The latest medical research on Neuro Oncology

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about neuro oncology gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Leptomeningeal metastases: the future is now.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Leptomeningeal metastases (LM) constitute an involvement of cancer which is associated with marked morbidity and mortality. The contemporary diagno...

MR susceptibility imaging for detection of tumor-associated macrophages in glioblastoma.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a key component of glioblastoma (GBM) microenvironment. Considering the differential role of different TAM phenotypes in iron metabolism with the M1 phenotype storing intracellular iron, and M2 phenotype releasing iron in the tumor microenvironment, we investigated MRI to quantify iron as an imaging biomarker for TAMs in GBM patients.

21 adult patients with GBM underwent a 3D single echo gradient echo MRI sequence and quantitative susceptibility maps were generated. In 3 subjects, ex vivo imaging of surgical specimens was performed on a 9.4 Tesla MRI using 3D multi-echo GRE scans, and R2* (1/T2*) maps were generated. Each specimen was stained with hematoxylin and eosin, as well as CD68, CD86, CD206, and L-Ferritin.

Significant positive correlation was observed between mean susceptibility for the tumor enhancing zone and the L-ferritin positivity percent (r = 0.56, p = 0.018) and the combination of tumor's enhancing zone and necrotic core and the L-Ferritin positivity percent (r = 0.72; p = 0.001). The mean susceptibility significantly correlated with positivity percent for CD68 (ρ = 0.52, p = 0.034) and CD86 (r = 0.7 p = 0.001), but not for CD206 (ρ = 0.09; p = 0.7). There was a positive correlation between mean R2* values and CD68 positive cell counts (r = 0.6, p = 0.016). Similarly, mean R2* values significantly correlated with CD86 (r = 0.54, p = 0.03) but not with CD206 (r = 0.15, p = 0.5).

This study demonstrated the potential of MR quantitative susceptibility mapping as a non-invasive method for in vivo TAM quantification and phenotyping. Validation of these findings with large multicenter studies is needed.

Stereotactic radiosurgery for vestibular schwannomas in neurofibromatosis type 2 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is characterized by often bilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS) that result in progressive hearing loss and compression of nearby brainstem structures causing cranial nerve palsies. Treatment of these tumors remains challenging, as both surgical removal and expectant management can result in symptom progression. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been investigated for the management of NF2-associated VS; however, the role, promises, and pitfalls of this treatment modality remain unclear.

Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Reviews were searched for studies assessing SRS outcome in NF2-associated VS only. Primary endpoints included tumor control, serviceable hearing, presence of tinnitus, and cranial nerve V and VII symptoms.

A total of 16 studies (589 patients harboring 750 tumors) were analyzed. Clinical tumor control was achieved in 88% of cases (95% CI 80-95%); salvage surgery was needed in 8% (95% CI 4-13%) of cases. Treatment resulted in a worsening of pre-treatment serviceable hearing (OR = 0.26, p < 0.01), increased facial nerve (OR = 1.62, p < 0.01) and trigeminal nerve (OR = 1.42, p = 0.07) impairment. The incidence of vestibular symptoms and hydrocephalus were not consistently reported and thus could not be assessed.

The treatment of NF2-associated VS continues to pose a challenge, as current SRS regimens result in impaired hearing and worse cranial nerve comorbidities, despite achieving high tumor control. It remains unclear if these findings have to be regarded as treatment complications or, rather, continued disease progression.

The epidemiology of primary and metastatic brain tumors in infancy through childhood.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

To evaluate the epidemiology of primary and metastatic pediatric brain tumors in the United States according to the WHO CNS 4th and 5th editions classifications.

Pediatric patients (age ≤ 14) presenting between 2004 and 2017 with a brain tumor were identified in the National Cancer Database and categorized by NICHD age stages. Patients' age, sex, race/ethnicity, overall survival, and tumor characteristics were evaluated according to WHO CNS 4th and 5th editions.

23,978 pediatric brain tumor patients were identified. Overall, other (i.e. circumscribed) astrocytic gliomas (21%), diffuse astrocytic/oligodendroglial gliomas (21%; 64% of which were midline), and embryonal tumors (16%) predominated. A minority of brain tumors were of ependymal (6%), glioneuronal & neuronal (6%), germ cell tumor (GCT; 4%), mesenchymal non-meningothelial (2%), cranial nerve (2%), choroid plexus (2%), meningioma (2%), pineal (1%), and hematolymphoid (0.4%) types. GCTs were more likely in patients of Asian/Pacific Islander race/ethnicity. Brain metastases were exceedingly rare, accounting for 1.4% overall, with the most common primary tumor being neuroblastoma (61%) and non-CNS sarcoma (16%). Brain metastatic, choroid plexus, and embryonal tumors peaked during infancy and toddlerhood; whereas diffuse gliomas peaked in middle-late childhood. GCTs and glioneuronal & neuronal tumors uniquely displayed bimodal distributions, with elevated prevalence in both infancy and middle-to-late childhood.

We systematically described the epidemiology of pediatric brain tumors in the context of contemporary classification schema, thereby validating our current understanding and providing key insights.

Temozolomide-induced myelotoxicity and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the MGMT gene in patients with adult diffuse glioma: a single-institutional pharmacogenetic study.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Nearly 10% of patients with adult diffuse glioma develop clinically significant myelotoxicity while on temozolomide (TMZ) leading to treatment interruptions. This study aimed to assess single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene in adults with biopsy-proven diffuse glioma who develop TMZ-induced myelotoxicity and correlate their presence with severity and duration of such toxicity.

This study assessed 33 adults treated with TMZ for diffuse glioma who developed ≥ grade 2 thrombocytopenia and/or ≥ grade 3 neutropenia. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood cells for MGMT SNP analysis after written informed consent. TMZ-induced severe myelotoxicity (≥ grade 3) was correlated with three specified SNPs commonly seen in the MGMT gene (L84F, I143V/K178R) using chi-square test or Fischer's exact test as appropriate.

Of the 33 adults, 24 (72.7%) experienced ≥ grade 3 thrombocytopenia and/or neutropenia, while 9 (27.3%) developed grade 2 thrombocytopenia only. The variant T allele of L84F was expressed in 28.7% (19/66) of analyzed alleles, which was substantially higher than previously reported for South Asian ancestry. The variant G allele of I143V/K178R was expressed in 9.3% (6/64) of analyzed alleles. Of which 3 patients showed statistically significant association with prolonged myelosuppression for > 2 months (p = 0.03). No significant correlation was established between the mentioned SNPs and severe myelotoxicity.

There is substantially higher frequency of variant T allele (L84F) in Indian patients than previously reported for South Asians. The presence of specific SNPs in the MGMT gene correlates with prolonged duration but not severity of TMZ-induced myelotoxicity.

Endoscopic-assisted surgical approach for butterfly glioma surgery.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Gliomas that spread along the white matter tracts of the corpus callosum to both hemispheres have traditionally been considered surgically challenging largely due to the relative complexity of safely achieving complete resections. We present a series of endoscopic-assisted resections of butterfly gliomas with post-operative radiological assessment of EOR and clinical outcome data.

Retrospective review of patients who underwent surgical resection of a butterfly glioma from 2007 to 2020. Butterfly gliomas were defined as gliomas, which appeared to arise from the corpus callosum with significant bilateral extension. All records were retrospectively reviewed with operative/clinical outcomes and complications recorded.

70 patients who underwent an endoscopic-assisted transcortical or interhemispheric approach for butterfly glioma resection met inclusion criteria. A unilateral transcortical approach was used in 86% of cases and an interhemispheric approach in 14%. The endoscope enhanced the visualization of the contralateral hemisphere and allowed for resection of tumor, not reached by standard microscopic visualization, in 100% of cases. 90% of resections resulted in greater than a 95% resection rate. Neurological deficits mostly consisted of motor (10%) and memory (6%) deficits and were most common with posterior tumors of the splenium.

The endoscopic-assisted transcortical or interhemispheric approach for butterfly glioma resection is effective in achieving a greater than 95% resection with minimal complications. An angled approach allows careful maneuvering around complex anatomic structures and difficult corners, and should be examined further for its clinical benefits in a prospective manner.

Long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for skull base tumors involving the cavernous sinus.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an effective and less invasive therapeutic option for cavernous sinus (CS) tumors. However, its long-term effectiveness and neurological outcomes have yet to be fully elucidated. We aimed to examine the long-term outcomes of SRS for CS tumors.

Overall, a cohort of 113 patients with benign CS tumors, including 91 with meningioma, 14 with trigeminal schwannoma (TS), and eight with cavernous hemangioma, treated with SRS at our institution from 1990 to 2018, was included. Tumor control and functional preservation/recovery were evaluated in detail.

The median post-SRS follow-up period was 77 months (interquartile range, 39-177). Progression-free survival (PFS) was 97% at 5 years, 89% at 10 years, and 87% at 15 years for the entire cohort; 96% at 5 years and 87% at 10 years for meningiomas; and 100% at 10 years for the other tumors. No significant difference was observed between meningiomas and non-meningiomas (log-rank test, p = 0.107). Improvement in cranial nerve (CN) function was observed in 35 (27%) patients. TSs tended to show CN improvements more often than meningiomas did (total improvements, 62% vs. 23%; p = 0.004; eye movement function, 100% vs. 20%; p = 0.002). CN deterioration or development of new CN deficits was observed in 11 (10%) patients.

SRS provides good tumor control and acceptable long-term outcome with sufficient preservation of CN function in patients with benign CS tumors.

Brain tumor craniotomy outcomes for dual-eligible medicare and medicaid patients: a 10-year nationwide analysis.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Dual-eligible (DE) patients, simultaneous Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, have been shown to have poorer clinical outcomes while incurring higher resource utilization. However, neurosurgical oncology outcomes for DE patients are poorly characterized. Accordingly, we examined the impact of DE status on perioperative outcomes following glioma, meningioma, or metastasis resection.

We identified all admissions undergoing a craniotomy for glioma, meningioma, or metastasis resection in the National Inpatient Sample from 2002 to 2011. Assessed outcomes included inpatient mortality, complications, discharge disposition, length of stay (LOS), and hospital costs. Multivariable regression adjusting for 13 patient, severity, and hospital characteristics assessed the association between DE status and outcomes, relative to four reference insurance groups (Medicare-only, Medicaid-only, private insurance, self-pay).

Of 195,725 total admissions analyzed, 3.0% were dual-eligible beneficiaries (n = 5933). DEs were younger than Medicare admissions (P < 0.001) but older than Medicaid, private, and self-pay admissions (P < 0.001). Relative to other insurance groups, DEs also exhibited higher severity of illness, risk of mortality, and Charlson Comorbidity Index scores as well as treatment at low-volume hospitals (all P < 0.001). DEs had lower mortality than self-pay admissions (odds ratio [OR] 0.47, P = 0.017). Compared to Medicare, Medicaid, private, and self-pay admissions, DEs had lower rates of discharge disposition (OR 0.53, 0.50, 0.34, and 0.27, respectively, all P < 0.001). DEs also had higher complications (OR 1.23 and 1.20, respectively, both P < 0.05) and LOS (β = 1.06 and 1.13, respectively, both P < 0.01) than Medicare and private insurance beneficiaries. Differences in discharge disposition remained significant for all three tumor subtypes, but only glioma DE admissions continued to exhibit higher complications and LOS.

DEs undergoing definitive craniotomy for brain tumor had higher rates of unfavorable discharge disposition compared to all other insurance groups and, especially for glioma surgery, had higher inpatient complication rates and LOS. Practice and policy reforms to improve outcomes for this vulnerable clinical population are warranted.

Diagnostic value of 18F-FDG PET-CT in detecting malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors among adult and pediatric neurofibromatosis type 1 patients.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Detecting malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) remains difficult. 18F-FDG PET-CT has been shown helpful, but ideal threshold values of semi-quantitative markers remain unclear, partially because of variation among scanners. Using EU-certified scanners diagnostic accuracy of ideal and commonly used 18F-FDG PET-CT thresholds were investigated and differences between adult and pediatric lesions were evaluated.

A retrospective cohort study was performed including patients from two hospitals with a clinical or radiological suspicion of MPNST between 2013 and 2019. Several markers were studied for ideal threshold values and differences among adults and children. A diagnostic algorithm was subsequently developed.

Sixty patients were included (10 MPNSTs). Ideal threshold values were 5.8 for SUVmax (sensitivity 0.70, specificity 0.92), 5.0 for SUVpeak (sensitivity 0.70, specificity 0.97), 1.7 for TLmax (sensitivity 0.90, specificity 0.86), and 2.3 for TLmean (sensitivity 0.90, specificity 0.79). The standard TLmean threshold value of 2.0 yielded a sensitivity of 0.90 and specificity of 0.74, while the standard SUVmax threshold value of 3.5 yielded a sensitivity of 0.80 and specificity of 0.63. SUVmax and adjusted SUV for lean body mass (SUL) were lower in children, but tumor-to-liver ratios were similar in adult and pediatric lesions. Using TLmean > 2.0 or TLmean < 2.0 and SUVmax > 3.5, a sensitivity and specificity of 1.00 and 0.63 can be achieved.

18F-FDG PET-CT offers adequate accuracy to detect MPNSTs. SUV values in pediatric MPNSTs may be lower, but tumor-to-liver ratios are not. By combining TLmean and SUVmax values, a 100% sensitivity can be achieved with acceptable specificity.

Fat-rich versus carbohydrate-rich nutrition in ALS: a randomised controlled study.

Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

There is growing evidence that the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be influenced beneficially by applying high-caloric food supplements (HCSs). However, it is unknown which composition of nutrients offers optimal tolerability and weight gain.

We conducted a randomised controlled study (Safety and Tolerability of Ultra-high-caloric Food Supplements in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); TOLCAL-ALS study) in 64 patients with possible, probable or definite ALS according to El Escorial criteria. Patients were randomised into four groups: a high-caloric fatty supplement (HCFS; 405 kcal/day, 100% fat), an ultra-high-caloric fatty supplement (UHCFS; 810 kcal/day, 100% fat), an ultra-high-caloric, carbohydrate-rich supplement (UHCCS; 900 kcal/day, 49% carbohydrates) and an open control (OC) group without any supplement. The primary endpoint was tolerability. Patients were followed up over 4 weeks.

Gastrointestinal side effects were most frequent in the UHCFS group (75.0%), while loss of appetite was most frequent in the UHCCS group (35.3%). During intervention, patients gained +0.9 kg/month of body weight (IQR -0.9 to 1.5; p=0.03) in the HCFS group and +0.9 kg/month (IQR -0.8 to 2.0; p=0.05) in the UHCFS group. A non-significant trend for weight gain (+0.6 kg/month (IQR -0.3 to 1.9; p=0.08)) was observed in the UHCCS group. Patients in OC group continued to lose body weight (-0.5 kg/month, IQR -1.4 to 1.3; p=0.42).

The findings suggest that HCSs frequently cause mild to moderate tolerability issues in patients with ALS, most notably gastrointestinal symptoms in high-fat supplements, and loss of appetite in high-carbohydrate supplements. All three HCSs tested are suited to increase body weight.

Development of novel clinical examination scales for the measurement of disease severity in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

To use a robust statistical methodology to develop and validate clinical rating scales quantifying longitudinal motor and cognitive dysfunction in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) at the bedside.

Rasch analysis was used to iteratively construct interval scales measuring composite cognitive and motor dysfunction from pooled bedside neurocognitive examinations collected as part of the prospective National Prion Monitoring Cohort study, October 2008-December 2016.A longitudinal clinical examination dataset constructed from 528 patients with sCJD, comprising 1030 Motor Scale and 757 Cognitive Scale scores over 130 patient-years of study, was used to demonstrate scale utility.

The Rasch-derived Motor Scale consists of 8 items, including assessments reliant on pyramidal, extrapyramidal and cerebellar systems. The Cognitive Scale comprises 6 items, and includes measures of executive function, language, visual perception and memory. Both scales are unidimensional, perform independently of age or gender and have excellent inter-rater reliability. They can be completed in minutes at the bedside, as part of a normal neurocognitive examination. A composite Examination Scale can be derived by averaging both scores. Several scale uses, in measuring longitudinal change, prognosis and phenotypic heterogeneity are illustrated.

These two novel sCJD Motor and Cognitive Scales and the composite Examination Scale should prove useful to objectively measure phenotypic and clinical change in future clinical trials and for patient stratification. This statistical approach can help to overcome obstacles to assessing clinical change in rapidly progressive, multisystem conditions with limited longitudinal follow-up.

Radiomics for precision medicine in glioblastoma.

Journal of Neuro-Oncology

Being the most common primary brain tumor, glioblastoma presents as an extremely challenging malignancy to treat with dismal outcomes despite treatment. Varying molecular epidemiology of glioblastoma between patients and intra-tumoral heterogeneity explains the failure of current one-size-fits-all treatment modalities. Radiomics uses machine learning to identify salient features of the tumor on brain imaging and promises patient-specific management in glioblastoma patients.

We performed a comprehensive review of the available literature on studies investigating the role of radiomics and radiogenomics models for the diagnosis, stratification, prognostication as well as treatment planning and monitoring of glioblastoma.

Classifiers based on a combination of various MRI sequences, genetic information and clinical data can predict non-invasive tumor diagnosis, overall survival and treatment response with reasonable accuracy. However, the use of radiomics for glioblastoma treatment remains in infancy as larger sample sizes, standardized image acquisition and data extraction techniques are needed to develop machine learning models that can be translated effectively into clinical practice.

Radiomics has the potential to transform the scope of glioblastoma management through personalized medicine.