Publications from the Li Lab

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and, by courtesy, of Neurology and of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center

Publications

  • Leptomeningeal spread with spinal involvement of pineal glioblastoma at initial presentation: A case report INTERDISCIPLINARY NEUROSURGERY-ADVANCED TECHNIQUES AND CASE MANAGEMENT Yerneni, K., Fatemi, P., Vogel, H., Li, G., Zygourakis, C. C. 2020; 21
  • A Comparative Analysis of Patients Undergoing Fusion for Adult Cervical Deformity by Approach Type GLOBAL SPINE JOURNAL Varshneya, K., Medress, Z. A., Stienen, M. N., Nathan, J., Ho, A., Pendharkar, A. V., Loo, S., Aikin, J., Li, G., Desai, A., Ratliff, J. K., Veeravagu, A. 2020
  • Impact of World War I on brain mapping. Journal of neurosurgical sciences Shah, A., Jung, H., Li, G. 2020; 64 (1): 113–16

    Abstract

    Although much tragedy was experienced during World War I (WWI), the nature of the war and the advancements of weaponry led to a change in the quality and quantity of injuries which were conducive for study. This paper discusses how trauma during WWI led to advances in brain mapping from occipital injuries. Gordon Holmes was a British neurologist who was able to create a retinotopic map of the visual cortex from studying more than 400 cases of occipital injuries; his work has contributed immensely to our understanding of visual processing. There have been many extensions from Holmes' work in regard to how we analyze other sensory modalities and in researching how the brain processes complex stimuli such as faces. Aside from the scholastic benefit, brain mapping also has functional use and can be used for neurosurgical planning to preserve important structures. With the advent of more advanced modalities for analyzing the brain, there have been initiatives in total brain mapping which has added significantly to the body of work started by Holmes during WWI. This paper reviews the history during WWI that led to advances in brain mapping, the lasting scholastic and functional impact from these advancements, and future improvements.

    View details for DOI 10.23736/S0390-5616.16.03313-0

    View details for PubMedID 25963958

  • Lumboperitoneal and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Demonstrate Comparable Failure and Complication Rates NEUROSURGERY Azad, T. D., Zhang, Y., Varshneya, K., Veeravagu, A., Ratliff, J. K., Li, G. 2020; 86 (2): 272–80
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Resected Brain Metastases - Does the Surgical Corridor Need to be Targeted? Practical radiation oncology Shi, S., Sandhu, N., Jin, M., Wang, E., Liu, E., Jaoude, J. A., Schofield, K., Zhang, C., Gibbs, I. C., Hancock, S. L., Chang, S. D., Li, G., Gephart, M. H., Pollom, E. L., Soltys, S. G. 2020

    Abstract

    Although consensus guidelines for post-resection stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases recommend the surgical corridor leading to the resection cavity be included in the SRS plan, no study has reported patterns of tumor recurrence based on inclusion or exclusion of the corridor as a target. We reviewed tumor control and toxicity outcomes of post-resection SRS for deep brain metastases based on whether or not the surgical corridor was targeted.We retrospectively reviewed patients who had resected brain metastases treated with SRS between 2007 and 2018 and included only 'deep' tumors (defined as located ≥1.0 cm from the pial surface prior to resection).In 66 deep brain metastases in 64 patients, the surgical corridor was targeted in 43 (65%). There were no statistical differences in the cumulative incidences of progression at 12-months for targeting vs. not targeting the corridor, respectively, for: overall local failure 2% (95% Confidence Interval [CI],0-11%) vs. 9% (95% CI,1-25%; p=0.25), corridor failure 0% (95% CI,0-0%) vs. 9% (95% CI,1-25%; p=0.06), cavity failure 2% (95% CI,0-11%) vs. 0% (95% CI,0-0%; p=0.91), adverse radiation effect 5% (95% CI,1-15%) vs. 13% (95% CI,3-30%; p=0.22). Leptomeningeal disease (7% (95% CI,2-18%) vs. 26% (95% CI,10-45%; p=0.03)) was higher in those without the corridor targeted.Omitting the surgical corridor in post-operative SRS for resected brain metastases was not associated with statistically significant differences in corridor or cavity recurrence or adverse radiation effect. As seen in recent prospective trials of post-resection SRS, the dominant pattern of progression is within the resection cavity; omission of the corridor would yield a smaller SRS volume that could allow for dose escalation to potentially improve local cavity control.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prro.2020.04.009

    View details for PubMedID 32428766

  • Patterns of Care and Age-Specific Impact of Extent of Resection and Adjuvant Radiotherapy in Pediatric Pineoblastoma. Neurosurgery Jin, M. C., Prolo, L. M., Wu, A., Azad, T. D., Shi, S., Rodrigues, A. J., Soltys, S. G., Pollom, E. L., Li, G., Hiniker, S. M., Grant, G. A. 2020

    Abstract

    Pediatric pineoblastomas are highly aggressive tumors that portend poor outcomes despite multimodal management. Controversy remains regarding optimal disease management.To evaluate patterns of care and optimal clinical management of pediatric pineoblastoma.A total of 211 pediatric (age 0-17 yr) histologically confirmed pineoblastoma patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2015 were queried from the National Cancer Database. Wilcoxon rank-sum statistics and chi-squared analyses were used to compare continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Univariable and multivariable Cox regressions were used to evaluate prognostic impact of covariates. Propensity-score matching was used to balance baseline characteristics.Older patients (age ≥ 4 yr) experienced improved overall survival compared to younger patients (age < 4 yr) (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.41; 95% CI 0.25-0.66). Older patients (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 5.21; 95% CI 2.61-10.78) and those residing in high-income regions (aOR = 3.16; 95% CI 1.21-8.61) received radiotherapy more frequently. Radiotherapy was independently associated with improved survival in older (adjusted HR [aHR] = 0.31; 95% CI 0.12-0.87) but not younger (aHR = 0.64; 95% CI 0.20-1.90) patients. The benefits of radiotherapy were more pronounced in patients receiving surgery than in those not receiving surgery (aHR [surgical patients] = 0.23; 95% CI 0.08-0.65; aHR [nonsurgical patients] = 0.46; 95% CI 0.22-0.97). Older patients experienced improved outcomes associated with aggressive resection (P = .041); extent of resection was not associated with survival in younger patients (P = .880).Aggressive tumor resection was associated with improved survival only in older pediatric patients. Radiotherapy was more effective in patients receiving surgery. Age-stratified approaches might allow for improved disease management of pediatric pineoblastoma.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuros/nyaa023

    View details for PubMedID 32110805

  • Evaluating Surgical Resection Extent and Adjuvant Therapy in the Management of Gliosarcoma. Frontiers in oncology Jin, M. C., Liu, E. K., Shi, S., Gibbs, I. C., Thomas, R., Recht, L., Soltys, S. G., Pollom, E. L., Chang, S. D., Hayden Gephart, M., Nagpal, S., Li, G. 2020; 10: 337

    Abstract

    Introduction: Gliosarcomas are clinically aggressive tumors, histologically distinct from glioblastoma. Data regarding the impact of extent of resection and post-operative adjuvant therapy on gliosarcoma outcomes are limited. Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed gliosarcoma diagnosed between 1999 and 2019 were identified. Clinical, molecular, and radiographic data were assembled based on historical records. Comparisons of categorical variables used Pearson's Chi-square and Fisher's exact test while continuous values were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Survival comparisons were assessed using Kaplan-Meier statistics and Cox regressions. Results: Seventy-one gliosarcoma patients were identified. Secondary gliosarcoma was not associated with worse survival when compared to recurrent primary gliosarcoma (median survival 9.8 [3.8 to 21.0] months vs. 7.6 [1.0 to 35.7], p = 0.7493). On multivariable analysis, receipt of temozolomide (HR = 0.02, 95% CI 0.001-0.21) and achievement of gross total resection (GTR; HR = 0.13, 95% CI 0.02-0.77) were independently prognostic for improved progression-free survival (PFS) while only receipt of temozolomide was independently associated with extended overall survival (OS) (HR = 0.03, 95% CI 0.001-0.89). In patients receiving surgical resection followed by radiotherapy and concomitant temozolomide, achievement of GTR was significantly associated with improved PFS (median 32.97 [7.1-79.6] months vs. 5.45 [1.8-26.3], p = 0.0092) and OS (median 56.73 months [7.8-104.5] vs. 14.83 [3.8 to 29.1], p = 0.0252). Conclusion: Multimodal therapy is associated with improved survival in gliosarcoma. Even in patients receiving aggressive post-operative multimodal management, total surgical removal of macroscopic disease remains important for optimal outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fonc.2020.00337

    View details for PubMedID 32219069

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7078164

  • Costs and Complications Associated with Resection of Supratentorial Tumors with and without the Operative Microscope in the United States. World neurosurgery Zhang, Y., Zhang, M., Lin, M., Gephart, M. H., Veeravagu, A., Ratliff, J. K., Li, G. 2020

    Abstract

    The operative microscope, a commonly used tool in neurosurgery, is critical in many supratentorial tumor cases. However, use of operating microscope for supratentorial tumor varies by surgeon.To assess complication rates, readmissions, and costs associated with operative microscope use in supratentorial resections.A retrospective analysis was conducted using a national administrative database to identify patients with glioma or brain metastases who underwent supratentorial resection between 2007 and 2016. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess 30-day complications, readmissions and costs between patients who underwent resection with and without use of microscope.The cohort included 12058 glioma patients and 5433 metastasis patients. Rates of microscope use varied by state from 19.0% to 68.6%. Microscope use was associated with

  • A Phase I/II Trial of 5-Fraction Stereotactic Radiosurgery with 5-mm Margins with Concurrent Temozolomide in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma: Primary Outcomes. Neuro-oncology Azoulay, M., Chang, S. D., Gibbs, I. C., Hancock, S. L., Pollom, E. L., Harsh, G. R., Adler, J. R., Harrahar, C., Li, G., Hayden Gephart, M., Nagpal, S., Thomas, R. P., Recht, L. D., Jacobs, L. R., Modlin, L. A., Wynne, J., Seiger, K., Fujimoto, D., Usoz, M., von Eyben, R., Choi, C. Y., Soltys, S. G. 2020

    Abstract

    We sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 5-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with 5-mm margins delivered with concurrent temozolomide in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.We enrolled adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma to 5 days of SRS in a 3+3 design on 4 escalating dose levels: 25, 30, 35, and 40 Gy. Dose limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as CTCAE Grade 3-5 acute or late CNS toxicity, including adverse radiation effect (ARE), the imaging correlate of radiation necrosis.From 2010 to 2015, 30 patients were enrolled. The median age was 66 years (range 51-86 years). The median target volume was 60 cm3 (range 14.7-137.3 cm3). DLT occurred in 2 patients: one for post-treatment cerebral edema and progressive disease at 3 weeks (Grade 4, Dose 40 Gy); another patient died 1.5 weeks following SRS from post-operative complications (Grade 5, Dose 40 Gy). Late grade 1-2 ARE occurred in 8 patients at a median of 7.6 months (range 3.2-12.6 months). No grade 3-5 ARE occurred. With a median follow-up of 13.8 months (range 1.7-64.4 months), the median survival times were: PFS 8.2 months (95%CI 4.6-10.5), OS 14.8 months (95%CI 10.9-19.9), MGMT hypermethylated 19.9 months (95%CI 10.5-33.5) vs. 11.3 months (95%CI 8.9-17.6) for no/unknown hypermethylation (p=0.03), and 27.2 months (95%CI 11.2-48.3) if late ARE occurred vs. 11.7 months (95%CI 8.9-17.6) for no ARE (p=0.08).The per-protocol MTD of 5-fraction SRS with 5-mm margins with concurrent temozolomide was 40 Gy in 5 fractions. ARE was limited to grade 1-2 and did not statistically impact survival.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/noaa019

    View details for PubMedID 32002547

  • Functional Mapping for Glioma Surgery: A Propensity-matched Analysis of Outcomes and Cost. World neurosurgery Pendharkar, A. V., Rezaii, P. G., Ho, A. L., Sussman, E. S., Li, G., Desai, A. M. 2020

    Abstract

    To compare clinical outcomes and payments between glioma resections with and without functional mapping.The Thomas Reuters MarketScan national longitudinal database was used to identify patients undergoing resection of supratentorial primary malignant glioma with or without functional mapping between 2007-2016. Patients were stratified into mapped and unmapped (conventional) groups, and subsequently propensity-matched based on demographics, clinical comorbidities, and surgical characteristics (i.e., use of stereotactic navigation, microscope, intratumoral chemotherapy). Outcomes and charges were compared between matched groups using bivariate analyses.A total of 14,037 patients were identified, of which 796 (6.0%) received functional mapping. Propensity-matching (1:1) resulted in 796 mapped patients and 796 propensity-matched controls. Thirty-day postoperative rates of new-onset seizures, cerebral edema, hemorrhage, and neurological deficits were significantly lower for the functional mapping group (all p < 0.05). Functional mapping was also associated with shorter hospital length of stay (p = .0144), lower 30-day rates of emergency department visits (p = .0001) and fewer reoperations (p = .0068). Total costs of initial admission were not significantly different between groups.Intraoperative functional mapping during glioma resection was associated with decreased complications, reoperations, emergency department visits, and shorter lengths of stay. Furthermore, total charges of mapped resections were not significantly different from those of conventional resections. These findings support the utility of functional mapping for resection of supratentorial primary malignant gliomas.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.197

    View details for PubMedID 32028000

  • Evaluating Shunt Survival Following Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting with and without Stereotactic Navigation in Previously Shunt-Naïve Patients. World neurosurgery Jin, M. C., Wu, A., Azad, T. D., Feng, A., Prolo, L. M., Veeravagu, A., Grant, G. A., Ratliff, J., Li, G. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.01.138

    View details for PubMedID 31996335

  • Rindopepimut with Bevacizumab for Patients with Relapsed EGFRvIII-Expressing Glioblastoma (ReACT): Results of a Double-Blind Randomized Phase II Trial. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Reardon, D. A., Desjardins, A., Vredenburgh, J. J., O'Rourke, D. M., Tran, D. D., Fink, K. L., Nabors, L. B., Li, G., Bota, D. A., Lukas, R. V., Ashby, L. S., Duic, J. P., Mrugala, M. M., Cruickshank, S., Vitale, L., He, Y., Green, J. A., Yellin, M. J., Turner, C. D., Keler, T., Davis, T. A., Sampson, J. H. 2020

    Abstract

    Rindopepimut is a vaccine targeting the tumor-specific EGF driver mutation, EGFRvIII. The ReACT study investigated whether the addition of rindopepimut to standard bevacizumab improved outcome for patients with relapsed, EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma.In this double-blind, randomized, phase II study (NCT01498328) conducted at 26 hospitals in the United States, bevacizumab-naïve patients with recurrent EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma were randomized to receive rindopepimut or a control injection of keyhole limpet hemocyanin, each concurrent with bevacizumab. The primary endpoint was 6-month progression-free survival (PFS6) by central review with a one-sided significance of 0.2.Between May 2012 and 2014, 73 patients were randomized (36 rindopepimut, 37 control). Rindopepimut toxicity included transient, low-grade local reactions. As primary endpoint, PFS6 was 28% (10/36) for rindopepimut compared with 16% (6/37) for control (P = 0.12, one-sided). Secondary and exploratory endpoints also favored the rindopepimut group including a statistically significant survival advantage [HR, 0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.32-0.88; two-sided log-rank P = 0.01], a higher ORR [30% (9/30) vs. 18% (6/34; P = 0.38)], median duration of response [7.8 months (95% CI, 3.5-22.2) vs. 5.6 (95% CI, 3.7-7.4)], and ability to discontinue steroids for ≥6 months [33% (6/18) vs. 0% (0/19)]. Eighty percent of rindopepimut-treated patients achieved robust anti-EGFRvIII titers (≥1:12,800), which were associated with prolonged survival (HR = 0.17; 95% CI, 0.07-0.45; P < 0.0001).Our randomized trial supports the potential for targeted immunotherapy among patients with GBM, but the therapeutic benefit requires validation due to the small sample size and potential heterogeneity of bevacizumab response among recurrent patients with GBM.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1140

    View details for PubMedID 32034072

  • Local control and toxicity outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for spinal metastases of gastrointestinal origin. Journal of neurosurgery. Spine Sandhu, N., Benson, K. R., Kumar, K. A., Eyben, R. V., Chang, D. T., Gibbs, I. C., Hancock, S. L., Meola, A., Chang, S. D., Li, G., Hayden-Gephart, M., Soltys, S. G., Pollom, E. L. 2020: 1–8

    Abstract

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) and other gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are believed to have greater radioresistance than other histologies. The authors report local control and toxicity outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to spinal metastases from GI primary cancers.A retrospective single-center review was conducted of patients with spinal metastases from GI primary cancers treated with SRS from 2004 to 2017. Patient demographics and lesion characteristics were summarized using medians, interquartile ranges (IQRs), and proportions. Local failure (LF) was estimated using the cumulative incidence function adjusted for the competing risk of death and compared using Gray's test for equality. Multivariable analyses were conducted using Cox proportional hazard models, adjusting for death as a competing risk, on a per-lesion basis. Patients were stratified in the Cox model to account for repeated measures for clustered outcomes. Median survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.A total of 74 patients with 114 spine lesions were included in our analysis. The median age of the cohort was 62 years (IQR 53-70 years). Histologies included CRC (46%), hepatocellular carcinoma (19%), neuroendocrine carcinoma (13%), pancreatic carcinoma (12%), and other (10%). The 1- and 2-year cumulative incidence rates of LF were 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] 16%-33%) and 32% (95% CI 23%-42%), respectively. Univariable analysis revealed that older age (p = 0.015), right-sided primary CRCs (p = 0.038), and single fraction equivalent dose (SFED; α/β = 10) < 20 Gy (p = 0.004) were associated with higher rates of LF. The 1-year cumulative incidence rates of LF for SFED < 20 Gy10 versus SFED ≥ 20 Gy10 were 35% and 7%, respectively. After controlling for gross tumor volume and prior radiation therapy to the lesion, SFED < 20 Gy10 remained independently associated with worse LF (hazard ratio 2.92, 95% CI 1.24-6.89, p = 0.014). Toxicities were minimal, with pain flare observed in 6 patients (8%) and 15 vertebral compression fractures (13%).Spinal metastases from GI primary cancers have high rates of LF with SRS at a lower dose. This study found that SRS dose is a significant predictor of failure and that prescribed SFED ≥ 20 Gy10 (biological equivalent dose ≥ 60 Gy10) is associated with superior local control.

    View details for DOI 10.3171/2020.1.SPINE191260

    View details for PubMedID 32114530

  • Long-Term Update of Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Benign Spinal Tumors NEUROSURGERY Chin, A. L., Fujimoto, D., Kumar, K. A., Tupper, L., Mansour, S., Chang, S. D., Adler, J. R., Gibbs, I. C., Hancock, S. L., Dodd, R., Li, G., Gephart, M., Ratliff, J. K., Tse, V., Usoz, M., Sachdev, S., Soltys, S. G. 2019; 85 (5): 708–16
  • A PHASE 1 STUDY OF BPM31510 PLUS VITAMIN K IN SUBJECTS WITH HIGH-GRADE GLIOMA THAT HAS RECURRED ON A BEVACIZUMAB-CONTAINING REGIMEN Recht, L., Thomas, R., Bertrand, S., Yerballa, P., Li, G., Iv, M., Narain, N., Sarangarajan, R., Granger, E., Nagpal, S. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2019: 27
  • Prognostic Factors and Treatment Patterns in the Management of Giant Cell Glioblastoma WORLD NEUROSURGERY Jin, M. C., Wu, A., Xiang, M., Azad, T. D., Soltys, S. G., Li, G., Pollom, E. L. 2019; 128: E217–E224
  • Facial Nerve Paralysis Occurring 4 Days following Stereotactic Radiosurgery for a Vestibular Schwannoma. Asian journal of neurosurgery Chow, K. K., Ajlan, A., Ho, A. L., Li, G., Soltys, S. G. ; 14 (1): 262–65

    Abstract

    Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is commonly used for the treatment of vestibular schwannomas given its high rate of tumor control and low rate of complications. Facial nerve palsy has been reported several months after treatment as a rare late complication of SRS. Here, we report a case of facial weakness occurring only 4 days after treatment and discuss potential etiology and management considerations.

    View details for PubMedID 30937049

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6417297

  • Osimertinib for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer with Brain Metastases: Results from a Single-Center Retrospective Study ONCOLOGIST Xie, L., Nagpal, S., Wakelee, H. A., Li, G., Soltys, S. G., Neal, J. W. 2019; 24 (6): 836–43
  • Adverse Radiation Effect and Disease Control in Patients Undergoing Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy for Brain Metastases WORLD NEUROSURGERY Koenig, J. L., Shi, S., Sborov, K., Gensheimer, M. F., Le, G., Nagpal, S., Chang, S. D., Gibbs, I. C., Soltys, S. G., Pollom, E. L. 2019; 126: E1399–E1411
  • Nodular Leptomeningeal Disease - A Distinct Pattern of Recurrence After Post-Resection Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases: A Multi-Institutional Study of Inter-Observer Reliability. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Turner, B. E., Prabhu, R. S., Burri, S. H., Brown, P. D., Pollom, E. L., Milano, M. T., Weiss, S. E., Iv, M., Fischbein, N., Soliman, H., Lo, S. S., Chao, S. T., Cox, B. W., Murphy, J. D., Li, G., Gephart, M. H., Nagpal, S., Atalar, B., Azoulay, M., Thomas, R., Tillman, G., Durkee, B. Y., Shah, J. L., Soltys, S. G. 2019

    Abstract

    For brain metastases, surgical resection with postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an emerging standard of care. Postoperative cavity SRS is associated with a specific, under-recognized pattern of intracranial recurrence, herein termed nodular leptomeningeal disease (nLMD), which is distinct from classical leptomeningeal disease (cLMD). We hypothesized that there is poor consensus regarding the definition of LMD, and that a formal, self-guided training module will improve inter-rater reliability (IRR) and validity in diagnosing LMD.Twenty-two physicians at 16 institutions, including 15 physicians with central nervous system (CNS) expertise, completed a two-phase survey that included MRI imaging and treatment information for 30 patients. In the "pre-training" phase, physicians labeled cases using 3 patterns of recurrence commonly reported in prospective studies: local recurrence (LR), distant parenchymal recurrence (DR), and LMD. After a self-directed training module, participating physicians completed the "post-training" phase and relabeled the 30 cases using the 4 following labels: LR, DR, cLMD, nLMD.Inter-rater reliability (IRR) increased 34% after training (Fleiss' Kappa K=0.41 to K=0.55, p<0.001). IRR increased most among non-CNS specialists (+58%, p<0.001). Prior to training, IRR was lowest for LMD (K=0.33). After training, IRR increased across all recurrence subgroups and increased most for LMD (+67%). After training, ≥27% of cases initially labeled LR or DR were later recognized as nLMD.This study highlights the large degree of inconsistency among clinicians in recognizing nLMD. Our findings demonstrate that a brief self-guided training module distinguishing nLMD can significantly improve IRR across all patterns of recurrence, and particularly in nLMD. To optimize outcomes reporting, prospective trials in brain metastases should incorporate central imaging review and investigator training.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.10.002

    View details for PubMedID 31605786

  • Targeted genomic CRISPR-Cas9 screen identifies MAP4K4 as essential for glioblastoma invasion. Scientific reports Prolo, L. M., Li, A., Owen, S. F., Parker, J. J., Foshay, K., Nitta, R. T., Morgens, D. W., Bolin, S., Wilson, C. M., Vega L, J. C., Luo, E. J., Nwagbo, G., Waziri, A., Li, G., Reimer, R. J., Bassik, M. C., Grant, G. A. 2019; 9 (1): 14020

    Abstract

    Among high-grade brain tumors, glioblastoma is particularly difficult to treat, in part due to its highly infiltrative nature which contributes to the malignant phenotype and high mortality in patients. In order to better understand the signaling pathways underlying glioblastoma invasion, we performed the first large-scale CRISPR-Cas9 loss of function screen specifically designed to identify genes that facilitate cell invasion. We tested 4,574 genes predicted to be involved in trafficking and motility. Using a transwell invasion assay, we discovered 33 genes essential for invasion. Of the 11 genes we selected for secondary testing using a wound healing assay, 6 demonstrated a significant decrease in migration. The strongest regulator of invasion was mitogen-activated protein kinase 4 (MAP4K4). Targeting of MAP4K4 with single guide RNAs or a MAP4K4 inhibitor reduced migration and invasion in vitro. This effect was consistent across three additional patient derived glioblastoma cell lines. Analysis of epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in U138 cells with lack or inhibition of MAP4K4 demonstrated protein expression consistent with a non-invasive state. Importantly, MAP4K4 inhibition limited migration in a subset of human glioma organotypic slice cultures. Our results identify MAP4K4 as a novel potential therapeutic target to limit glioblastoma invasion.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50160-w

    View details for PubMedID 31570734

  • Lumboperitoneal and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Demonstrate Comparable Failure and Complication Rates. Neurosurgery Azad, T. D., Zhang, Y., Varshneya, K., Veeravagu, A., Ratliff, J. K., Li, G. 2019

    Abstract

    Idiopathic intracranial hypertension results in increased intracranial pressure leading to headache and visual loss. This disease frequently requires surgical intervention through lumboperitoneal (LP) or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting.To compare postoperative outcomes between LP and VP shunts, including failure and complication rates.A retrospective analysis was conducted using a national administrative database (MarketScan) to identify idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) patients who underwent LP or VP shunting from 2007 to 2014. Multivariate logistic and Cox regressions were performed to compare rates of shunt failure and time to shunt failure between LP and VP shunts while controlling for demographics and comorbidities.The analytic cohort included 1082 IIH patients, 347 of whom underwent LP shunt placement at index hospitalization and 735 of whom underwent VP shunt placement. Rates of shunt failure were similar among patients with LP and VP shunt (34.6% vs 31.7%; P = .382). Among patients who experienced shunt failure, the mean number of shunt failures was 2.1 ± 1.6 and was similar between LP and VP cohorts. Ninety-day readmission rates, complication rates, and costs did not differ significantly between LP and VP shunts. Patients who experienced more than two shunt failures tended to have an earlier time to first shunt failure (hazard ratio 1.41; 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.85; P = .013).These findings suggest that LP and VP shunts may have comparable rates of shunt failure and complication. Regardless of shunt type, earlier time to first shunt failure may be associated with multiple shunt failures.

    View details for PubMedID 30937428

  • Non-Contrast T2-Weighted MR Sequences for Long Term Monitoring of Asymptomatic Convexity Meningiomas. World neurosurgery He, J. Q., Iv, M., Li, G., Zhang, M., Hayden-Gephart, M. 2019

    Abstract

    Gadolinium based contrast agents (GBCA) used to enhance MRs have been linked to tissue deposition, including in the brain. The management of indolent tumors such as meningiomas requires frequent MRs to monitor for interval growth. Given concern regarding GBCA deposition, we sought to determine if non-contrast MRs in patients with asymptomatic meningiomas were equivalent to GBCA-enhanced MRs in surveillance monitoring.This IRB-approved retrospective chart review included 106 MR sequences from 18 patients. Inclusion criteria were adult patients with asymptomatic meningiomas who received baseline contrast-enhanced and non-contrast axial MR imaging of the brain. Exclusion criteria included: 1) baseline or follow-up axial images were not available for review 2) baseline scan was obtained without contrast 3) diagnosis of meningioma was uncertain. Percent tumor growth was measured by comparing cross-sectional area at maximum tumor diameter from the earliest and most recent scans. For each patient, change in tumor size over time was compared using T1+contrast, T2, and T2 FLAIR sequences. These were compared to a qualitative consensus reading by a neurosurgeon and a neuroradiologist.Measured change of greater than 10% was taken to represent tumor growth. In 17 out of 18 patients, measurement of non-contrast studies (T2 and T2 FLAIR) matched consensus. For one patient, imaging on T2 suggested 11% growth while T2 FLAIR and overall consensus was stability.Our study provides evidence that non-contrasted MR images are equivalent to contrast-weighted MRs to follow change in tumor size over time in asymptomatic meningiomas.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.11.051

    View details for PubMedID 31734418

  • Outcomes and costs following Ommaya placement with thrombocytopenia among US cancer patients. World neurosurgery Zhang, M., Zhang, Y., Zheng, E., Gephart, M. H., Veeravagu, A., Desai, A., Ratliff, J. K., Li, G. 2019

    Abstract

    Placement of Ommaya reservoirs for administration of intrathecal chemotherapy may be complicated by comorbid thrombocytopenia among patients with hematologic or leptomeningeal disease. Aggregated data on risks of Ommaya placement among thrombocytopenic patients is lacking. This study assesses complications, revision rates, and costs associated with Ommaya placement among patients with thrombocytopenia in a large population sample.Using a national administrative database, this retrospective study identifies a cohort of adult cancer patients who underwent Ommaya placement between 2007 and 2016. Preoperative thrombocytopenia was defined as diagnosis of secondary thrombocytopenia, bleeding event, procedure to control bleeding, or platelet transfusion, within 30 days prior to index admission. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess costs, 30-day complications, readmissions, and revisions among patients with and without preoperative thrombocytopenia.The analytic cohort included 1652 patients, of whom 29.3% met criteria for preoperative thrombocytopenia. In-hospital mortality rates were 7.7% among thrombocytopenic patients vs. 1.2% among non-thrombocytopenic patients (p < 0.001). Preoperative thrombocytopenia was associated with 14.5 times greater hazard of intracranial hemorrhage within 30 days following Ommaya placement, occurring in 25.6% vs. 2.0% of thrombocytopenic and non-thrombocytopenic patients, respectively (p < 0.014). Revision rates did not differ significantly between thrombocytopenic and non-thrombocytopenic patients. Thrombocytopenia was associated with longer length of stay (7.4 vs 13.9 days, p < 0.001) and additional

  • Casein kinase 2 inhibition sensitizes medulloblastoma to temozolomide. Oncogene Nitta, R. T., Bolin, S., Luo, E., Solow-Codero, D. E., Samghabadi, P., Purzner, T., Aujla, P. S., Nwagbo, G., Cho, Y. J., Li, G. 2019

    Abstract

    Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Since surviving patients experience severe neurocognitive disabilities, better and more effective treatments are needed to enhance their quality of life. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) is known to regulate cell growth and survival in multiple cancers; however, the role of CK2 in MB is currently being studied. In this study, we verified the importance of CK2 in MB tumorigenesis and discovered that inhibition of CK2 using the small molecule inhibitor, CX-4945, can sensitize MB cells to a well-known and tolerated chemotherapeutic, temozolomide (TMZ). To study the role of CK2 in MB we modulated CK2 expression in multiple MB cells. Exogenous expression of CK2 enhanced cell growth and tumor growth in mice, while depletion or inhibition of CK2 expression decreased MB tumorigenesis. Treatment with CX-4945 reduced MB growth and increased apoptosis. We conducted a high-throughput screen where 4000 small molecule compounds were analyzed to identify compounds that increased the anti-tumorigenic properties of CX-4945. TMZ was found to work synergistically with CX-4945 to decrease cell survival and increase apoptosis in MB cells. O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) activity is directly correlated to TMZ sensitivity. We found that loss of CK2 activity reduced β-catenin expression, a known MGMT regulator, which in turn led to a decrease in MGMT expression and an increased sensitivity to TMZ. Our findings show that CK2 is important for MB maintenance and that treatment with CX-4945 can sensitize MB cells to TMZ treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41388-019-0927-y

    View details for PubMedID 31406250

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Pediatric and Adult Intracranial and Spinal Ependymomas. Stereotactic and functional neurosurgery Shi, S., Jin, M. C., Koenig, J., Gibbs, I. C., Soltys, S. G., Chang, S. D., Li, G., Hayden Gephart, M., Hiniker, S. M., Pollom, E. L. 2019: 1–6

    Abstract

    We report efficacy and toxicity outcomes with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for intracranial and spinal ependymoma.We analyzed adult and pediatric patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent intracranial or spinal ependymoma lesions treated with SRS at our institution. Following SRS, local failure (LF) was defined as failure within or adjacent to the SRS target volume, while distant failure (DF) was defined as failure outside of the SRS target volume. Time to LF and DF was analyzed using competing risk analysis with death as a competing risk.Overall survival (OS) was calculated from the date of first SRS to the date of death or censored at the date of last follow-up using the Kaplan-Meier method.Twenty-one patients underwent SRS to 40 intracranial (n = 30) or spinal (n = 10) ependymoma lesions between 2007 and 2018, most commonly with 18 or 20 Gy in 1 fraction. Median follow-up for all patients after first SRS treatment was 54 months (range 2-157). The 1-year, 2-year, and 5-year rates of survival among patients with initial intracranial ependymoma were 86, 74, and 52%, respectively. The 2-year cumulative incidences of LF and DF after SRS among intracranial ependymoma patients were 25% (95% CI 11-43) and 42% (95% CI 22-60), respectively. No spinal ependymoma patient experienced LF, DF, or death within 2 years of SRS. Three patients had adverse radiation effects.SRS is a viable treatment option for intracranial and spinal ependymoma with excellent local control and acceptable toxicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000502653

    View details for PubMedID 31590165

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery for resected brain metastases: single-institutional experience of over 500 cavities. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Shi, S., Sandhu, N., Jin, M. C., Wang, E., Jaoude, J. A., Schofield, K., Zhang, C., Liu, E., Gibbs, I. C., Hancock, S. L., Chang, S. D., Li, G., Hayden-Gephart, M., Adler, J. R., Soltys, S. G., Pollom, E. L. 2019

    Abstract

    Post-operative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has less detrimental impact on cognition and quality of life compared to whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and is increasingly used for resected brain metastases (BMs). Post-operative SRS techniques are not standardized, and there is a concern for a different pattern of failure following post-operative SRS compared to WBRT. We aim to study the efficacy, toxicity, and failure pattern of post-operative SRS.We retrospectively reviewed outcomes of patients with resected BMs treated with post-operative SRS between 2007 and 2018. Overall survival (OS) and cumulative incidences of local failure (LF), overall distant intracranial failure [distant parenchymal failure (DPF), nodular leptomeningeal disease (nLMD), classical leptomeningeal disease (cLMD)], and adverse radiation effect (ARE) were reported. Neurological death was determined for patients with leptomeningeal disease (LMD).A total of 442 patients with 501 resected BMs were treated over 475 total SRS courses. Median clinical follow-up and OS after SRS were 10.1 months [interquartile range (IQR) 3.6-20.7 months] and 13.9 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.8-15.2 months], respectively. At 12 months, event rates were 7% (95% CI 5%-10%) for LF, 9% (95% CI 7%-12%) for ARE, 44% (95% CI 40%-49%) for overall distant intracranial failure, 37% (95% CI 33%-42%) for DPF and 13% (95% CI 10%-17%) for LMD. The overall incidence of LMD was 15.8% (53% cLMD, 46% nLMD). cLMD was associated with shorter survival than nLMD (2.0 versus 11.2 months, p<0.01) and a higher proportion of neurological death (67% versus 41%, p=0.02). A total of 15% of patients ultimately received WBRT.We report the largest clinical experience of post-operative SRS for resected BMs, showing excellent local control and low toxicity. Intracranial failure was predominantly distant, with a rising incidence of LMD.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.11.022

    View details for PubMedID 31785338

  • Correction: Casein kinase 2 inhibition sensitizes medulloblastoma to temozolomide. Oncogene Nitta, R. T., Bolin, S., Luo, E., Solow-Cordero, D. E., Samghabadi, P., Purzner, T., Aujla, P. S., Nwagbo, G., Cho, Y. J., Li, G. 2019

    Abstract

    The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author David Solow-Cordero, which was incorrectly given as David Solow-Codero. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41388-019-1077-y

    View details for PubMedID 31659253

  • Topical vancomycin surgical prophylaxis in pediatric open craniotomies: an institutional experience JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGERY-PEDIATRICS Ho, A. L., Cannon, J. D., Mohole, J., Pendharkar, A., Sussman, E. S., Li, G., Edwards, M. B., Cheshier, S. H., Grant, G. A. 2018; 22 (6): 710–15
  • Publisher Correction: Notch1 regulates the initiation of metastasis and self-renewal of Group 3 medulloblastoma. Nature communications Kahn, S. A., Wang, X., Nitta, R. T., Gholamin, S., Theruvath, J., Hutter, G., Azad, T. D., Wadi, L., Bolin, S., Ramaswamy, V., Esparza, R., Liu, K., Edwards, M., Swartling, F. J., Sahoo, D., Li, G., Wechsler-Reya, R. J., Reimand, J., Cho, Y., Taylor, M. D., Weissman, I. L., Mitra, S. S., Cheshier, S. H. 2018; 9 (1): 4651

    Abstract

    The original version of this Article omitted Suzana A. Kahn, Siddhartha S. Mitra & Samuel H. Cheshier as jointly supervising authors. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

    View details for PubMedID 30389946