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Neurosurgery. 2006 Jul;59(1):86-97; discussion 86-97.

Results of surgical resection for progression of brain metastases previously treated by gamma knife radiosurgery.

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1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA. mttruong@partners.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine treatment outcome after surgical resection for progressive brain metastases after gamma knife radiosurgery (GKR) and to explore the role of dynamic contrast agent-enhanced perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton spectroscopic MRI studies (MRS/P) in predicting pathological findings.

METHODS:

Between 1997 and 2002, 32 patients underwent surgical resection for suspected progression of brain metastases from a cohort of 245 patients with brain metastases treated with GKR. Postradiosurgery MRI surveillance was performed at 6 and 12 weeks, and then every 12 weeks after GKR. In some cases, additional MRI scanning with spectroscopy or perfusion (MRS/P) was used to aid differentiation of radiation change from tumor progression. The decision to perform neurosurgical resection was based on MRI or clinical evidence of lesion progression among patients with a Karnofsky performance score of 60 or more and absent or stable systemic disease.

RESULTS:

Thirteen percent (32 out of 245) of patients and 6% (38 out of 611) of lesions required surgical resection after GKR. The median time from GKR to surgical resection was 8.6 months (range, 1.7-27.1 mo). The 6-, 12-, and 24-month actuarial survival from time of GKR was 97, 78, and 47% for the resected patients and 65, 40, and 19% for the nonresected patients (P < 0.0001). The two-year survival rate of patients requiring two resections after GKR was 100% compared with 39% for patients undergoing one resection (P = 0.02). The median survival of resected patients was 27.2 months (range, 7.0-72.5 mo) from the diagnosis of brain metastases, 19.9 months (range, 5.0-60.7 mo) from GKR, and 8.9 months (range, 0.2-53.1 mo) from surgical resection. Tumor was found in 90% of resected specimens and necrosis alone in 10%. MRS/P studies were performed in 15 resected patients. Overall, MRS/P predicted tumor in 11 lesions, confirmed pathologically in nine lesions, and necrosis alone was found in two. The MRS/P predicted necrosis alone in three, whereas pathology revealed viable tumor in two and necrosis in one lesion.

CONCLUSION:

Surgical intervention of progressive brain metastases after GKR in selected patients leads to a meaningful improvement in survival rates. Further studies are necessary to determine the role of MRS/P in the postradiosurgery surveillance of brain metastases.

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