Stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases

Stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases

Management of brain metastases typically includes radiotherapy (RT) with conventional fractionation and/or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, optimal indications and practice patterns for SRS remain unclear.

Significant heterogeneity exists in target volumes for postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery.

The use of radiosurgery as a first-line or salvage treatment for brain metastases continues to expand. As a focal, highly precise treatment option, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) provides many benefits, including a short treatment timeline, a low probability of normal tissue complication, and a high probability of treated lesion control 1).


Kann et al. sought to evaluate national practice patterns for patients with metastatic disease receiving brain RT. They queried the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or melanoma from 2004 to 2014 who received upfront brain RT. Patients were divided into SRS and non-SRS cohorts. Patient and facility-level SRS predictors were analyzed with chi-square tests and logistic regression, and uptake trends were approximated with linear regression. Survival by diagnosis year was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Of 75,953 patients, 12,250 (16.1%) received SRS and 63,703 (83.9%) received non-SRS. From 2004 to 2014, the proportion of patients receiving SRS annually increased (from 9.8% to 25.6%; P<.001), and the proportion of facilities using SRS annually increased (from 31.2% to 50.4%; P<.001). On multivariable analysis, nonwhite race, nonprivate insurance, and residence in lower-income or less-educated regions predicted lower SRS use (P<.05 for each). During the study period, SRS use increased disproportionally among patients with private insurance or who resided in higher-income or higher-educated regions. From 2004 to 2013, 1-year actuarial survival improved from 24.1% to 49.6% for patients selected for SRS and from 21.0% to 26.3% for non-SRS patients (P<.001). Conclusions: This NCDB analysis demonstrates steadily increasing-although modest overall-brain SRS use for patients with metastatic disease in the United States and identifies several progressively widening sociodemographic disparities in the adoption of SRS. Further research is needed to determine the reasons for these worsening disparities and their clinical implications on intracranial control, neurocognitive toxicities, quality of life, and survival for patients with brain metastases 2).

Complications

With increased adoption of this approach also comes an increase in incidence of treatment failure. Radiosurgical failure, either due to tumor regrowth or radiation necrosis, can occur in about 10% to 15% of patients still alive at 1 yr 3).

Radiation necrosis (RN) may occur after treatment and is challenging to distinguish from local recurrence (LR).

PET is superior to computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in the differentiation between recurrence and radiation reaction/necrosis. However, temporary radiation effects may mask remaining tumor tissue, and repeat PET studies may sometimes be necessary 4).


There are a variety of salvage options available for patients with brain metastases who experience local failure after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). These options include resection,whole brain radiation therapy, laser interstitial thermotherapy, and repeat SRS. There is little data on the safety and efficacy of repeat SRS following local failure of a prior radiosurgical procedure.

Systematic Reviews

2017

Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was conducted using PubMed and Medline up to November 2016. A separate search was conducted for SRS for larger brain metastases.

Twenty-seven prospective study, critical reviews, metaanalysis, and published consensus guidelines were reviewed. Four key points came from these studies. First, there is no detriment to survival by withholding whole brain radiation (WBRT) in the upfront management of brain metastases with SRS. Second, while SRS on its own provides a high rate of local control (LC), WBRT may provide further increase in LC. Next, WBRT does provide distant brain control with less need for salvage therapy. Finally, the addition of WBRT does affect neurocognitive function and quality of life more than SRS alone. For larger brain metastases, surgical resection should be considered, especially when factoring lower LC with single-session radiosurgery. There is emerging data showing good LC and/or decreased toxicity with multisession radiosurgery.

A number of well-conducted prospective and meta-analyses studies demonstrate good LC, without compromising survival, using SRS alone for patients with a limited number of brain metastases. Some also demonstrated less impact on neurocognitive function with SRS alone. Practice guidelines were developed using these data with International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society consensus 5).


Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) offers excellent local control for brain metastases (BM) with low rates of toxicity.

It avoids whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT)-associated morbidity.

Studies have clearly established the safety and efficacy of single-dose SRS. However, as patient survival has increased, the recurrence of tumors and the development of metastases to new sites within the brain have made it desirable to repeat treatments over time. The cumulative toxicity of multi-isocenter, multiple treatments has not been well defined.

Postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity safely and effectively augments local control of large brain metastases. Patients with <4 metastases and controlled systemic disease have significantly lower rates of distant brain failure (DBF) and are ideal treatment candidates 6).

In patients with limited brain metastases from non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), SRS is an effective treatment associated with high local control rate with low morbidity. When performed in isolation, close follow-up is mandatory and radiosurgery can be renewed as salvage treatment for distant brain progression, limiting the use of WBRT 7).

Significant tumor volume reduction by 6 or 12 weeks post-SRS was associated with long-term local control.

For patients at low risk of distant intracranial failure (such as those with systemic disease control) with early, robust volumetric response, it may reasonable to lengthen imaging intervals to maximize clinical utility.

Although it is necessary to validate the findings in a larger, prospective series, the results are encouraging that a robust early volumetric response is associated with sustained local control for metastatic brain lesions 8).

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) offers a high rate of tumor control and good survival benefits in both new and recurrent patients with MBT. Thus, GKRS is an effective treatment option for new patients with MBT, as well as an adjuvant therapy in patients with recurrent MBT. 9) 10).


There appears to be no consensus regarding the optimal treatment strategy among patients with >3 brain metastases, and practice patterns are heterogeneous. Radiation oncologists, especially high-volume CNS specialists, are treating significantly more brain metastases with SRS than what currently is recommended by published consensus guidelines. Providers struggle with patients with a moderate intracranial disease burden. Further prospective studies are needed to support these practice patterns and guide decision making 11).

Case series

Patients (n = 41) undergoing single-fraction Gamma Knife SRS following surgical resection of brain metastases from 2011 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. SRS included the entire contrast-enhancing cavity with heterogeneity in inclusion of the surgical tract and no routine margin along the dura or clinical target volume margin. Follow-up MR imaging was fused with SRS plans to assess patterns of failure.

The median follow-up was 11.1 months with a median prescription of 18 Gy. There were 5 local failures: infield (n = 3, 60%), surgical tract (n = 1, 20%), and marginal > 5 mm from the resection cavity (n = 1, 20%). No marginal failures < 5 mm or dural margin failures were noted. For deep lesions (n = 13), 62% (n = 8) had the entire tract covered. The only tract recurrence was in a deep lesion without coverage of the surgical tract (n = 1/5).

In this small preliminary experience, despite no routine inclusion of the dural tract or bone flap, no failures were noted in these locations. Omission of the surgical tract in deep lesions may increase failure rates 12).

References

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Nieder C, Grosu AL, Gaspar LE. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases: a systematic review. Radiat Oncol. 2014 Jul 12;9:155. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-9-155. Review. PubMed PMID: 25016309; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4107473.
2)

Kann BH, Park HS, Johnson SB, Chiang VL, Yu JB. Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases: Changing Practice Patterns and Disparities in the United States. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017 Dec;15(12):1494-1502. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2017.7003. PubMed PMID: 29223987.
3)

Sneed PK, Mendez J, Vemer-van den Hoek JG, Seymour ZA, Ma L, Molinaro AM, Fogh SE, Nakamura JL, McDermott MW. Adverse radiation effect after stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases: incidence, time course, and risk factors. J Neurosurg. 2015 Aug;123(2):373-86. doi: 10.3171/2014.10.JNS141610. Epub 2015 May 15. PubMed PMID: 25978710.
4)

Ericson K, Kihlström L, Mogard J, Karlsson B, Lindquist C, Widén L, Collins VP, Stone-Elander S. Positron emission tomography using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose in patients with stereotactically irradiated brain metastases. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 1996;66 Suppl 1:214-24. PubMed PMID: 9032864.
5)

Chao ST, De Salles A, Hayashi M, Levivier M, Ma L, Martinez R, Paddick I, Régis J, Ryu S, Slotman BJ, Sahgal A. Stereotactic Radiosurgery in the Management of Limited (1-4) Brain Metasteses: Systematic Review and International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society Practice Guideline. Neurosurgery. 2017 Nov 3. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyx522. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29126142.
6)

Ling DC, Vargo JA, Wegner RE, Flickinger JC, Burton SA, Engh J, Amankulor N, Quinn AE, Ozhasoglu C, Heron DE. Postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity for large brain metastases: clinical outcomes, predictors of intracranial failure, and implications for optimal patient selection. Neurosurgery. 2015 Feb;76(2):150-7. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000584. PubMed PMID: 25549189.
7)

Zairi F, Ouammou Y, Le Rhun E, Aboukais R, Blond S, Vermandel M, Deken V, Devos P, Reyns N. Relevance of gamma knife radiosurgery alone for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer brain metastases. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2014 Oct;125:87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2014.07.030. Epub 2014 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 25108698.
8)

Sharpton SR, Oermann EK, Moore DT, Schreiber E, Hoffman R, Morris DE, Ewend MG. The Volumetric Response of Brain Metastases After Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Its Post-treatment Implications. Neurosurgery. 2014 Jan;74(1):9-16. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000190. PubMed PMID: 24077581.
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Bir SC, Ambekar S, Nanda A. Long term outcome of Gamma Knife radiosurgery for metastatic brain tumors. J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Dec;21(12):2122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2014.05.015. Epub 2014 Jul 25. PubMed PMID: 25065951.
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Bir SC, Ambekar S, Bollam P, Nanda A. Long-term outcome of gamma knife radiosurgery for metastatic brain tumors originating from lung cancer. Surg Neurol Int. 2014 Sep 5;5(Suppl 8):S396-403. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.140197. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25289169; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4173307.
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Sandler KA, Shaverdian N, Cook RR, Kishan AU, King CR, Yang I, Steinberg ML, Lee P. Treatment trends for patients with brain metastases: Does practice reflect the data? Cancer. 2017 Feb 8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30607. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28178376.
12)

McDermott DM, Hack JD, Cifarelli CP, Vargo JA. Tumor Cavity Recurrence after Stereotactic Radiosurgery of Surgically Resected Brain Metastases: Implication of Deviations from Contouring Guidelines. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2019 Feb 14:1-7. doi: 10.1159/000496156. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30763944.

Gamma Knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia

Gamma Knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia

Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is one of the alternatives for treatment for classical trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

The first use of SRS by Leksell was for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Initially, this was reserved for refractory cases following multiple operations 1).

The Leksell Gamma Knife and the Accuray CyberKnife systems have been used in the radiosurgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The 2 techniques use different delivery methods and different treatment parameters. In the past, CyberKnife treatments have been associated with an increased incidence of treatment-related complications, such as facial numbness.

CyberKnife radiosurgical parameters can be optimized to mimic the dose distribution of Gamma Knife plans. However, Gamma Knife plans result in superior sparing of critical structures (brainstem, temporal lobe,and cranial nerves VII and VIII) and in steeper dose fall off away from the target. The clinical significance of these effects is unknown 2).

Indications

Generally recommended for patients with co-morbidities, high-risk medical illness, pain refractory to prior surgical procedures, or those on anticoagulants (anticoagulation does not have to be reversed to have SRS).

Mechanism

The exact mechanism of pain relief after radiosurgery is not clearly understood. Histopathology examination of the trigeminal nerve in humans after radiosurgery is rarely performed and has produced controversial results.

There is evidence of histological damage of the trigeminal nerve fibers after radiosurgery therapy. Whether or not the presence and degree of nerve damage correlate with the degree of clinical benefit and side effects are not revealed and need to be explored in future studies 3).

Existing studies leave important doubts as to optimal treatment doses or the therapeutic target, long-term recurrence, and do not help identify which subgroups of patients could most benefit from this technique 4).

Treatment plan

4 -5 mm isocenter in the trigeminal nerve root entry zone identified on MRI. Use 70–80 Gy at the center, keeping the 80% isodose curve outside of the brainstem.

Results: Significant pain reduction after initial SRS: 80–96% 5) 6) 7) 8) but only ≈ 65% become pain free. Median latency to pain relief: 3 months (range: 1 d-13 months) 9).

Recurrent pain occurs with in three years in 10–25%. Patients with TN and multiple sclerosis are less likely to respond to SRS than those without MS. SRS can be repeated, but only after four months following the original procedure.

Outcome

Favorable prognosticators: higher radiation doses, previously unoperated patient, absence of atypical pain component, normal pre-treatment sensory function 10).

Side effects: Hypesthesia occurred in 20% after initial SRS, and in 32% of those requiring repeat treatment 11) (higher rates associated with higher radiation doses) 12).

Repeat Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Case series

A total of 263 patients contributed by 9 member tertiary referral Gamma Knife centers (2 in Canada and 7 in USA) of the International Gamma Knife Research Consortium (IGKRF) constituted this study.

The median latency period of Facial pain response (PR) after SRS was 1 mo. Reasonable pain control (Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Scale I-IIIb) was achieved in 232 patients (88.2%). The median maintenance period from SRS was 14.1 months (range, 10 days to 10 years). The actuarial reasonable pain control maintenance rates at 1 yr, 2 yr, and 4 yr were 54%, 35%, and 24%, respectively. There was a correlation between the status of achieving BNI-I and the maintenance of facial pain recurrence-free rate. The median recurrence-free rate was 36 mo and 12.2 mo in patients achieving BNI-I and BNI > I, respectively (P = .046). Among 210 patients with known status of post-SRS complications, the new-onset of facial numbness (BNI-I or II) after SRS occurred in 21 patients (10%).

In this largest series SRS offers a reasonable benefit to risk profile for patients who have exhausted medical management. More favorable initial response to SRS may predict a long-lasting pain control 13).

2016

One hundred seventeen patients with medically refractory TN treated by GKRS at the Department of Functional Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, and Department of Neurology, Ruber International Hospital, Madrid, Spain were followed up between 1993 and 2011. Mean maximum dose was 86.5 Gy (range: 80-90 Gy; median: 90 Gy). Clinical response was defined based on the Burchiel classification. They considered classes I and II as a complete response. For toxicity, they use the Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Scale. Mean duration of follow-up was 66 months (range: 24-171 months).

Complete response at last follow-up in our patients was 81%, with an excellent response while off medication in 52%. Pain-free rates without medication (class I) were 85% at 3 years (confidence interval [CI]: 78%-94%), 81% at 5 years (CI: 72%-91%), and 76% at 7 years (CI: 65%-90%). Complete response rates (classes I-II) were 91% at 3 years (CI: 86%-97%), 86% at 5 years (CI: 79%-93%), and 82% at 7 years (CI: 72%-93%). Poor treatment response rates differed significantly between patients who had undergone previous surgery and were refractory to management with medication prior to GKRS. New or worsening facial numbness was reported in 32.5% (30% score II and 2.5% score III). No anesthesia dolorosa was reported. Permanent recurrence pain rate was 12%.

GKRS achieved favorable outcomes compared with surgery in terms of pain relief and complication rates in our cohort of patients, notwithstanding decreasing pain-free survival rates over time. They consider GKRS to be an initial treatment in the management of medically intractable TN in selected patients 14).


In a single-center, retrospective comparative study, 202 patients with MS and concomitant TN were evaluated. A minimum follow-up of 24 months was required. Patients with a history of microvascular decompression or previous intervention were excluded. There were 78 PBC procedures performed and 124 first-dosage GKRS procedures for a total of 202 patients between February 2009 and December 2013. The PBC procedures were successfully completed in all cases. The two groups were compared with regards to initial effect, duration of effect, and rate of complication(s), including the type and severity of the complication(s).

Immediate pain relief resulted in 87% of patients treated with PBC and in 23% of patients treated with GKRS. The Kaplan-Meier plots for the two treatment modalities were similar. The 50% recurrence rate was at 12 months for the PBC and 18 months for the GKRS. The rates of complication (excluding numbness) were 3% for GKRS and 21% for PBC. The difference was statistically significant (Chi-square test, p = 0.03).

PBC and GKRS are effective techniques for the treatment of TN in patients with MS, with GKRS presenting fewer complications and superior long-term relief. For these reasons, we consider GKRS as the first option for the treatment of TN in MS patients, reserving PBC for patients with acute, intractable pain 15).

References

1)

Lunsford LD. Comment on Taha J M and Tew J M: Comparison of Surgical Treatmen ts for Trigemin al Neuralgia: Reevaluation of Radiofrequency Rhizotomy. Neurosurgery. 1996; 38
2)

Descovich M, Sneed PK, Barbaro NM, McDermott MW, Chuang CF, Barani IJ, Nakamura JL, Lijun M. A dosimetric comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife treatment plans for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec;113 Suppl:199-206. PubMed PMID: 21222296.
3)

Al-Otaibi F, Alhindi H, Alhebshi A, Albloushi M, Baeesa S, Hodaie M. Histopathological effects of radiosurgery on a human trigeminal nerve. Surg Neurol Int. 2014 Jan 18;4(Suppl 6):S462-7. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.125463. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24605252.
4)

Varela-Lema L, Lopez-Garcia M, Maceira-Rozas M, Munoz-Garzon V. Linear Accelerator Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Pain Physician. 2015 Jan-Feb;18(1):15-27. PubMed PMID: 25675056.
5)

Brisman R. Gamma knife surgery with a dose fo 75 to 76.8 Gray for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2004; 100:848–854
6)

Pollock BE, Phuong LK, Foote RL, Sta ord SL, Gorman DA. High-dose trigeminal neuralgia radiosurgery associated with increased risk of trigeminal nerve dysfunction. Neurosurgery. 2001; 49:58–62; discussion 62-4
7) , 12)

Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD, Flickinger JC. Stereotact ic radiosurgery for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Clin J Pain. 2002; 18:42–47
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Massager N, Lorenzoni J, Devriendt D, Desmedt F, Brotch i J, Levivier M. Gamma kn ife surgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia performed using a far-anterior cisternal target and a high dose of radiation. J Neurosurg. 2004; 100:597–605
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Urgosik D, Liscak R, Novotny J, Jr, Vymazal J, Vladyka V. Treatment of essential trigeminal neuralgia with gamma knife surgery. J Neurosurg. 2005; 102 Suppl:29–33
10)

Maesawa S, Salame C, Flickinger JC, Pirris S, Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD. Clinical outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2001; 94:14–20
13)

Xu Z, Mathieu D, Heroux F, Abbassy M, Barnett G, Mohammadi AM, Kano H, Caruso J, Shih HH, Grills IS, Lee K, Krishnan S, Kaufmann AM, Lee JYK, Alonso-Basanta M, Kerr M, Pierce J, Kondziolka D, Hess JA, Gerrard J, Chiang V, Lunsford LD, Sheehan JP. Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Multicenter Study. Neurosurgery. 2019 Feb 1;84(2):499-505. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyy142. PubMed PMID: 29688562.
14)

Martínez Moreno NE, Gutiérrez-Sárraga J, Rey-Portolés G, Jiménez-Huete A, Martínez Álvarez R. Long-Term Outcomes in the Treatment of Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia by Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: A Retrospective Study in Patients With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up. Neurosurgery. 2016 Dec;79(6):879-888. PubMed PMID: 27560193.
15)

Alvarez-Pinzon AM, Wolf AL, Swedberg HN, Barkley KA, Cucalon J, Curia L, Valerio JE. Comparison of Percutaneous Retrograsserian Balloon Compression and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Multiple Sclerosis: A Clinical Research Study Article. World Neurosurg. 2016 Oct 15. pii: S1878-8750(16)31016-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.10.028. PubMed PMID: 27756676.

Update: Prolactinoma Radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery also serves as an option for those refractory to medical and surgical therapy 1).
GKRS plays a significant role in the treatment of non-functioning [NFA] and hormonal-active [HAA] pituitary adenoma. It affords high rate of tumor control and offers low risk of collateral neurological or endocrine axis injury. A study showed that control of tumor growth was achieved in 90% patients, shrinkage of tumor in 54% and arrest of progression in 36% cases after GKRS treatment. The biochemical remission rate in GH secreting adenoma was 57%, ACTH adenoma was 67% and prolactinoma was 40%. Age less than 50 years and tumor volume less than 5cm3 were associated with a favourable radiosurgical outcome 2).

Case series

2015

Radiotherapy as an alternative and adjuvant treatment for prolactinomas has been performed at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Cancer Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, with the linear accelerator since 1990.
In a retrospective review of 13 patients managed with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and 5 managed with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT), as well as 5 managed with conventional radiotherapy, at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Patients with a histopathologically diagnosed prolactinoma were eligible. Those patients who had a confirmed pathological diagnosis of prolactinoma following surgical intervention, a prolactin level elevated above 500 μg/L, or a prolactin level persistently elevated above 200 μg/L with exclusion of other causes were represented in this review.
At the end of documented follow-up (SRS median 6 years, FSRT median 2 years), no SRS patients showed an increase in tumour volume. After FSRT, 1 patient showed an increase in size, 2 showed a decrease in size and 2 patients showed no change. Prolactin levels trended towards improvement after SRS and FSRT, but no patients achieved the remission level of <20 μg/L. Seven of 13 patients in the SRS group achieved a level of <500 μg/L, whereas no patients reached this target after FSRT.
A reduction in prolactin level is frequent after SRS and FSRT for prolactinomas; however, true biochemical remission is uncommon. Tumour volume control in this series was excellent, but this may be related to the natural history of the disease. Morbidity and mortality after stereotactic radiation were very low in this series 3).


Cohen-Inbar et al., reviewed the outcome of patients with medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) during a 22 years follow-up period.
They reviewed the patient database at the University of Virginia Gamma Knife center during a 25-year period (1989-2014), identifying 38 patients having neurosurgical, radiological and endocrine follow-up.
Median age at GKRS treatment was 43 years. Median follow-up was 42.3 months (range 6-207.9). 55.3 % (n = 21) were taking a dopamine agonist at time of GKRS. 63.2 % (n = 24) had cavernous sinus tumor invasion. Endocrine remission (normal serum prolactin off of a dopamine agonist) was achieved in 50 % (n = 19). GKRS induced hypopituitarism occurred in 30.3 % (n = 10). Cavernous sinus involvement was shown to be a significant negative prognosticator of endocrine remission. Taking a dopamine agonist drug at the time of GKRS showed a tendency to decrease the probability for endocrine remission.
GKRS for refractory prolactinomas can lead to endocrine remission in many patients. Hypopituitarism is the most common side effect of GKRS 4).

2013

evaluated the efficacy of Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSR) as an adjunctive management modality for patients with drug resistant or intolerant cavernous sinus invasive prolactinomas. Twenty-two patients with cavernous sinus invasive prolactinoma underwent GKSR between 1994 and 2009. Thirteen patients were dopamine agonist (DA) resistant. Six patients were intolerant to DA. Three patients chose GKSR as their initial treatment modality in hopes they might avoid life long suppression medication. The median tumor volume was 3.0 cm3 (range 0.3–11.6). The marginal tumor dose (median= 15 Gy, range 12–25 Gy) prescribed was based on the dose delivered to the optic apparatus. The median follow-up interval was 36 months (range, 12–185). Endocrine normalization was defined as a normal serum prolactin level off DA (cure) or on DA. Endocrine improvement was defined asa decreased but still elevated serum prolactin level. Endocrine deterioration was defined as an increased serum prolactin level. Endocrine normalization was achieved in six(27.3%) patients. Twelve (54.5%) patients had endocrine improvement. Four patients (18.2%) developed delayed increased prolactin. Imaging-defined local tumor control was achieved in 19 (86.4%) patients, 12 of whom had tumor regression. Three patients had a delayed tumor progression and required additional management. One patient developed a new pituitary axis deficiency after GKSR. Invasive prolactinomas continue to pose management challenges. GKSR is a non invasive adjunctive option that may reduce prolactin levels in patients who are resistant to or intolerant of suppression medication. In a minority of cases, patients may no longer require long term suppression therapy 5).

2006

Twenty-three patients were included in analysis of endocrine outcomes (median and average follow-up of 55 and 58 mo, respectively) and 28 patients were included in analysis of imaging outcomes (median and average follow-up of 48 and 52 mo, respectively). Twenty-six percent of patients achieved a normal serum prolactin (remission) with an average time of 24.5 months. Remission was significantly associated with being off of a dopamine agonist at the time of GKRS and a tumor volume less than 3.0 cm3 (P < 0.05 for both). Long-term image-based volumetric control was achieved in 89% of patients. Complications included new pituitary hormone deficiencies in 28% of patients and cranial nerve palsy in two patients (7%).
Clinical remission in 26% of treated patients is a modest result. However, because the GKRS treated tumors were refractory to other therapies and because complication rates were low, GKRS should be part of the armamentarium for treating refractory prolactinomas. Patients with tumors smaller than 3.0 cm3 and who are not receiving dopamine agonist at the time of treatment will likely benefit most 6).

2000

Twenty patients with prolactinomas were followed after GKS. Five patients were treated successfully; their prolactin (PRL) levels dropped into the normal range and dopaminergic drugs could be discontinued. Two spontaneous pregnancies were observed and 11 patients experienced improvement. Improvement was defined as normal PRL levels with the continued possibility of reduced medical treatment or a substantially reduced medical treatment dose with some degree of hyperprolactinemia maintained. The treatment failed in three patients who experienced no improvement. Patients treated with dopaminergic drugs during GKS did significantly less well in comparison with the untreated group when a cumulative distribution function (Kaplan-Meier estimate) was used. CONCLUSIONS:
The results of GKS for prolactinomas in this investigation are better than the results published by others. This may be an effect of case selection because there were no “salvage cases” in our group of patients. Because a dopamine agonist seemed to induce radioprotection in this series, it is suggested that GKS be performed during an intermission in drug therapy when the dopamine agonist is discontinued 7).
1)

Wong A, Eloy JA, Couldwell WT, Liu JK. Update on prolactinomas. Part 2: Treatment and management strategies. J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Oct;22(10):1568-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.03.059. Epub 2015 Aug 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 26243714.
2)

Narayan V, Mohammed N, Bir SC, Savardekar AR, Patra DP, Bollam P, Nanda A. Long term Outcome of Non-functioning and Hormonal-active Pituitary Adenoma after Gamma Knife Radio Surgery. World Neurosurg. 2018 Mar 21. pii: S1878-8750(18)30576-X. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.094. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29574220.
3)

Wilson PJ, Williams JR, Smee RI. Single-centre experience of stereotactic radiosurgery and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy for prolactinomas with the linear accelerator. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2015 Jun;59(3):371-8. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12257. Epub 2014 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 25410143.
4)

Cohen-Inbar O, Xu Z, Schlesinger D, Vance ML, Sheehan JP. Gamma Knife radiosurgery for medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas: long-term results. Pituitary. 2015 Dec;18(6):820-30. doi: 10.1007/s11102-015-0658-1. PubMed PMID: 25962347.
5)

Liu X, Kano H, Kondziolka D, Park KJ, Iyer A, Shin S, Niranjan A, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery for drug resistant or intolerant invasive prolactinomas. Pituitary. 2013 Mar;16(1):68-75. PubMed PMID: 22302560.
6)

Pouratian N, Sheehan J, Jagannathan J, Laws ER Jr, Steiner L, Vance ML. Gamma knife radiosurgery for medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas. Neurosurgery. 2006 Aug;59(2):255-66; discussion 255-66. PubMed PMID: 16883166.
7)

Landolt AM, Lomax N. Gamma knife radiosurgery for prolactinomas. J Neurosurg. 2000 Dec;93 Suppl 3:14-8. PubMed PMID: 11143231.
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