The indications and optimal surgical treatments for intracranial cysts are controversial. In the present study, we describe long-term clinical and neuroimaging results of surgically treated intracranial cysts in children. The goal of this study is to contribute to the discussion of the debate.
This study included 110 pediatric patients that underwent surgeries to treat intracranial cysts. Endoscopic cyst fenestrations were performed in 71 cases, while craniotomies and cyst excisions (with or without fenestrations) were performed in 30 patients. Cystoperitoneal shunts were necessary for nine patients. Long-term results were retrospectively assessed with medical and neuroimaging records.
Clinical and radiological improvement was reported in 87.3% and 92.8% of cases, respectively, after endoscopic neurosurgery, and in 93.3% and 100% using open microsurgery whereas 88.9% and 85.7% after shunt operation. There were no statistical differences in clinical outcomes (p=0.710) or volume reductions (p=0.177) among the different surgeries. There were no mortalities or permanent morbidities, but complications such as shunt malfunctions, infections, and subdural hematomas were observed in 56% of the patients that had shunt operations. A total of 13 patients (11.8%) underwent additional surgeries due to recurrences or treatment failures. The type of surgery performed did not influence the recurrence rate (p=0.662) or the failure rate (p=0.247).
Endoscopic neurosurgeries are less invasive than microsurgeries and are at least as effective as open surgeries. Thus, given the advantages and complications of these surgical techniques, we suggest that endoscopic fenestration should be the first treatment attempted in children with intracranial cysts.
Arachnoid cysts; Central nervous system cysts; Congenital; Neuroendoscopy; Child
We used high-resolution SNP genotyping to identify regions of genomic gain and loss in the genomes of 212 medulloblastomas, malignant pediatric brain tumors. We found focal amplifications of 15 known oncogenes and focal deletions of 20 known tumor suppressor genes (TSG), most not previously implicated in medulloblastoma. Notably, we identified previously unknown amplifications and homozygous deletions, including recurrent, mutually exclusive, highly focal genetic events in genes targeting histone lysine methylation, particularly that of histone 3, lysine 9 (H3K9). Post-translational modification of histone proteins is critical for regulation of gene expression, can participate in determination of stem cell fates and has been implicated in carcinogenesis. Consistent with our genetic data, restoration of expression of genes controlling H3K9 methylation greatly diminishes proliferation of medulloblastoma in vitro. Copy number aberrations of genes with critical roles in writing, reading, removing and blocking the state of histone lysine methylation, particularly at H3K9, suggest that defective control of the histone code contributes to the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma.
TP53 mutations confer subgroup specific poor survival for children with medulloblastoma. We hypothesized that WNT activation which is associated with improved survival for such children abrogates TP53 related radioresistance and can be used to sensitize TP53 mutant tumors for radiation. We examined the subgroup-specific role of TP53 mutations in a cohort of 314 patients treated with radiation. TP53 wild-type or mutant human medulloblastoma cell-lines and normal neural stem cells were used to test radioresistance of TP53 mutations and the radiosensitizing effect of WNT activation on tumors and the developing brain. Children with WNT/TP53 mutant medulloblastoma had higher 5-year survival than those with SHH/TP53 mutant tumours (100% and 36.6% ± 8.7%, respectively (p < 0.001)). Introduction of TP53 mutation into medulloblastoma cells induced radioresistance (survival fractions at 2Gy (SF2) of 89% ± 2% vs. 57.4% ± 1.8% (p < 0.01)). In contrast, β-catenin mutation sensitized TP53 mutant cells to radiation (p < 0.05). Lithium, an activator of the WNT pathway, sensitized TP53 mutant medulloblastoma to radiation (SF2 of 43.5% ± 1.5% in lithium treated cells vs. 56.6 ± 3% (p < 0.01)) accompanied by increased number of γH2AX foci. Normal neural stem cells were protected from lithium induced radiation damage (SF2 of 33% ± 8% for lithium treated cells vs. 27% ± 3% for untreated controls (p = 0.05). Poor survival of patients with TP53 mutant medulloblastoma may be related to radiation resistance. Since constitutive activation of the WNT pathway by lithium sensitizes TP53 mutant medulloblastoma cells and protect normal neural stem cells from radiation, this oral drug may represent an attractive novel therapy for high-risk medulloblastomas.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40478-014-0174-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Amplification of the C19MC oncogenic miRNA cluster and high LIN28 expression has been linked to a distinctly aggressive group of cerebral CNS-PNETs (group 1 CNS-PNETs) arising in young children. In this study, we sought to evaluate the diagnostic specificity of C19MC and LIN28, and the clinical and biological spectra of C19MC amplified and/or LIN28+ CNS-PNETs. We interrogated 450 pediatric brain tumors using FISH and IHC analyses and demonstrate that C19MC alteration is restricted to a sub-group of CNS-PNETs with high LIN28 expression; however, LIN28 immunopositivity was not exclusive to CNS-PNETs but was also detected in a proportion of other malignant pediatric brain tumors including rhabdoid brain tumors and malignant gliomas. C19MC amplified/LIN28+ group 1 CNS-PNETs arose predominantly in children <4 years old; a majority arose in the cerebrum but 24 % (13/54) of tumors had extra-cerebral origins. Notably, group 1 CNS-PNETs encompassed several histologic classes including embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), medulloepithelioma, ependymoblastoma and CNS-PNETs with variable differentiation. Strikingly, gene expression and methylation profiling analyses revealed a common molecular signature enriched for primitive neural features, high LIN28/LIN28B and DNMT3B expression for all group 1 CNS-PNETs regardless of location or tumor histology. Our collective findings suggest that current known histologic categories of CNS-PNETs which include ETANTRs, medulloepitheliomas, ependymoblastomas in various CNS locations, comprise a common molecular and diagnostic entity and identify inhibitors of the LIN28/let7/PI3K/mTOR axis and DNMT3B as promising therapeutics for this distinct histogenetic entity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-014-1291-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutations were recently shown to drive telomerase activity in various cancer types, including medulloblastoma. However, the clinical and biological implications of TERT mutations in medulloblastoma have not been described. Hence, we sought to describe these mutations and their impact in a subgroup-specific manner. We analyzed the TERT promoter by direct sequencing and genotyping in 466 medulloblastomas. The mutational distributions were determined according to subgroup affiliation, demographics, and clinical, prognostic, and molecular features. Integrated genomics approaches were used to identify specific somatic copy number alterations in TERT promoter-mutated and wild-type tumors. Overall, TERT promoter mutations were identified in 21 % of medulloblastomas. Strikingly, the highest frequencies of TERT mutations were observed in SHH (83 %; 55/66) and WNT (31 %; 4/13) medulloblastomas derived from adult patients. Group 3 and Group 4 harbored this alteration in <5 % of cases and showed no association with increased patient age. The prognostic implications of these mutations were highly subgroup-specific. TERT mutations identified a subset with good and poor prognosis in SHH and Group 4 tumors, respectively. Monosomy 6 was mostly restricted to WNT tumors without TERT mutations. Hallmark SHH focal copy number aberrations and chromosome 10q deletion were mutually exclusive with TERT mutations within SHH tumors. TERT promoter mutations are the most common recurrent somatic point mutation in medulloblastoma, and are very highly enriched in adult SHH and WNT tumors. TERT mutations define a subset of SHH medulloblastoma with distinct demographics, cytogenetics, and outcomes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-013-1198-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
TERT promoter mutations; SHH pathway; Adult; Medulloblastoma
Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant pediatric brain tumour, is currently treated with non-specific cytotoxic therapies including surgery, whole brain radiation, and aggressive chemotherapy. As medulloblastoma exhibits marked intertumoural heterogeneity, with at least four distinct molecular variants, prior attempts to identify targets for therapy have been underpowered due to small samples sizes. Here we report somatic copy number aberrations (SCNAs) in 1087 unique medulloblastomas. SCNAs are common in medulloblastoma, and are predominantly subgroup enriched. The most common region of focal copy number gain is a tandem duplication of the Parkinson’s disease gene SNCAIP, which is exquisitely restricted to Group 4α. Recurrent translocations of PVT1, including PVT1-MYC and PVT1-NDRG1 that arise through chromothripsis are restricted to Group 3. Numerous targetable SCNAs, including recurrent events targeting TGFβ signaling in Group 3, and NF-κB signaling in Group 4 suggest future avenues for rational, targeted therapy.
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma (PXA) is a rare primary low-grade astrocytic tumor classified as WHO II. It is generally benign, but disease progression and malignant transformation have been reported. Prognostic factors for PXA and optimal therapies are not well known.
The study period was January 2000 to March 2012. Data on MR findings, histology, surgical extents and adjuvant therapies were reviewed in twenty-two patients diagnosed with PXA.
The frequent symptoms of PXA included seizures, headaches and neurologic deficits. Tumors were most common in the temporal lobe followed by frontal, parietal and occipital lobes. One patient who died from immediate post-operative complications was excluded from the statistical analysis. Of the remaining 21 patients, 3 (14%) died and 7 (33%) showed disease progression. Atypical tumor location (p<0.001), peritumoral edema (p=0.022) and large tumor size (p=0.048) were correlated with disease progression, however, Ki-67 index and necrosis were not statistically significant. Disease progression occurred in three (21%) of 14 patients who underwent GTR, compared with 4 (57%) of 7 patients who did not undergo GTR, however, it was not statistically significant. Ten patients received adjuvant radiotherapy and the tumors were controlled in 5 of these patients.
The prognosis for PXA is good; in our patients overall survival was 84%, and event-free survival was 59% at 3 years. Atypical tumor location, peritumoral edema and large tumor size are significantly correlated with disease progression. GTR may provide prolonged disease control, and adjuvant radiotherapy may be beneficial, but further study is needed.
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma; Prognosis; outcome; Radiotherapy
Childhood Central Nervous System Primitive Neuro-Ectodermal brain Tumours (CNS-PNETs) are highly aggressive brain tumours for which molecular features and best therapeutic strategy remains unknown. We interrogated a large cohort of these rare tumours in order to identify molecular markers that will enhance clinical management of CNS-PNET.
Transcriptional and copy number profiles from primary hemispheric CNS-PNETs were examined using clustering, gene and pathways enrichment analyses to discover tumour sub-groups and group-specific molecular markers. Immuno-histochemical and/or gene expression analyses were used to validate and examine the clinical significance of novel sub-group markers in 123 primary CNS-PNETs.
Three molecular sub-groups of CNS-PNETs distinguished by primitive neural (Group 1), oligo-neural (Group 2) and mesenchymal lineage (Group 3) gene expression signature were identified. Tumour sub-groups exhibited differential expression of cell lineage markers, LIN28 and OLIG2, and correlated with distinct demographics, survival and metastatic incidence. Group 1 tumours affected primarily younger females; male: female ratios were respectively 0.61 (median age 2.9 years; 95% CI: 2.4–5.2; p≤ 0.005), 1.25 (median age 7.9 years; 95% CI: 6–9.7) and 1.63 (median age 5.9 years; 95% CI: 4.9–7.8) for group 1, 2 and 3 patients. Overall outcome was poorest in group 1 patients which had a median survival of 0.8 years (95% CI: 0.47–1.2; p=0.019) as compared to 1.8 years (95% CI: 1.4–2.3) and 4.3 years; (95% CI: 0.82–7.8) respectively for group 2 and 3 patients. Group 3 tumours had the highest incidence of metastases at diagnosis; M0: M+ ratio were respectively 0.9 and 3.9 for group 3, versus group 1 and 2 tumours combined (p=0.037).
LIN28 and OLIG2 represent highly promising, novel diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers for CNS PNET that warrants further evaluation in prospective clinical trials.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Pediatric Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Questionnaire Brain Tumor Survivor (version 2.0) Aged 13 years and older (Parent Form) (pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent).
The pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent was translated and cross-culturally adapted into Korean, following standard Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) methodology. The psychometric properties of the pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent were evaluated in 170 brain tumor patient's mothers (mean age=43.38 years). Pretesting was performed in 30 mothers, and the results indicated good symptom coverage and overall comprehensibility. The participants also completed the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF-50), Neuroticism in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and Karnofsky score.
In validating the pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent, we found high internal consistency, with Cronbach's α coefficients ranging from 0.76 to 0.94. The assessment of test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficient revealed satisfactory values with ICCs ranging from 0.84 to 0.93. The pedsFACT-BrS for parent of adolescent also demonstrated good convergent and divergent validities when correlated with the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF-50) and the Neuroticism in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. The pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent showed good clinical validity, and effectively differentiated between clinically distinct patient groups according to the type of treatment, tumor location, shunt, and Karnofsky score of parent proxy report.
We confirmed that this reliable and valid instrument can be used to properly evaluate the quality of life of Korean adolescent brain tumor patients by their parents' proxy report.
Quality of life; Adolescent brain tumor patient; pedsFACT-BrS parent of adolescent; Validity
Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant brain tumor that occurs predominantly in children. The molecular pathogenesis of medulloblastoma is under investigation. Previously, we used complementary DNA micro-array analysis to compare patterns of gene expression in medulloblastoma samples versus normal cerebellum. The cytoskeletal protein ezrin was found to be overexpressed in medulloblastoma compared with normal cerebellum, an observation that was further validated by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR analysis. To assess the role of ezrin in medulloblastoma, we studied ezrin’s role in medulloblastoma migration, invasion, and adhesion. Western blotting and immunofluorescence showed high expression of ezrin in four medulloblastoma cell lines, and ezrin was primarily localized to filopodia. Ezrinspecific small interfering RNA suppressed the formation of filopodia and in vitro migration, invasion, and adhesion. We also used a stably transfected medulloblastoma cell line to study the effect of ezrin overexpression. We showed that high expression of ezrin promotes filopodia formation and in vitro invasion. Finally, athymic mice implanted with ezrin-overexpressing DAOY medulloblastoma cell clones in the cerebellum showed shortened survival compared with controls. These findings suggest that, in addition to other cytoskeletal proteins, ezrin plays an important role in medulloblastoma adhesion, migration, and invasion.
cytoskeleton; ezrin; invasion; medulloblastoma; siRNA
In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
Although medulloblastoma is the most common pediatric malignant brain tumor, its molecular underpinnings are largely unknown. We have identified rare, recurrent homozygous deletions of Kruppel-like Factor 4 (KLF4) in medulloblastoma using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, digital karyotyping, and genomic real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Furthermore, we show that there is loss of physiological KLF4 expression in more than 40% of primary medulloblastomas both at the RNA and protein levels. Medulloblastoma cell lines drastically increase the expression of KLF4 in response to the demethylating agent 5-azacytidine and demonstrate dense methylation of the promoter CpG island by bisulfite sequencing. Methylation-specific PCR targeting the KLF4 promoter demonstrates CpG methylation in approximately 16% of primary medulloblastomas. Reexpression of KLF4 in the D283 medulloblastoma cell line results in significant growth suppression both in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that KLF4 is inactivated by either genetic or epigenetic mechanisms in a large subset of medulloblastomas and that it likely functions as a tumor suppressor gene in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma.
Although anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the standard treatment for degenerative cervical disc disease, concerns regarding adjacent level degeneration and loss of motion have suggested that arthroplasty may be a better alternative. We have compared clinical and radiological results in patients with cervical disc herniations treated with arthroplasty and ACDF.
We evaluated 53 patients treated for cervical disc herniations with radiculopathy, 21 of whom underwent arthroplasty and 32 of whom underwent ACDF. Clinical results included the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score for upper extremity radiculopathy, neck disability index (NDI), duration of hospital stay and convalescence time. All patients were assessed radiologically by measuring cervical lordosis, segmental lordosis and segmental range-of-movement (ROM) of operated and adjacent disc levels.
Mean hospital stay (5.62 vs. 6.26 days, p<0.05) and interval between surgery and return to work (1.10 vs. 2.92 weeks, p<0.05) were significantly shorter in the arthroplasty than in the fusion group. Mean NDI and extremity VAS score improved after 12 months in both groups. Although it was not significant, segmental ROM of adjacent levels was higher in the fusion group than in the arthroplasty group. And, segmental motion of operated levels in arthroplasty group maintained more than preoperative value at last follow up.
Although clinical results were similar in the two groups, postoperative recovery was significantly shorter in the arthroplasty group. Although it was not significant, ROM of adjacent segments was less in the arthroplasty group. Motion of operated levels in arthroplasty group was preserved at last follow up.
Anterior discectomy and fusion (ACDF); Arthroplasty; Cervical disc herniations; Artificial cervical disc; Mobi-C®; Solis cages®
It is well known that the electroencephalographic finding in patients with moyamoya disease demonstrates the characteristic "re-build up" phenomenon a few minutes after hyperventilation. To evaluate the usefulness of an electroencephalogram (EEG) in the postoperative management of children with moyamoya disease, we studied the presence or absence of improvement in the clinical, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and EEG findings, before and after surgery. Twenty-two patients, who underwent indirect revascularization surgery for moyamoya disease, were included in our study. Clinical improvement was assessed as the disappearance or decrease of a transient ischemic attack or headache. The findings on the EEG and SPECT were considered improved when the re-build up phenomenon was absent and when there was improvement in the cerebrovascular reserve as a result of the acetazolamide challenge test. The statistical correlation analysis for both clinical and EEG improvement were consistent (kappa value=0.409, p<0.05). However, the result from the clinical and SPECT improvement as well as that from EEG and SPECT improvement were not statistically significant. Our results suggest that EEG can be used as a noninvasive and simple follow-up test for moyamoya disease after indirect revascularization surgery if the hyperventilation procedure is effectively performed during EEG recording.
Moyamoya Disease; Electroencephalography; Follow-up Studies
To evaluate, using localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), the cerebral metabolic change apparent after revascularization surgery in patients with moyamoya disease.
Materials and Methods
Sixteen children with moyamoya disease and eight age-matched normal controls underwent MR imaging, MR angiography, conventional angiography, and 99mTc-ECD SPECT. Frontal white matter and the basal ganglia of both hemispheres were subjected to localized 1H-MRS, and after revascularization surgery, four patients underwent follow-up 1H-MRS.
Decreased NAA/Cr ratios (1.35±0.14 in patients vs. 1.55±0.24 in controls) and Cho/Cr ratios (0.96±0.13 in patients vs. 1.10±0.11 in controls) were observed in frontal white matter. After revascularization surgery, NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr ratios in this region increased. In the basal ganglia, there is no abnormal metabolic ratios.
Localized 1H-MRS revealed abnormal metabolic change in both hemispheres of children with moyamoya disease. Because of its non-invasive nature, 1H-MRS is potentially useful for the preoperative evaluation of metabolic abnormalities and their postoperative monitoring.
Magnetic resonance (MR), spectroscopy; Brain, infarction; Moyamoya disease