Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation


Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation (KBNF) is a Canada based charity enhancing the delivery of quality brain and spinal medical care in West Africa and beyond. The vision is to alleviate the suffering of West Africans with a special focus on those affected by diseases of the brain and spine, and to address related health care issues.

KBNF has been working with the Liberian Government since 2014 to develop its neurosurgery capacity, but the program is still in its infancy suffering setbacks from Ebola, lack of trained medical professionals across all disciplines, and extremely limited resources. KBNF works to address these deficits with shipments of equipment and supplies and annual medical missions.

Liberia recently employed the first neurosurgeon in the country‘s history. In a country with a population of 4.7 million people and staggering rates of cranial and spine trauma, as well as hydrocephalus and neural tube defects, neurosurgery is considered a luxury. A study documents the experience of a team of neurosurgeons, critical care nurses, scrub technicians, nurses, and Biomedical engineering who carried out a series of neurosurgical clinics and complex brain and spine surgeries in Liberia. Specifically, Bowen et al. aimed to highlight some of the larger obstacles, beyond staff and equipment, facing the development of a neurosurgical or any other specialty practice in Liberia.

The institutions, in collaboration with the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation, spent 10 days in Liberia, based in Tappita, and performed 18 surgeries in addition to seeing several hundred clinic patients. This is a retrospective review of the cases performed along with outcomes to investigate obstacles in providing neurosurgical services in the country.

Before arriving in Liberia, they evaluated, planned, and supplied staff and materials for treating complex neurosurgical patients. Sixteen patients underwent 18 surgeries at a hospital in Tappita, Liberia, in November 2018. Their ages ranged from 1 month to 72 years (average 20 years). Five patients (28%) were female. Ten patients (56%) were under the age of 18. Surgeries included ventriculoperitoneal shunting (VP-shunt), lumbar myelomeningocele repairencephalocele repairlaminectomy, and a craniotomy for tumor resection. Ten patients (55%) underwent VP-shunting. Two patients (11%) had a craniotomy for tumor resection. Three patients (17%) had laminectomy for lumbar stenosis. Two patients (11%) had repair of lumbar myelomeningocele.

After an aggressive and in-depth approach to planning, conducting, and supplying complex neurosurgical procedures in Liberia, the greatest limiting factor to successful outcomes lie in real-time is access to health care, which is largely limited by overall infrastructure. The study documents the experience of a team of neurosurgeons, critical care nurses, scrub technicians, nurses, and biomedical engineers who carried out a series of neurosurgical clinics and complex brain and spine surgeries in Liberia. Specifically, they aimed to highlight some of the larger obstacles, beyond staff and equipment, facing the development of a neurosurgical or any other specialty procedural practice in the country of Liberia. Most notably, they focused on infrastructure factors, including power, roads, water, education, and overall health care 1).


Bowen I, Toor H, Zampella B, Doe A, King C, Miulli DE. Infrastructural Limitations in Establishing Neurosurgical Specialty Services in Liberia. Cureus. 2022 Sep 20;14(9):e29373. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29373. PMID: 36284802; PMCID: PMC9584543.

Glioma Guidelines

Glioma Guidelines

The Korean Society for Neuro-Oncology (KSNO) published guidelines for managing adult glioma in 2019, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and European Association of Neuro-Oncology published guidelines in September 2021 and March 2021, respectively. However, these guidelines have several different recommendations in practice, including tissue management, adjuvant treatment after surgical resection, and salvage treatment for recurrent/progressive gliomas. Currently, the KSNO guideline working group is preparing an updated version of the guideline for managing adult gliomas 1).

EANO guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of diffuse gliomas of adulthood2)

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for Patients Brain Cancer: Gliomas https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/content/PDF/brain-gliomas-patient.pdf

Zhao et al. systematically searched PubMed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang databases to retrieve guidelines on glioma in China published from the establishment of the database to 24 January 2022. We performed a narrative review of current clinical studies related to the management of glioblastoma, especially in the surgical, targeted, and immunotherapy therapy and tumor-treating fields.

Key content and findings: In this review, 19 guidelines were included, including 8 subclassified as the guideline, 8 subclassified as the consensus, and 3 subclassified as the standard. Two guidelines reported the contents of the system search, 4 guidelines are updated, and 9 guidelines reported the source of funding. At present, most clinical trials on the immune and targeted therapy of glioblastoma are ongoing in China.

China’s guidelines still need to be improved in terms of preciseness, applicability, and editorial independence. In addition, the cooperation in clinical research of glioblastoma in multiple centers needs to be strengthened in China 3).

To follow the revision of the fourth edition of WHO classification and the recent progress on the management of diffuse gliomas, the joint guideline committee of Chinese Glioma Cooperative Group (CGCG), Society for Neuro-Oncology of China (SNO-China) and Chinese Brain Cancer Association (CBCA) updated the clinical practice guideline. It provides recommendations for diagnostic and management decisions, and for limiting unnecessary treatments and cost. The recommendations focus on molecular and pathological diagnostics, and the main treatment modalities of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. In this guideline, we also integrated the results of some clinical trials of immune therapies and target therapies, which we think are ongoing future directions. The guideline should serve as an application for all professionals involved in the management of patients with adult diffuse glioma and also a source of knowledge for insurance companies and other institutions involved in the cost regulation of cancer care in China and other countries 4).


Kim YZ, Kim CY, Lim DH. The Overview of Practical Guidelines for Gliomas by KSNO, NCCN, and EANO. Brain Tumor Res Treat. 2022 Apr;10(2):83-93. doi: 10.14791/btrt.2022.0001. PMID: 35545827; PMCID: PMC9098981.

Weller M, van den Bent M, Preusser M, Le Rhun E, Tonn JC, Minniti G, Bendszus M, Balana C, Chinot O, Dirven L, French P, Hegi ME, Jakola AS, Platten M, Roth P, Rudà R, Short S, Smits M, Taphoorn MJB, von Deimling A, Westphal M, Soffietti R, Reifenberger G, Wick W. EANO guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of diffuse gliomas of adulthood. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2021 Mar;18(3):170-186. doi: 10.1038/s41571-020-00447-z. Epub 2020 Dec 8. Erratum in: Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2022 May;19(5):357-358. PMID: 33293629; PMCID: PMC7904519.

Zhao MJ, Lu T, Ma C, Wang ZF, Li ZQ. A narrative review on the management of glioblastoma in China. Chin Clin Oncol. 2022 Aug;11(4):29. doi: 10.21037/cco-22-18. PMID: 36098100.

Jiang T, Nam DH, Ram Z, Poon WS, Wang J, Boldbaatar D, Mao Y, Ma W, Mao Q, You Y, Jiang C, Yang X, Kang C, Qiu X, Li W, Li S, Chen L, Li X, Liu Z, Wang W, Bai H, Yao Y, Li S, Wu A, Sai K, Li G, Yao K, Wei X, Liu X, Zhang Z, Dai Y, Lv S, Wang L, Lin Z, Dong J, Xu G, Ma X, Zhang W, Zhang C, Chen B, You G, Wang Y, Wang Y, Bao Z, Yang P, Fan X, Liu X, Zhao Z, Wang Z, Li Y, Wang Z, Li G, Fang S, Li L, Liu Y, Liu S, Shan X, Liu Y, Chai R, Hu H, Chen J, Yan W, Cai J, Wang H, Chen L, Yang Y, Wang Y, Han L, Wang Q; Chinese Glioma Cooperative Group (CGCG); Society for Neuro‐Oncology of China (SNO-China); Chinese Brain Cancer Association (CBCA); Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA); Asian Glioma Genome Atlas (AGGA) network. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of adult diffuse gliomas. Cancer Lett. 2021 Feb 28;499:60-72. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2020.10.050. Epub 2020 Nov 6. PMID: 33166616.

German Pituitary Tumor Registry

German Pituitary Tumor Registry

In 1996, the German Registry of Pituitary Tumors was founded by the Pituitary Section of the German Society of Endocrinology as a reference center for collection and consultant pathohistological studies of pituitary tumors.

The collection comprises a total of 16,283 cases up until the end of 2018. Of these cases, 12,673 originated from surgical and 3,610 from autopsy material. All specimens were fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin. The sections were stained with H&E stain and PAS. Monoclonal (prolactinTSHFSHLH, and alpha subunit) or polyclonal (GH and ACTH) antibodies were used to detect pituitary hormones in the lesions. Since 2017, antibodies against the transcription factorPit-1T-Pit, and SF-1 has been used in difficult cases. The criteria of the The 2017 World Health Organization classification of tumors of the pituitary gland have been basic principles for classification since 2018 (Osamura et al. 2017). For differentiation of other sellar tumors, such as meningiomas, chordomas, or metastases, the use of additional antibodies was necessary. For these cases, it was possible to use a broad antibody spectrum. Autopsy pituitaries were generally studied by H&E and PAS sections. If any lesions were demonstrated in these specimens, additional immunostaining was performed.

Multiple tumorous lesions with more than one pituitary neuroendocrine tumor (PitNET) respectively adenoma make up 1.4% (232 cases) in our collection. Within the selected cases, synchronous multiple pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) account for 17.3%, PANCH cases (pituitary adenoma with neuronal choristoma) for 14.7%, PitNETs and posterior lobe tumors for 2.2%, PitNETs and metastases for 5.2%, PitNETs and mesenchymal tumors for 2.6%, PitNETs and cysts for 52.2%, and PitNETs and primary inflammation for 6.0%. The mean patient age was 53.8 years, with a standard deviation of 18.5 years. A total of 55.3% of the patients were female and 44.7% were male. From 1990 to 2018, there was a continuous increase in the number of multiple tumorous lesions.

From the studies, Schöning et al. concluded that considering possible tumorous double lesions during surgeries and in preoperative X-ray analyses is recommended 1).

Inflammatory pituitary lesions account for 1.8% of all specimens from the German Pituitary Tumor Registry. They occur in 0.5% of the autoptical specimens and in 2.2% of the surgical cases. Women are significantly more often affected than men and are often younger when first diagnosed. In general, primary and secondary inflammation can be distinguished, with secondary types occurring more frequently (75.1%) than idiopathic inflammatory lesions (15.4%). In primary inflammation, the lymphocytic type is more common (88.5%) than the granulomatous type of hypophysitis (11.5%). The most common causes of secondary inflammation are Rathke’s cleft cysts (48.6%), followed by tumors (17.4%) such as craniopharyngioma (9.1%), and adenoma (5.5%) or germinoma (2.0%). More causes are tumor-like lesions (7.1%) such as xanthogranuloma (3.5%) or Langerhans histiocytosis (3.5%), abscesses (5.5%), generalized infections (5.1%), spread inflammations (4.7%) and previous surgeries (4.0%). In 1.6% of all specimens, the reason for the inflammation remains unclear. The described classification of hypophysitis is important for specific treatment planning after surgery 2).

Searching the data bank of the German Pituitary Tumor Registry 12 double pituitary adenomas with diverse lineage were identified among 3654 adenomas and 6 hypophyseal carcinomas diagnosed between 2012 and 2020. The double adenomas were investigated immunohistochemically for the expression of hormones and lineage markers. In addition, chromosomal gains and losses as well as global DNA methylation profiles were assessed, whenever sufficient material was available (n = 8 PA).

In accordance with the literature, combinations of GH/prolactin/TSH-FSH/LH adenoma (4/12), GH/prolactin/TSH-ACTH adenoma (3/12), and ACTH-FSH/LH adenoma (3/12) were observed. Further, two out of 12 cases showed a combination of a GH/prolactin/TSH adenoma with a null-cell adenoma. Different expression patterns of hormones were confirmed by different expression of transcription factors in 11/12 patients. Finally, multiple lesions that were molecularly analyzed in 4 patients displayed distinct copy number changes and global methylation patterns.

The data confirm and extend the knowledge on multiple PAs and suggest that such lesions may originate from distinct cell types 3).

Between 1996 and 2020, 12,565 cases were enrolled in the German Registry of Pituitary Tumors including 10,084 PitNETs (10,067 adenomas and 19 carcinomas obtained surgically and 193 adenomas diagnosed at autopsy) as well as 69 spindle cell tumors of the neurohypophysis (64 surgical specimens and 5 autopsies). In six patients (1 post-mortem and 5 surgical specimens), PitNETs, as well as posterior lobe tumors, were found in the specimens. Two of the PitNETs were sparsely granulated prolactin-producing tumors, combined in one case with a granular cell tumor and in one case with a pituicytoma. One of the PitNETs revealed that the autopsy was a sparsely granulated GH tumor combined with a neurohypophyseal granular cell tumor. Two PitNETs were null cell adenomas combined with a pituicytoma and a spindle cell oncocytoma, respectively. Further, one Crooke cell tumor was combined with a spindle cell oncocytoma. In five cases, the PitNETs were larger than the posterior lobe tumors and accounted for the clinical symptoms. Previously, four cases of co-existing pituitary anterior and posterior lobe tumors were described in the literature, comprising two ACTH PitNETs, one gonadotrophic PitNET and one null cell PitNET, each in combination with a pituicytoma. PitNETs and concomitant granular cell tumor or spindle cell oncocytoma, as observed in our cohort, have not been reported before 4).

The first 10 years of this registry based on 4122 cases were reported by Saeger et al. The data supplement former collections of the years 1970-1995 with 3480 surgically removed tumors or lesions of the pituitary region. The cases were studied using histology, immunostainings, and in some cases also molecular pathology or electron microscopy. The adenomas were classified according to the current World Health Organization classification in the version of 2004. From 1996 on 3489 adenomas (84.6%), 5 pituitary carcinomas (0.12%), 133 craniopharyngiomas (3.2%), 39 meningiomas (0.94%), 25 metastases (0.6%), 22 chordomas (0.5%), 115 cystic non-neoplastic lesions (2.8%), and 46 inflammatory lesions (1.1%, 248 other lesions or normal tissue (6.0%)) were collected by us. The adenomas (100%) were classified into densely granulated GH cell adenomas (9.2%), sparsely granulated GH cell adenomas (6.3%), sparsely granulated prolactin (PRL) cell adenomas (8.9%), densely granulated PRL cell adenomas (0.3%), mixed GH/PRL cell adenomas (5.2%), mammosomatotropic adenomas (1.1%), acidophilic stem cell adenomas (0.2%), densely granulated ACTH cell adenomas (7.2%), sparsely granulated ACTH cell adenomas (7.9%), Crooke cell adenomas (0.03%), TSH cell adenomas (1.5%), FSH/LH cell adenomas (24.8%), null cell adenomas (19.3%), null cell adenoma, oncocytic variant (5.8%), and plurihormonal adenomas (1.3%). Following the WHO classification of 2004, the new entity ‘atypical adenoma’ was found in 12 cases in 2005. Various prognostic parameters and clinical implications are discussed 5)


Schöning JV, Flitsch J, Lüdecke DK, Fahlbusch R, Buchfelder M, Buslei R, Knappe UJ, Bergmann M, Schulz-Schaeffer WJ, Herms J, Glatzel M, Saeger W. Multiple tumorous lesions of the pituitary gland. Hormones (Athens). 2022 Aug 10. doi: 10.1007/s42000-022-00392-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35947342.

Warmbier J, Lüdecke DK, Flitsch J, Buchfelder M, Fahlbusch R, Knappe UJ, Kreutzer J, Buslei R, Bergmann M, Heppner F, Glatzel M, Saeger W. Typing of inflammatory lesions of the pituitary. Pituitary. 2022 Feb;25(1):131-142. doi: 10.1007/s11102-021-01180-1. Epub 2021 Aug 31. PMID: 34463941; PMCID: PMC8821060.

Hagel C, Schüller U, Flitsch J, Knappe UJ, Kellner U, Bergmann M, Buslei R, Buchfelder M, Rüdiger T, Herms J, Saeger W. Double adenomas of the pituitary reveal distinct lineage markers, copy number alterations, and epigenetic profiles. Pituitary. 2021 Dec;24(6):904-913. doi: 10.1007/s11102-021-01164-1. Epub 2021 Sep 3. PMID: 34478014; PMCID: PMC8550269.

Saeger W, von Schöning J, Flitsch J, Jautzke G, Bergmann M, Hagel C, Knappe UJ. Co-occurrence of Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumors (PitNETs) and Tumors of the Neurohypophysis. Endocr Pathol. 2021 Dec;32(4):473-479. doi: 10.1007/s12022-021-09677-y. Epub 2021 Jun 15. PMID: 34129177.

Saeger W, Lüdecke DK, Buchfelder M, Fahlbusch R, Quabbe HJ, Petersenn S. Pathohistological classification of pituitary tumors: 10 years of experience with the German Pituitary Tumor Registry. Eur J Endocrinol. 2007 Feb;156(2):203-16. doi: 10.1530/eje.1.02326. PMID: 17287410.
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