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Spokane, WA, United States

Elaimy A.L.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Elaimy A.L.,Carroll College | Demakas J.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Arthurs B.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | And 7 more authors.
World Journal of Surgical Oncology

Approximately 5 million people in America are affected by essential tremors (ET), which are classified as a type of benign movement disorder. This disease manifests as tremors that usually occur in the hands, but they may also be present in the head, face, tongue, and lower limbs. Radiofrequency thalamotomy (RF) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) are common invasive procedures with proven track records that are used to treat ET. Although these procedures have high success rates, they still put patients at risk of potential side effects and are invasive by nature. Thalamotomy using the gamma knife (GK) also produces favorable outcomes in treating tremors, without the complications associated with invasive neurosurgery procedures. This report describes the presenting symptoms and extended treatment outcome for a patient with an advanced case of ET, who received GK thalamotomy treatment six years ago. Because of this non-invasive treatment, she regained the ability to paint and live with an improved quality of life. We also discuss and review the relevant literature regarding the risks and benefits of this treatment modality. GK thalamotomy is one effective option for the treatment of ET, and due to its noninvasive nature, it has a different risk profile than neurosurgery. We suggest that GK thalamotomy should be presented as one viable treatment option to all ET patients, and should be recommended to those who would be best served by less invasive treatment techniques.© 2010 Elaimy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Elaimy A.L.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Arthurs B.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Arthurs B.J.,University of Washington | Lamoreaux W.T.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | And 6 more authors.
World Journal of Surgical Oncology

Medication is the predominant method for the management of patients with movement disorders. However, there is a fraction of patients who experience limited relief from pharmaceuticals or experience bothersome side-effects of the drugs. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) and surgical lesioning of the thalamus and basal ganglia are respected neurosurgical procedures, with valued success rates and a very low incidence of complications. Despite these positive outcomes, DBS and surgical lesioning procedures are contraindicated for some patients. Stereotactic radiosurgery with the Gamma Knife (GK) has been used as a lesioning technique for patients seeking a non-invasive treatment alternative and for medication-intolerable patients, who are unable to undergo DBS or lesioning due to comorbid medical conditions. Tremors of various etiologies are treated using GK thalamotomy, which targets the ventralis intermedius nucleus. GK thalamotomy produces favorable outcomes when treating tremors, with success rates ranging from 80-100%. In contrast, GK pallidotomy targets the internal globus pallidus, and is used in treating bradykinesia, rigidity, and dyskinesia. Although radiosurgery has proven beneficial for tremors, radiosurgical pallidotomy for bradykinesia, rigidity, and dyskinesia remains questionable, with mixed success rates in the literature that ranges from 0-87%. We suggest that GK thalamotomy be offered along with other neurosurgical approaches as a feasible treatment option to patients who prefer the non-invasive nature of radiosurgery and to those who are unqualified candidates for the neurosurgical alternatives. Also, we advise that patients with bradykinesia, rigidity, and dyskinesia be educated about the variability in the literature pertaining to GK pallidotomy before proceeding with treatment. © 2010 Elaimy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Arthurs B.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Arthurs B.J.,University of Washington | Fairbanks R.K.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Demakas J.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | And 6 more authors.
Neurosurgical Review

Vestibular schwannomas are benign intracranial tumors arising from the vestibular nerve. Treatment options include observation, stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated radiotherapy, and microsurgery. We review the evidence describing efficacy and side-effect profiles of each of these modalities. This was accomplished by outlining the results of published meta-analyses and performing a systematic search of the literature for individual studies published between 2004 and June 2009. Without intervention, 29-54% of tumors will grow and 16-26% of patients require additional treatment, with 54-63% preserving functional hearing. With radiosurgery, only 2-4% require additional treatment and hearing preservation is accomplished in 44-66% of cases. Reviewing contemporary studies, it appears that reduced marginal doses may have decreased morbidity risks associated with radiosurgery without sacrificing efficacy. With fractionated radiotherapy, 3-7% will require additional treatment and hearing preservation is reported at 59-94% of patients, although long-term outcomes are not known. Microsurgery is an alternative for eligible patients, with fewer than 2% requiring additional treatment; however, the risk of hearing loss, facial neuropathy, and other morbidities is relatively high. There are significant limitations with comparing the efficacy and morbidity rates across interventions because of selection bias and confounding factors. Additional prospective comparative trials and randomized studies are needed to improve our understanding of the relative benefits of each modality. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Arthurs B.J.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Arthurs B.J.,University of Washington | Lamoreaux W.T.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | MacKay A.R.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials

Objective: We present the previously unreported outcomes of 70 patients treated with Gamma knife radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS), including comprehensive analysis of clinical outcomes and the effects of lower marginal doses. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients treated for VS at Gamma knife of Spokane between 2003 and 2008. Endpoints measured include tumor control, hearing preservation, and facial nerve preservation, including the effect of tumor size and marginal dose. Statistical analysis was performed with Wilcoxon signed-rank test, paired Student t test, Mann-Whitney U test, Kendall's rank correlation, Fisher exact test, and Liddell's exact χ test for matched pairs. Results: With a mean follow-up of 26 months, 93.8% of tumors either shrank or remained static after receiving a mean marginal dose of 12.7 Gy. Tumor control was independent of marginal dose or tumor size. Hearing preservation was achieved in 64% of patients with serviceable function before the treatment. Hearing changes were independent of dose or tumor size. Preservation of good facial nerve function was achieved in 95% of patients. Post-treatment hydrocephalus occurred in 4.4% of patients, but no other significant morbidities were elucidated. Conclusions: In the treatment of VS, contemporary radiosurgical techniques and the use of marginal doses below 13 Gy offer excellent tumor control, at high rates relative to surgical intervention. These findings are independent of marginal dose and tumor size. Patients should be informed about the benefits and risks of radiosurgery and microsurgery before choosing an intervention. Further analysis of post-treatment outcomes should be encouraged as follow-up times increase and the treatment protocols continue to evolve. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

Larson E.W.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Larson E.W.,University of Washington | Peterson H.E.,Gamma Knife of Spokane | Peterson H.E.,University of Washington | And 9 more authors.
World Journal of Clinical Oncology

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor with a survival prognosis of 14-16 mo for the highest functioning patients. Despite aggressive, multimodal upfront therapies, the majority of GBMs will recur in approximately six months. Salvage therapy options for recurrent GBM (rGBM) are an area of intense research. This study compares recent survival and quality of life outcomes following Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) salvage therapy. Following a PubMed search for studies using GKRS as salvage therapy for malignant gliomas, nine articles from 2005 to July 2013 were identified which evaluated rGBM treatment. In this review, we compare overall survival following diagnosis, overall survival following salvage treatment, progression-free survival, time to recurrence, local tumor control, and adverse radiation effects. This report discusses results for rGBM patient populations alone, not for mixed populations with other tumor histology grades. All nine studies reported median overall survival rates (from diagnosis, range: 16.7-33.2 mo; from salvage, range: 9-17.9 mo). Three studies identified median progression-free survival (range: 4.6-14.9 mo). Two showed median time to recurrence of GBM. Two discussed local tumor control. Six studies reported adverse radiation effects (range: 0%-46% of patients). The greatest survival advantages were seen in patients who received GKRS salvage along with other treatments, like resection or bevacizumab, suggesting that appropriately tailored multimodal therapy should be considered with each rGBM patient. However, there needs to be a randomized clinical trial to test GKRS for rGBM before the possibility of selection bias can be dismissed. © 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved. Source

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