follow-up. One hundred thirty-five patients, 54.1% males (n = 73), form the cohort. Median age was 54 years (19-80). Median tumor volume was 4.7 cm3 (0.5-23). Median margin dose was 15 Gy (7.5-36). Median follow-up was 102.5 months (60.1-235.4). Patient and tumor characteristics were assessed to determine the predictors of neurological function and tumor progression.

RESULTS: At last follow-up, tumor volume control was achieved in 88.1% (n = 119). Post- GKRS clinical improvement or stability was reported in 61.5%. The 5-, 10-, and 15-year actuarial progression-free survival rates were 100%, 95.4%, and 68.8%, respectively. Favorable outcome (both tumor control and clinical preservation/improvement) was attained in 60.8% (n = 79). Pre-GKRS performance status (Karnofsky Performance Scale) was shown to influence tumor progression (P = .001) and post-GKRS clinical improvement/preservation (P = .003).

CONCLUSION: GKRS offers a highly durable rate of tumor control for World Health Organization grade I skull base meningiomas, with an acceptably low incidence of neurological deficits. The Karnofsky Performance Scale at the time of radiosurgery serves as a reliable long-term predictor of overall outcome.

Radiation Therapy for Residual or Recurrent Atypical Meningioma

Radiation Therapy for Residual or Recurrent Atypical Meningioma

Neurosurgery 79:23–32, 2016

Optimal use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) vs external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for treatment of residual/recurrent atypical meningioma is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze features associated with progression after radiation therapy.

METHODS: Fifty radiation-naive patients who received SRS or EBRT for residual and/or recurrent atypical meningioma were examined for predictors of progression using Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients (64%) received adjuvant radiation after subtotal resection, 12 patients (24%) received salvage radiation after progression following subtotal resection, and 6 patients (12%) received salvage radiation after recurrence following gross total resection. Twenty-one patients (42%) received SRS (median 18 Gy), and 7 (33%) had tumor progression. Twenty-nine patients (58%) received EBRT (median 54 Gy), and 13 (45%) had tumor progression. Whereas tumor volume (P = .53), SRS vs EBRT (P = .45), and adjuvant vs salvage (P = .34) were not associated with progression after radiation therapy, spontaneous necrosis (hazard ratio [HR] = 82.3, P < .001), embolization necrosis (HR = 15.6, P = .03), and brain invasion (HR = 3.8, P = .008) predicted progression in univariate and multivariate analyses. Tumors treated with SRS/EBRT had 2- and 5-year actuarial locoregional control rates of 91%/88% and 71%/69%, respectively. Tumors with spontaneous necrosis, embolization necrosis, and no necrosis had 2- and 5-year locoregional control rates of 76%, 92%, and 100% and 36%, 73%, and 100%, respectively (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that necrosis may be a negative predictor of radiation response regardless of radiation timing or modality.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Arteriovenous Malformations: The Effect of Treatment Period on Patient Outcomes

AVM

Neurosurgery 78:499–509, 2016

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been performed on patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) for over 40 years.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of treatment period on obliteration, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and radiation-induced complications (RICs).

METHODS: Retrospective comparison of 381 AVM patients having SRS during a 20-year period (group 1, January 1990 through March 1997, n = 160; group 2, April 1997 through December 2009, n = 221). The median radiological and clinical follow-up after initial SRS was 77 months and 93 months, respectively.

RESULTS: Obliteration was 59.1% at 4 years and 85.1% at 8 years. Obliteration was more common in patients with hemispheric or cerebellar AVMs (P = .001), smaller prescription isodose volume (PIV) (P < .001), and group 1 patients (P < .001). The ICH rate was 7.7% at 4 years and 10.6% at 8 years. ICH was more common in older patients (P = .02), patients with deep AVM (P = .01), and larger PIV (P < .001). There was no difference in the ICH rate between the treatment groups (P = .18). The rate of permanent RICs was 4.4% at 4 years and 8.6% at 8 years. RICs were more common with larger PIVs (P < .001) and group 1 patients (P = .02). There was no difference in the number of patients having obliteration without new deficits between the 2 treatment periods (68.8% vs 73.3%, P = .33).

CONCLUSION: Advances in SRS procedures over the past 20 years have resulted in a lower risk of RIC, but fewer patients had AVM obliteration. Increasing the prescription dose for patients with medium- and large-volume AVMs by using current conformal dose-planning techniques may improve the obliteration rate while maintaining a low risk of RICs.

Pathological response of cavernous malformations following radiosurgery

Pathological response of cavernous malformations following radiosurgery

J Neurosurg 123:938–944, 2015

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a therapeutic option for repeatedly hemorrhagic cavernous malformations (CMs) located in areas deemed to be high risk for resection. During the latency period of 2 or more years after SRS, recurrent hemorrhage remains a persistent risk until the obliterative process has finished. The pathological response to SRS has been studied in relatively few patients. The authors of the present study aimed to gain insight into the effect of SRS on CM and to propose possible mechanisms leading to recurrent hemorrhages following SRS.

Methods During a 13-year interval between 2001 and 2013, bleeding recurred in 9 patients with CMs that had been treated using Gamma Knife surgery at the authors’ institution. Microsurgical removal was subsequently performed in 5 of these patients, who had recurrent hemorrhages between 4 months and 7 years after SRS. Specimens from 4 patients were available for analysis and used for this report.

Results Histopathological analysis demonstrated that vascular sclerosis develops as early as 4 months after SRS. In the samples from 2 to 7 years after SRS, sclerotic vessels were prominent, but there were also vessels with incomplete sclerosis as well as some foci of neovascularization.

Conclusions: Recurrent bleeding after SRS for CM could be related to incomplete sclerosis of the vessels, but neovascularization may also play a role.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Meningiomas: Current Concepts and Future Perspectives

Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Intracranial Meningiomas- Current Concepts and Future Perspectives

Neurosurgery 76:362–371, 2015

Meningiomas are among the most common adult brain tumors. Although the optimal management of meningiomas would provide complete elimination of the lesion, this cannot always be accomplished safely through resection. Therefore, other therapeutic modalities, such as stereotactic radiosurgery (as primary or adjunctive therapy), have emerged.

In the current review, we have provided an overview of the historical outcomes of various radiosurgical modalities applied in the management of meningiomas. Furthermore, we provide a discussion on key factors (eg World Health Organization grade, lesion size, and lesion location) that affect tumor control and adverse event rates. We discuss recent changes in our understanding of meningiomas, based on molecular and genetic markers, and how these will change our perspective on the management of meningiomas.

We conclude by outlining the areas in which knowledge gaps persist and provide suggestions as to how these can be addressed.

Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

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