Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines on the Management of Progressive Glioblastoma in Adults: Update of the 2014 Guidelines

Neurosurgery 90:E112–E115, 2022

The Institute of Medicine best practice recommendation to review guidelines every 5 years is followed by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Guidelines Committee. The aim of this work was to provide an updated literature review and evidence-based recommendations on the topic of diagnosis and treatment of patients with progressive glioblastoma (pGBM).

OBJECTIVE: To review the literature published since the last guidelines on pGBM dated 2014, with literature search ending in June 2012.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane were searched for the period July 1, 2012, to March 31, 2019, using search terms and search strategies to identify pertinent abstracts. These were then screened using published exclusion/inclusion criteria to identify full-text review articles. Evidence tables were constructed using data derived from full-text reviews and recommendations made from the evidence derived.

RESULTS: From the total 8786 abstracts identified by the search, 237 full-text articles met inclusion/exclusion criteria and were included in this update. Two new level II recommendations derived from this work. For the diagnosis of patients with GBM, the use of diffusion-weighted images is recommended to be included in the magnetic resonance images with and without contrast used for surveillance to detect pGBM. For the treatment of patients with pGBM, repeat cytoreductive surgery is recommended to improve overall survival. An additional 21 level III recommendations were provided.

CONCLUSION: Recent published literature provides new recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of pGBM. The Central Nervous System Guidelines Committee will continue to pursue timely updates to further improve the care of patients with diagnosis.

Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Treatment of Adults With Metastatic Brain Tumors: Executive Summary

Neurosurgery 84:550–552, 2019

The Congress of Neurological Surgeons systematic review and evidencebased clinical practice parameter guidelines for the treatment of adults with metastatic brain tumorswas first published in 2010. Because of the time elapsed since that publication, an update of this set of guidelines based on literature published since is now indicated.

OBJECTIVE: To establish the best evidence-based management of metastatic brain tumors over all commonly used diagnostic and treatment modalities in regularly encountered clinical situations.

METHODS: Literature searches regarding management of metastatic brain tumors with whole brain radiation therapy, surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, chemotherapy, prophylactic anticonvulsants, steroids, instances of multiple brain metastases, and emerging and investigational therapies were carried out to answer questions designed by consensus of a multidisciplinary writing group.

RESULTS: Recommendations were created and their strength linked to the quality of the literature data available thus creating an evidence-based guideline. Importantly, shortcomings and biases to the literature data are brought out so as to provide guidance for future investigation and improvements in the management of patients with metastatic brain tumors.

CONCLUSION: This series of guidelines was constructed to assess the most current and clinically relevant evidence for management of metastatic brain tumors. They set a benchmark regarding the current evidence base for this management while also highlighting important key areas for future basic and clinical research, particularly on those topics for which no recommendations could be formulated.

The full guideline can be found here.

Esthesioneuroblastoma: A Patterns-of-Care and Outcomes Analysis of the National Cancer Database

Neurosurgery 83:940–947, 2018

BACKGROUND: The available literature to guide treatment decision making in esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB) is limited.

OBJECTIVE: To define treatment patterns and outcomes in ENB according to treatment modality using a large national cancer registry.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective cohort analysis of 931 patients with a diagnosis of ENB who were treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy in the United States between the years of 2004 and 2012. Log-rank statisticswere used to compare overall survival by primary treatment modality. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify predictors of receipt of postoperative radiotherapy (PORT). Cox proportional hazardsmodeling was used to determine the survival benefit of PORT. Subgroup analyses identified subgroups that derived the greatest benefit of PORT.

RESULTS: Primary surgery was the most common treatment modality (90%) and resulted in superior survival compared to radiation (P < .01) or chemotherapy (P < .01). On multivariate analysis, PORT was associated with decreased risk of death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.53, P<.01). PORT showed a survival benefit in Kadish stage C (HR 0.42, P<.01) and D (HR 0.09, P = .01), but not Kadish A (HR 1.17, P = .74) and B (HR 1.37, P = .80). Patients who received chemotherapy derived greater benefit from PORT (HR 0.22, P < .01) compared with those who did not (HR 0.68, P=.13). Predictors of PORT included stage, grade, extent of resection, and chemotherapy use.

CONCLUSION: Best outcomes were obtained in patients undergoing primary surgery. The benefit of PORT was driven by patients with stages C and D disease, and by those also receiving chemotherapy.


Anaplastic meningioma: an analysis of the National Cancer Database from 2004 to 2012

J Neurosurg 128:1684–1689, 2018

Anaplastic meningiomas represent 1%–2% of meningioma diagnoses and portend a poor prognosis. Limited information is available on practice patterns and optimal management. The purpose of this study was to define treatment patterns and outcomes by treatment modality using a large national cancer registry.

METHODS The National Cancer Database was used to identify patients diagnosed with anaplastic meningioma from 2004 to 2012. Log-rank statistics were used to compare survival outcomes by extent of resection, use of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT), and use of adjuvant chemotherapy. Least-squares linear regression was used to evaluate the utilization of RT over time. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify predictors of receipt of RT. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to evaluate the effect of RT, gross-total resection (GTR), and chemotherapy on survival.

RESULTS A total of 755 adults with anaplastic meningioma were identified. The 5-year overall survival rate was 41.4%. Fifty-two percent of patients received RT, 7% received chemotherapy, and 58% underwent GTR. Older patients were less likely to receive RT (OR 0.98, p < 0.01). Older age (HR 1.04, p < 0.01), high comorbidity score (HR 1.33, p = 0.02), and subtotal resection (HR 1.57, p = 0.02) were associated with increased risk of death on multivariate modeling, while RT receipt was associated with decreased risk of death (HR 0.79, p = 0.04). Chemotherapy did not have a demonstrable effect on survival (HR 1.33, p = 0.18).

CONCLUSIONS Anaplastic meningioma portends a poor prognosis. Gross-total resection and RT are associated with improved survival, but utilization of RT is low. Unless medically contraindicated, patients with anaplastic meningioma should be offered RT.

Multimodality Treatment of Skull Base Chondrosarcomas

Neurosurgery 81:520–530, 2017

Limited data exist to guide the multimodality management of chondrosarcomas (CSAs) arising in the skull base.

OBJECTIVE : To determine the impact of histological subtype/grade on progression-free survival (PFS) and the indications for surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy based on histology.

METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of 37 patients (conventional type: 81%, mesenchymal: 16.2%, dedifferentiated: 2.7%) treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Of the conventional subtype, 23% were grade 1, 63% were grade 2, and 14% were grade 3. In addition to surgery, mesenchymal/dedifferentiated CSAs (18% of the cohort) underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 48.6% of the overall cohort received adjuvant radiotherapy. Histological grade/subtype and treatment factors were assessed for impact on median PFS (primary outcome).

RESULTS: Conventional subtype vs mesenchymal/dedifferentiated was positively associated with median PFS (166 vs 24 months, P < .05). Increasing conventional grade inversely correlated with median PFS (P < .05). Gross total resection positively impacted PFS in conventionalCSAs (111.8 vs 42.9months, P=.201) and mesenchymal/dedifferentiated CSAs (58.2 vs 1.0 month, P < .05). Adjuvant radiotherapy significantly impacted PFS in conventional grades 2 and 3 (182 vs 79 months, P < .05) and a positive trend with mesenchymal/dedifferentiated CSAs (43.5 vs 22.0 months). Chemotherapy improved PFS for mesenchymal/dedifferentiated CSAs (50 vs 9 months, P = .089).

CONCLUSION: There is a potential need for histological subtype/grade specific treatment protocols. For conventional CSAs, surgery alone provides optimal results grade 1 CSAs, while resection with adjuvant radiotherapy yields the best outcomefor grade 2 and 3 CSAs. Improvements in PFS seen with neoadjuvant therapy in mesenchymal/dedifferentiated CSAs indicate a potential role for systemic therapies. Larger studies are necessary to confirm the proposed treatment protocols.

The Effect of Timing of Concurrent Chemoradiation in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Relationship of glioblastoma multiforme to the subventricular zone is associated with survival

Neurosurgery 77:248–253, 2015

The effect of timing of initiation of concurrent radiation and chemotherapy after surgery on outcome of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To further explore this issue, we analyzed 4 clinical trials for patients newly diagnosed with GBM receiving concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide.

METHODS: The cohort study included 198 adult patients with newly diagnosed supratentorial GBM who were enrolled from 2004 to 2010 in 4 clinical trials consisting of radiation plus temozolomide and an experimental agent. The interval to initiation of therapy was determined from the time of surgical resection. The partitioning deletion/ substitution/addition algorithm was used to determine the cutoff points for timing of chemoradiation at which there was a significant difference in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).

RESULTS: The median wait time between surgery and initiation of concurrent chemoradiation was 29.5 days (range, 7-56 days). A short delay in chemoradiation administration (at 30-34 days) was predictive of prolonged OS (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.63, P = .03) and prolonged PFS (HR: 0.68, P = .06) compared with early initiation of concurrent chemoradiation (<30 days), after adjusting for protocol and baseline prognostic variables including extent of resection by multivariate analysis. A longer delay to chemoradiation beyond 34 days was not associated with improved OS or PFS compared with early initiation (HR: 0.94, P = .77 and HR: 0.91, P = .63, respectively).

CONCLUSION: A short delay in the start of concurrent chemoradiation is beyond the classic paradigm of 4 weeks post-resection and may be associated with prolonged OS and PFS.

Solitary clival plasmocytomas

Solitary clival plasmocytomas

Acta Neurochir (2013) 155:1849–1856

Tumours of the clivus are exceptionally rare, representing a diagnostic and a therapeutic challenge. Clival solitary plasmocytomas have been described only as single case reports or included in small clinical series with other intracranial location.

Methods Authors report clinical, radiological, and survival data of four patients, who underwent surgery for clival plasmocytomas between 1989 and 2012 in a single centre. Current knowledge about solitary plasmocytomas of the clivus are reviewed.

Results Follow-up time was 54 months (range: 9–165). Mean age of patient was 57 years, no gender predilection was observed. Main symptoms were headache (75 %) and double vision (75 %), due to third or sixth cranial nerve palsy. Mean time to diagnosis was 8.2 months. All patients underwent surgery as primary treatment, through either a transsphenoidal (75 %) or a transmaxillary approach (25 %). In all cases adjuvant conventional radiotherapy was performed with a median delivered dose of 45 Gy. Only one case of progression into multiple myeloma was observed 13 months after surgery, and the patient died 9 months later. No other recurrences or progression were observed. Mean overall survival and progression free survival time were, respectively, 54 and 51.7 months.

Conclusions Although extremely rare, clival plasmocytomas have to be considered in the differential diagnosis of a solitary clival lesion. Biological and clinical features of these tumours strongly differ from those of similar lesions in other part of the body. Early diagnosis, extensive tumour removal, opportune indication of adjuvant treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the keys to manage these cases.

First-line treatment of malignant glioma with carmustine implants followed by concomitant radiochemotherapy: a multicenter experience

Neurosurg Rev DOI 10.1007/s10143-010-0280-7

Randomized phase III trials have shown significant improvement of survival 1, 2, and 3 years after implantation of 1,3-bis (2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) wafers for patients with newly diagnosed malignant glioma. But these studies and subsequent non-phase III studies have also shown risks associated with local chemotherapy within the central nervous system. The introduction of concomitant radiochemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) has later demonstrated a survival benefit in a phase III trial and has become the current treatment standard for newly diagnosed malignant glioma patients. Lately, this has resulted in clinical protocols combining local chemotherapy with BCNU wafers and concomitant radiochemotherapy with TMZ although this may carry the risk of increased toxicity. We have compiled the treatment experience of seven neurosurgical centers using implantation of carmustine wafers at primary surgery followed by 6 weeks of radiation therapy (59–60 Gy) and 75 mg/m2/day TMZ in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma followed by TMZ monochemotherapy. We have retrospectively analyzed the postoperative clinical course, occurrence and severity of adverse events, progression-free interval, and overall survival in 44 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. All patients received multimodal treatment including tumor resection, BCNU wafer implantation, and concomitant radiochemotherapy. Of 44 patients (mean age 59±10.8 years) with glioblastoma who received Gliadel wafer at primary surgery, 28 patients (64%) had died, 16 patients (36%) were alive, and 15 patients showed no evidence of clinical or radiographic progression after a median follow-up of 15.6 months. At time of analysis of adverse events in this patient population, the median overall survival was 12.7 months and median progression-free survival was 7.0 months. Surgical, neurological, and medical adverse events were analyzed. Twenty-three patients (52%) experienced adverse events of any kind including complications that did not require treatment. Nineteen patients (43%) experienced grade 3 or grade 4 adverse events. Surgical complications included cerebral edema, healing abnormalities, cerebral spinal fluid leakage, meningitis, intracranial abscess, and hydrocephalus. Neurological adverse events included newly diagnosed seizures, alteration of mental status, and new neurological deficits. Medical complications were thromboembolic events (thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) and hematotoxicity. Combination of both treatment strategies, local chemotherapy with BCNU wafer and concomitant radiochemotherapy, appears attractive in aggressive multimodal treatment schedules and may utilize the sensitizing effect of TMZ and carmustine on MGMT and AGT on their respective drug resistance genes. Our data demonstrate that combination of local chemotherapy and concomitant radiochemotherapy carries a significant risk of toxicity that currently appears underestimated. Adverse events observed in this study appear similar to complication rates published in the phase III trials for BCNU wafer implantation followed by radiation therapy alone, but further add the toxicity of concomitant radiochemotherapy with systemic TMZ. Save use of a combined approach will require specific prevention strategies for multimodal treatments.

Patterns of Care and Survival in a Retrospective Analysis of 1059 Patients With Glioblastoma Multiforme Treated Between 2002 and 2007: A Multicenter Study by the Central Nervous System Study Group of Airo (Italian Association of Radiation Oncology)

Neurosurgery 67:446-458, 2010 DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000371990.86656.E8

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the pattern of care and outcomes for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in Italy and compare our results with the previous Italian Patterns of Care study to determine whether significant changes occurred in clinical practice during the past 10 years.

METHODS: Clinical, pathological, therapeutic, and survival data regarding 1059 patients treated in 18 radiotherapy centers between 2002 and 2007 were collected and retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS:Most patients underwent both computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging either preoperatively (62.7%) or postoperatively (35.5%). Only 123 patients (11.6%) underwent a biopsy. Radiochemotherapy with temozolomide was the most frequent adjuvant treatment (70.7%). Most patients (88.2%) received 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Median survival was 9.5 months. Two- and 5-year survival rates were 24.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed the statistical significance of age, postoperative Karnofsky Performance Status scale score, surgical extent, use of 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, and use of chemotherapy. Use of a more aggressive approach was associated with longer survival in elderly patients. Comparing our results with those of the subgroup of patients included in our previous study who were treated between 1997 and 2001, relevant differences were found: more frequent use of magnetic resonance imaging, surgical removal more common than biopsy, and widespread use of 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy + temozolomide. Furthermore, a significant improvement in terms of survival was noted (P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Changes in the care of glioblastoma over the past few years are documented. Prognosis of glioblastoma patients has slightly but significantly improved with a small but noteworthy number of relatively long-term survivors.

High-grade intramedullary astrocytomas: 30 years’ experience at the Neurosurgery Department of the University of Rome “Sapienza”

J Neurosurg Spine 12:144–153, 2010. (DOI: 10.3171/2009.6.SPINE08910)

The goal in this study was to review a series of patients who underwent surgical removal of intramedul- lary high-grade gliomas, focusing on the functional outcome, recurrence rates, and technical problems continually debated in neurosurgical practice.

Methods. Between December 1976 and December 2006, 22 patients underwent removal of intramedullary high- grade gliomas. Lesions were located in the cervical spinal cord in 12 patients, and in the thoracic cord in 10.

Results. Histological examinations showed 10 Grade III astrocytomas and 12 glioblastomas. Only 2 of the 22 high-grade astrocytomas could be completely removed. The clinical postoperative status worsened in 14 patients (63.6%), was unchanged in 7 patients (31.8%), and there was 1 case of intraoperative death (4.5%). None of the 22 patients showed improvement in their neurological status postoperatively. In this series, excluding the 1 intraopera- tive death, all patients died of progression of the malignancy.

Conclusions. Surgical treatment did not ameliorate the postoperative neurological status; instead, in the majority of cases, it prompted a worsening of the deficit. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy have a little influence on the length of survival. In this series, multimodality treatment of intramedullary high-grade astrocytomas has been shown to increase length of survival without improving the neurological status.

Primary CNS lymphoma in the elderly: temozolomide therapy and MGMT status

J Neurooncol. DOI 10.1007/s11060-009-0032-0

This retrospective series explores temozolomide monotherapy in elderly patients with primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) and severe comorbidities. In 17 patients (62–90 years old), the complete response rate was 47%, median progression-free survival was 5 months, and median overall survival was 21 months. Five of 17 patients (29.4%) had prolonged responses for at least 12 months and survived for more than 24 months. Three of these patients had a methylated O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter, while the MGMT status was not assessable in the remaining two patients.

Temozolomide monotherapy appears to be effective in a subgroup of elderly PCNSL patients and deserves further evaluation.

Do children and adults differ in survival from medulloblastoma? A study from the SEER registry

J Neurooncol (2009) 95:81–85 DOI 10.1007/s11060-009-9894-4

Studies investigating whether adults have diminished survival from medulloblastoma (MB) compared with children have yielded conflicting results. We sought to determine in a population-based registry whether adults and children with MB differ in survival, and to examine whether dissimilar use of chemotherapy might contribute to any disparity.

1,226 MB subjects were identified using the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER-9) registry (1973–2002) and survival analysis performed. MB was defined strictly to exclude non-cerebellar primitive neuro- ectodermal tumors. Patients were stratified by age at diagnosis: <3 years (infants), 3–17 years (children) and >18 years (adults). Because the SEER-9 registry lacks treatment data, a subset of 142 patients were identified using the San Francisco-Oakland SEER registry (1988–2003) and additional analyses performed.

There was no significant difference in survival between children and adults with MB in either the SEER-9 (P = 0.17) or SFO (P = 0.89) cohorts but infants fared worse compared to both children (P < 0.01) and adults (P < 0.01). In the SFO sample, children and adults who received chemotherapy plus radiation therapy (XRT) did not differ in survival. Among patients treated with XRT alone, children showed increased survival (P = 0.04) compared with adults. Children and adults with MB do not differ with respect to overall survival, yet infants fare significantly worse.

For children and adults with MB treated with both XRT and chemotherapy, we could not demonstrate a survival difference. Similar outcomes between adult and childhood MB may justify inclusion of adults in pediatric cooperative trials for MB.

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