Methotrexate for Primary central nervous system lymphoma

In neurooncology and onco-hematology, intraventricular injection of chemotherapeutic agents (most typically, methotrexate) is an inevitable part of many protocols for treating patients with malignant tumors of the CNS, neuroleukemia, CNS lymphomas and some other disorders.


High-dose MTX is associated with a high proportion of radiographic responses and a low proportion of grade III/IV toxicity in patients 70 or more years of age. High-dose MTX should be considered as a feasible treatment option in elderly patients with PCNSL 1).


MTX-monotherapy is tolerable in terms of adverse effects and still considered as a treatment option in patients with PCNSL. However, an additional therapeutic option should be prepared for non-CR responders to induction chemotherapy 2).


The addition of intraventricular MTX (rather than just intrathecal via LP) delivered through a Ommaya reservoir (6 doses of 12 mg twice a week, with IV leucovorin rescue) may result in even better survival 3)

In the event of an intrathecal MTX overdose (OD), interventions recommended 4) :

ODs of up to 85 mg can be well tolerated with little sequelae; immediate LP with drainage of CSF can remove a substantial portion of the drug (removing 15 ml of CSF can eliminate ≈ 20–30% of the MTX within 2 hrs of OD). This can be followed by ventriculolumbar perfusion over several hours using 240 ml of warmed isotonic preservative-free saline entering through the ventricular reservoir and exiting through a External lumbar cerebrospinal fluid drainage. For major OD of > 500 mg, add intrathecal administration of 2,000 U of carboxypeptidase G2 (an enzyme that inactivates MTX). In cases of MTX OD, systemic toxicity should be prevented by treating with IV dexamethasone and IV (not IT) leucovorin.


Therapeutic Outcomes and Toxicity of High-Dose Methotrexate-Based Chemotherapy for Elderly Patients with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: A Report on Six Cases. 5).


A study provides Class III evidence that in immunocompetent patients with primary CNS lymphomas (PCNSLs), high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX) plus rituximab compared with HD-MTX alone improves complete response (CR) and overall survival rates 6).

Case series

Yoon et al. presented the experiences with high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX) monotherapy for immunocompetent patients with PCNSL at three institutions and investigate factors related to survival.

PCNSL patients, who were histologically confirmed with diffuse large B cells and treated with HD-MTX monotherapy from 2001 to 2016, were retrospectively reviewed. Patients underwent induction chemotherapy with 8 g/m2 of MTX every 10 days (maximum three cycles). Maintenance chemotherapy of 3.5 g/m2 of MTX (maximum six cycles) was selectively performed depending on the response to induction chemotherapy.

A total of 67 patients were included. Although seven patients discontinued induction chemotherapy because of MTX toxicity, 40 (59.7%) patients showed a complete response (CR) to induction chemotherapy. Twenty-six (38.8%) and three (4.5%) patients showed a CR and partial response, respectively, after maintenance chemotherapy. Forty-one patients with recurrence or progression following HD-MTX underwent second-line treatment. Progression-free survival rates were 43% and 24% at 1 and 2 years, respectively. The median overall survival was 40.3 months. In a multivariate analysis, a radiological CR to induction chemotherapy was a significant factor related to prolonged progression-free survival and overall survival (P < 0.05).

MTX-monotherapy is tolerable in terms of adverse effects and still considered as a treatment option in patients with PCNSL. However, an additional therapeutic option should be prepared for non-CR responders to induction chemotherapy 7).


A single-institution retrospective analysis was performed for 12 patients with newly diagnosed PCNSL treated with combined high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX) and RTX. MTX was administered biweekly at 8 g/m2/dose until a complete response (CR) was achieved or for a maximum of eight doses. RTX was provided for a total of eight weekly doses at 375 mg/m2/dose. Following a median of 11 cycles of MTX, the radiographic overall response rate was 91% and the CR rate was 58%. A CR was achieved after a median 6 cycles of MTX. The median progression-free survival time was 22 months and the median overall survival time has not yet been attained. These results compare favorably to single-agent HD-MTX and suggest a role for immunochemotherapy in the treatment of PCNSL 8).


Zhu et al. studied the response and adverse effects of intravenous high-dose MTX in patients who were 70 or more years of age at the time of diagnosis. They identified 31 patients diagnosed with PCNSL at age > or =70 years (median, 74 years) who were treated with high-dose MTX (3.5-8 g/m(2)) as initial therapy from 1992 through 2006. The best response to MTX was determined by contrast-enhanced MRI. Toxicity was analyzed by chart review. These 31 patients received a total of 303 cycles of MTX (median, eight cycles per patient). Overall, 87.9% of the cycles required dose reduction because of impaired creatinine clearance. In 30 evaluable patients, the overall radiographic response rate was 96.7%, with 18 complete responses (60%) and 11 partial responses (36.7%). Progression-free survival and overall survivals were 7.1 months and 37 months, respectively. Grade I-IV toxicities were observed in 27 of 31 patients and included gastrointestinal disturbances in 58% (3.2% grade III), hematological complications in 80.6% (6.5% grade III), and renal toxicity in 29% (0% grade III/IV). High-dose MTX is associated with a high proportion of radiographic responses and a low proportion of grade III/IV toxicity in patients 70 or more years of age. High-dose MTX should be considered as a feasible treatment option in elderly patients with PCNSL 9).

References

1) , 9)

Zhu JJ, Gerstner ER, Engler DA, Mrugala MM, Nugent W, Nierenberg K, Hochberg FH, Betensky RA, Batchelor TT. High-dose methotrexate for elderly patients with primary CNS lymphoma. Neuro Oncol. 2009 Apr;11(2):211-5. doi: 10.1215/15228517-2008-067. Epub 2008 Aug 29. PMID: 18757775; PMCID: PMC2718993.
2) , 7)

Yoon WS, Park JS, Kim YI, Chung DS, Jeun SS, Hong YK, Yang SH. High-dose methotrexate monotherapy for newly diagnosed primary central nervous system lymphoma: 15-year multicenter experience. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1111/ajco.13427. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32978898.
3)

DeAngelis LM, Yahalom J, Thaler HT, Kher U. Com- bined Modality Therapy for Primary CNS Lympho- mas.JClinOncol.1992;10:635–643
4)

O’Marcaigh AS, Johnson CM, Smithson WA, et al. Successful Treatment of Intrathecal Methotrexate Overdose by Using Ventriculolumbar Perfusion and Intrathecal Instillation of Carboxypeptidase G2. Mayo Clin Proc. 1996; 71:161–165
5)

Tempaku A, Takahashi Y, Kamada H. Therapeutic Outcomes and Toxicity of High-Dose Methotrexate-Based Chemotherapy for Elderly Patients with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: A Report on Six Cases. Acta Haematol. 2019 May 21:1-2. doi: 10.1159/000499100. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31112947.
6)

Holdhoff M, Ambady P, Abdelaziz A, Sarai G, Bonekamp D, Blakeley J, Grossman SA, Ye X. High-dose methotrexate with or without Rituximab in newly diagnosed primary CNS lymphoma. Neurology. 2014 Jul 15;83(3):235-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000593. Epub 2014 Jun 13. PubMed PMID: 24928128; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4117362.
8)

Ly KI, Crew LL, Graham CA, Mrugala MM. Primary central nervous system lymphoma treated with high-dose methotrexate and rituximab: A single-institution experience. Oncol Lett. 2016 May;11(5):3471-3476. doi: 10.3892/ol.2016.4393. Epub 2016 Mar 30. PMID: 27123138; PMCID: PMC4840907.

Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma treatment

Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma treatment

The management of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) has been traditionally represented by surgical treatment through an open craniotomic approach. Though open surgery still represents a major option in the management of this kind of tumors, the introduction of mTOR inhibitors in the clinical practice, technological advances in neuroendoscopy and the more recent use of Laser interstitial thermal therapy have significantly enlarged the range of available management opportunities.

A thorough review of the literature has been performed. Accordingly, current views in open surgical treatment, medical therapy, endoscopic tumor removal, and new trends (such as laser interstitial thermal therapy) are discussed.

The risk of significant neurological morbidity (5-50%) complicating open surgery has been for a long time representing a main drawback in the management of SEGAs. More recent series report a significant reduction of morbidity and mortality. The mTOR inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy in both warranting a tumor reduction by up to 60% of the tumor size and helping the control of seizures. However, the reported rate of side effects is as high as 30% and tumor recurrence is a documented occurrence at the time of mTOR inhibitor discontinuation. Endoscopic tumor removal has been more extensively considered an option due to the acquisition of new tools. Limits are still represented by tumor size (< 3 cm) and broad attachment of the tumor to the basal ganglia. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is the more recently considered option. Though promising, only short follow-up is available so far, while data on medium- and long-term results of this treatment are completely lacking to date.

Surgical treatment remains a mainstay of the management of SEGAs. The indication for an open craniotomic approach should be balanced with an endoscopic tumor removal or LITT according to patient conditions, the presence or not of active hydrocephalus, and extension of the attachment of the tumor to the basal ganglia. The mTOR inhibitors do have a definite role both as primary and as adjuvant treatment, but consistent limitations are represented up to now by a not negligible rate of complications and the uncertainties related to the possibility of tumor recurrence once the medical treatment is discontinued 1).


Laviv et al.reported two cases of recurrent shunt malfunctions in adult TSC patients with protein-secreting SGCTs and describe the complexity of treating such patients with an emphasis on the role mTOR inhibitors may have in their management 2).


SEGAs have been reported to regrow if mTOR inhibitor therapy is stopped, raising the possibility that long-term medication may be required to prevent tumor growth and hydrocephalus. The question of regrowth following medication withdrawal will need to be addressed in more patients to help establish the optimal duration of therapy. The risks of surgery include acute morbidity and the permanent need for ventriculoperitoneal shunting, which must be balanced against the adverse effects of mTOR inhibitors, including immunosuppression (infections, mouth sores), hypercholesterolemia, and the need for chronic drug monitoring. Some additional benefits of mTOR inhibition in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, however, may include shrinkage of angiofibromas and angiomyolipomas as well as a possible decrease in seizure burden. Recent reports of successful nonsurgical treatment of SEGAs are promising, and it is hoped that further specifics on dosing, duration, and long-term outcome will help patients and physicians to make informed therapeutic choices.Present treatment recommendations for SEGAs include routine surveillance neuroimaging and close clinical follow-up, paying particular attention to signs and symptoms of acute hydrocephalus. If symptoms arise, or if serial neuroimaging demonstrates tumor growth, neurosurgical intervention is recommended. When gross total resection is impossible, rapamycin and everolimus should be considered, but may not offer a durable response.


In a phase 1–2, open-label study in 28 patients with evidence of serial subependymal giant cell astrocytoma growth, the mTOR inhibitor everolimus (Afinitor, Novartis, East Hanover, NJ) was associated with a reduction in SEGA volume and improved quality of life 3).


Arroyo et al. present a seven-year-old boy with a large, symptomatic SEGA which was treated acutely with everolimus.

Everolimus treatment resulted in rapid reduction in tumor size, symptomatic improvement, and decrease in cerebrospinal fluid protein.

Everolimus can effectively reduce tumor size, decrease cerebrospinal fluid protein, and allow successful ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement without the need for surgical resection of a symptomatic SEGA 4).

References

1)

Frassanito P, Noya C, Tamburrini G. Current trends in the management of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas in tuberous sclerosis. Childs Nerv Syst. 2020 Sep 25. doi: 10.1007/s00381-020-04889-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32978642.
2)

Laviv Y, Jackson S, Rappaport ZH. Persistent communicating hydrocephalus in adult tuberous sclerosis patients: a possible therapeutic role for everolimus. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2015 Feb;157(2):241-5. doi: 10.1007/s00701-014-2309-0. Epub 2014 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 25524658.
3)

Krueger DA, Care MM, Holland K, et al. Everolimus for subependymal giant-cell astrocytomas in tuberous sclerosis. N Engl J Med 2010;363:1801–1811
4)

Arroyo MS, Krueger DA, Broomall E, Stevenson CB, Franz DN. Acute Management of Symptomatic Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma With Everolimus. Pediatr Neurol. 2017 Jul;72:81-85. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 28511812.

Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor

Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor

A malignant WHO grade IV embryonal tumor of the CNS comprised of poorly differentiated elements and rhabdoid cells and, by definition, includes inactivation of SMARCB1 (INI1) or (extremely rarely) SMARCA4 (BRG1). Histologically similar tumors lacking these molecular genetics should be classified as CNS embryonal tumors with rhabdoid features.

Many of these tumors were probably previously misdiagnosed as MDBs. Occurs primarily in infants and children (> 90% are < 5 years of age, with most age < 2 years). A minority are associated with primary renal rhabdoid tumor. The ratio of supratentorial to infratentorial AT/RTs is 4:3. Posterior fossa AT/RTs may occur in the cerebellar hemispheres, cerebellopontine angle (CPA) and brainstem. 33% have CSF spread at presentation. Althogh the prognosis is poor, not all AT/RTs have the same behavior, and at least 2 different molecular classes have been identified.


Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) is a rare, highly malignant, true rhabdoid tumor in the central nervous system predominantly presenting in young children.

It was originally described a histological variant of Wilm’s tumor in 1978.


Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) comprise at least two transcriptional subtypes with different clinical outcomes; however, the mechanisms underlying therapeutic heterogeneity remained unclear. In a study, Torchia et al., analyzed 191 primary ATRTs and 10 ATRT cell lines to define the genomic and epigenomic landscape of ATRTs and identify subgroup-specific therapeutic targets.

They found ATRTs segregated into three epigenetic subgroups with distinct genomic profiles, SMARCB1 genotypes, and chromatin landscape that correlated with differential cellular responses to a panel of signaling and epigenetic inhibitors. Significantly, they discovered that differential methylation of a PDGFRB-associated enhancer confers specific sensitivity of group 2 ATRT cells to dasatinib and nilotinib, and suggest that these are promising therapies for this highly lethal ATRT subtype 1).

Classification

AT/RT can occur anywhere in the central nervous system (CNS) including the spinal cord. About 60% will be in the posterior cranial fossa (particularly the cerebellum). One review estimated 52% posterior fossa, 39% sPNET (supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumors), 5% pineal, 2% spinal, and 2% multi-focal.

In the United States, three children per 1,000,000 or around 30 new AT/RT cases are diagnosed each year. AT/RT represents around 3% of pediatric cancers of the CNS.

Around 17% of all pediatric cancers involve the CNS; it is the most common childhood solid tumor.

see Adult sellar atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor.

see Cerebellopontine angle atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor.

Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor of the Cauda Equina.

Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor of the Conus Medullaris.

Pathology

Typically shows rhabdoid cells which can also be seen in other tumors, but it is differentiated from other tumors by the specific genetic alteration involving the SMARCB1 gene. Only a few cases of AT/RT arising in low-grade glioma have been reported. A 13-year-old girl presented with headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.A 4.7 cm cerebellar mass was found on MRI.The mass was totally removed. Histologically, the tumor revealed two distinct morphologic appearances: central areas of AT/RT containing rhabdoid cells and sarcomatous component in the background of pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma(PXA). Immunohistochemically, PXA areas retained nuclear expression of INI-1 and low Ki-67 proliferation index, whereas AT/RT component showed loss of INI-1 nuclear expression and markedly elevated Ki-67 proliferation index. Epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), smooth muscle actin (SMA), and p53 protein were positive only in AT/RT. BRAF V600E mutation was identified in PXA by real-time polymerase chain reaction.We report a rare case of AT/RT arising in PXA which is supposed to progress by inactivation of INI-1 in a pre-existing PXA 2).

Treatment

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor treatment.

Outcome

Patient age at the time of diagnosis, supratentorial location of the mass and fewer complications with adjuvant treatments seem to be factors yielding good prognosis for AT/RT tumors. In agreement with the latest international protocols, multidisciplinary treatment is the ideal treatment, consisting of radiotherapy and chemotherapy after complete tumor resection 3).

Case series

Twenty-eight pediatric patients with CNS AT/RT who were treated with radiation therapy (RT) as part of multimodality treatment regimens at a single institution (1996-2015) were reviewed. Survival outcomes were analyzed in relation to possible prognostic factors.

The 28 patients analyzed were followed up for a median 48-month period. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11 months, and overall survival (OS) was 57 months. Patients < 3 years old had RT delayed for a longer period after surgery (p = 0.04), and the mean RT dose to tumor bed was lower (p < 0.01) than in patients ≥ 3 years old. In multivariate analysis, a higher primary tumor bed RT dose was identified as a favorable prognostic factor for both PFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.85 per gray, p < 0.01) and OS (HR = 0.92 per gray, p = 0.02). In addition, an interval between surgery and RT initiation > 2 months, with disease progression observed before RT, as compared with an interval ≤ 2 months without disease progression prior to RT, was associated with worse PFS (HR = 8.50, p < 0.01) and OS (HR = 5.27, p < 0.01).

Early and aggressive RT after surgery is critical for successful disease control in AT/RT patients. Conversely, a delay in RT until disease progression is observed that leads to unfavorable outcomes 4).


In a study, Torchia et al. analyzed 191 primary Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor ATRTs and 10 ATRT cell lines to define the genomics and epigenomic landscape of ATRTs and identify subgroup-specific therapeutic targets. They found ATRTs segregated into three epigenetic subgroups with distinct genomic profiles, SMARCB1 genotypes, and chromatin landscape that correlated with differential cellular responses to a panel of signaling and epigenetic inhibitors. Significantly, they discovered that differential methylation of a PDGFRB-associated enhancer confers specific sensitivity of group 2 ATRT cells to dasatinib and nilotinib, and suggest that these are promising therapies for this highly lethal ATRT subtype 5).

References

1) , 5)

Torchia J, Golbourn B, Feng S, Ho KC, Sin-Chan P, Vasiljevic A, Norman JD, Guilhamon P, Garzia L, Agamez NR, Lu M, Chan TS, Picard D, de Antonellis P, Khuong-Quang DA, Planello AC, Zeller C, Barsyte-Lovejoy D, Lafay-Cousin L, Letourneau L, Bourgey M, Yu M, Gendoo DM, Dzamba M, Barszczyk M, Medina T, Riemenschneider AN, Morrissy AS, Ra YS, Ramaswamy V, Remke M, Dunham CP, Yip S, Ng HK, Lu JQ, Mehta V, Albrecht S, Pimentel J, Chan JA, Somers GR, Faria CC, Roque L, Fouladi M, Hoffman LM, Moore AS, Wang Y, Choi SA, Hansford JR, Catchpoole D, Birks DK, Foreman NK, Strother D, Klekner A, Bognár L, Garami M, Hauser P, Hortobágyi T, Wilson B, Hukin J, Carret AS, Van Meter TE, Hwang EI, Gajjar A, Chiou SH, Nakamura H, Toledano H, Fried I, Fults D, Wataya T, Fryer C, Eisenstat DD, Scheinemann K, Fleming AJ, Johnston DL, Michaud J, Zelcer S, Hammond R, Afzal S, Ramsay DA, Sirachainan N, Hongeng S, Larbcharoensub N, Grundy RG, Lulla RR, Fangusaro JR, Druker H, Bartels U, Grant R, Malkin D, McGlade CJ, Nicolaides T, Tihan T, Phillips J, Majewski J, Montpetit A, Bourque G, Bader GD, Reddy AT, Gillespie GY, Warmuth-Metz M, Rutkowski S, Tabori U, Lupien M, Brudno M, Schüller U, Pietsch T, Judkins AR, Hawkins CE, Bouffet E, Kim SK, Dirks PB, Taylor MD, Erdreich-Epstein A, Arrowsmith CH, De Carvalho DD, Rutka JT, Jabado N, Huang A. Integrated (epi)-Genomic Analyses Identify Subgroup-Specific Therapeutic Targets in CNS Rhabdoid Tumors. Cancer Cell. 2016 Dec 12;30(6):891-908. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2016.11.003. PubMed PMID: 27960086.
2)

Jeong JY, Suh YL, Hong SW. Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor arising in pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma: a case report. Neuropathology. 2014 Aug;34(4):398-405. PubMed PMID: 25268025.
3)

Valencia-Moya A, González-García L, Ros-López B, Acha-García T, Weil-Lara B, Obando-Pacheco P, Arráez-Sánchez MÁ. Prognosis of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) treated with multimodal therapy protocols. Report of our series. Neurocirugia (Astur). 2015 Apr 17. pii: S1130-1473(15)00020-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neucir.2015.01.003. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25900785.
4)

Yang WC, Yen HJ, Liang ML, Chen HH, Lee YY, Wong TT, Hu YW, Chen YW. Role of early and aggressive post-operative radiation therapy in improving outcome for pediatric central nervous system atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor. Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 Apr 13. doi: 10.1007/s00381-019-04126-y. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30982172.
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