Extent of resection in glioblastoma

J Neurosurg 117:851–859, 2012

The extent of resection (EOR) is a known prognostic factor in patients with glioblastoma. However, gross-total resection (GTR) is not always achieved. Understanding the factors that prevent GTR is helpful in surgical planning and when counseling patients. The goal of this study was to identify demographic, tumor-related, and technical factors that influence EOR and to define the relationship between the surgeon’s impression of EOR and radiographically determined EOR.

Methods. The authors performed a retrospective review of the electronic medical records to identify all patients who underwent craniotomy for glioblastoma resection between 2006 and 2009 and who had both preoperative and postoperative MRI studies. Forty-six patients were identified and were included in the study. Image analysis software (FIJI) was used to perform volumetric analysis of tumor size and EOR based on preoperative and postoperative MRI. Using multivariate analysis, the authors assessed factors associated with EOR and residual tumor volume. Perception of resectability was described using bivariate statistics, and survival was described using the log-rank test and Kaplan-Meier curves.

Results. The EOR was less for tumors in eloquent areas (p = 0.014) and those touching ventricles (p = 0.031). Left parietal tumors had significantly greater residual volume (p = 0.042). The average EOR was 91.0% in this series. There was MRI-demonstrable residual tumor in 69.6% of cases (16 of 23) in which GTR was perceived by the surgeon. Expert reviewers agreed that GTR could be safely achieved in 37.0% of patients (17 of 46) in this series. Among patients with safely resectable tumors, radiographically complete resection was achieved in 23.5% of patients (4 of 17). An EOR greater than 90% was associated with a significantly greater 1-year survival (76.5%) than an EOR less than 90% (p = 0.005).

Conclusions. The authors’ findings confirm that tumor location affects EOR and suggest that EOR may also be influenced by the surgeon’s ability to judge the presence of residual tumor during surgery. The surgeon’s ability to judge completeness of resection during surgery is commonly inaccurate. The authors’ study confirms the impact of EOR on 1-year survival.

Long-term Outcome After Resection of Intraspinal Ependymomas: Report of 86 Consecutive Cases

Neurosurgery 67:1622–1631, 2010 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181f96d41

Objective: To evaluate progression-free survival, overall survival (OS) and long-term clinical outcome in a consecutive series of 86 patients with intraspinal ependymomas.

METHODS: Medical charts were retrospectively reviewed. Surviving patients voluntarily participated in a clinical history and physical examination that focused on neurological function and current tumor status.

RESULTS: Follow-up data are nearly 100% complete; mean follow-up time was 82 months. Eighty-five patients (99%) had surgery as a first-line treatment; 14 (17%) of these patients received adjuvant radiotherapy. Of the 85 patients who underwent primary surgery, gross total resection was performed in 60 patients (71%) and subtotal resection in 25 patients (29%). Ten-year progression-free survival rate was 75%; 5-year OS, 97%; and 10-year OS, 91%. Reduced preoperative neurological function and older age at diagnosis were significantly associated with increased risk of death. At follow-up, spontaneous regression of residual tumor after primary surgery may have occurred in 7 of 19 patients (37%). More than 75% of patients had neurological function compatible with an independent life at follow-up. Good preoperative neurological function was significantly associated with favorable outcome. It was not possible to evaluate the effect of radiotherapy on progression-free survival and OS.

CONCLUSION: Gross total resection remains the optimal treatment for patients with spinal ependymoma. Patients should be monitored with a clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging at regular intervals up to 10 years after surgery.

Primary Intramedullary Tumors of the Spinal Cord

SPINE Volume 34, Number 22S, pp S69 –S77, 2009

Study Design. Clinically based systematic review.

Objective. To define optimal clinical care for primary intramedullary spinal cord tumors using a systematic re- view with expert opinion.

Methods. Focused questions on the treatment of primary intramedullary spinal cord tumors were refined by a panel of spine oncology surgeons, medical and radiation oncologist. Keyword were searched through Medline database and pertinent abstracts and manuscripts obtained. The quality of literature was rated as high, moderate, low, or very low. Using the GRADE evidence based review system the proposed questions were answered using the literature review and expert opinion. These treatment recommendations were then rated as either strong or weak based on the quality of evidence and clinical expertise.

Results. The literature searches revealed low and very low quality evidence with no prospective or randomized studies. The MEDLINE search engine returned 9000 articles which was restricted to articles about human subjects and written in the English language. The subsequent search resulted in a return of: “spinal cord tumor” (5053), “ependymoma” (580), “astrocytoma” (420), and “glioma” (235) articles. Seventeen articles referenced timing of surgical intervention and symptomatology for intramedullary spinal cord tumors. One hundred fifty-eight chemotherapy and 183 radiation therapy articles for intramedullary spinal cord tumors were reviewed.

Conclusion. The most important factor in determining the IMSCT patient’s long-term neurologic and functional outcome after surgery is the patient’s preoperative neurologic status. However, this must be taken in the context of the underlying tumor histology. Therefore, resection is reserved for progressive neurologic decline and serial monitoring for asymptomatic individuals. Adjuvant therapy is an option for high grade astrocytomas (WHO grades 3–4).