The marked heterogeneity in glioblastoma (GBM) may be induced through dynamic differentiation and dedifferentiation process of glioma cells. The hypothesis that environmental stimuli induce these phenotypic changes, including dedifferentiation into the stem cell phenotype which contributes to the high invasiveness and resultant poor outcome in GBM patients, is recently being proven. In the process of cancer invasion and metastasis, the phenotypic change has also been described as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). This biological process is mainly dependent on hypoxic stimuli and also on transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) released from glioma stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and myeloid cells recruited by hypoxia. The tumor microenvironment, especially hypoxia, inducing such dynamic phenotypic changes can be a good therapeutic target in the treatment of GBM.
Indocyanine green (ICG) emits fluorescence in the far-red domain under light excitation. ICG video angiography (ICG-VA) has been established as a useful method to evaluate blood flow in the operative field. We report the usefulness of ICG-VA for Sylvian fissure dissection in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Subjects comprised 7 patients who underwent ICG-VA before opening the Sylvian fissure during neck clipping for ruptured cerebral aneurysm. We observed contrasted Sylvian veins before opening the Sylvian fissure using surgical microscopes. This procedure was termed “Sylvian ICG”. We observed ICG fluorescence quickly in all cases. Sylvian veins that appeared unclear in the standard microscopic operative field covered with subarachnoid hemorrhage were extremely clearly depicted. These Sylvian ICG findings were helpful in identifying entry points and the dissecting course of the Sylvian fissure. At the time of clipping, no residual fluorescence from Sylvian ICG was present, and aneurysm clipping was not impeded. Sylvian ICG for SAH patients is a novel technique to facilitate dissection of the Sylvian fissure. We believe that this technique will contribute to improved safety of clipping surgery for ruptured aneurysms.
The advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enables noninvasive measurement of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) motion, and new information about CSF motion has now been acquired. The driving force of the CSF has long been thought to be choroid plexus (CP) pulsation, but to investigate whether this phenomenon actually occurs, CSF motion was observed in the ventricular system and subarachnoid space using MRI. Eleven healthy volunteers, ranging in age from 23 to 58 years, participated in this study. The MRI sequences used were four-dimensional phase-contrast (4D-PC) and time-spatial labeling inversion pulse (t-SLIP). The 4D-PC images included sagittal images in the cranial midline, coronal images focusing on the foramen of Monro (FOM), and oblique coronal images of the trigone to quantify CSF velocity and acceleration. These values were compared and analyzed as non-parametric data using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and the Mann-Whitney U test. 4D-PC showed that the median CSF velocity was significantly lower in the posterior part of the lateral ventricle than in other regions. The quantitative analysis of velocity and acceleration showed that they were decreased around the CP in the trigone. Image analysis of both velocity mapping and t-SLIP showed suppressed CSF motion around the CP in the trigone. These findings cast doubt on CP pulsation being the driving force for CSF motion.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) plays an essential role in maintaining the homeostasis of the central nervous system. The functions of CSF include: (1) buoyancy of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves; (2) volume adjustment in the cranial cavity; (3) nutrient transport; (4) protein or peptide transport; (5) brain volume regulation through osmoregulation; (6) buffering effect against external forces; (7) signal transduction; (8) drug transport; (9) immune system control; (10) elimination of metabolites and unnecessary substances; and finally (11) cooling of heat generated by neural activity. For CSF to fully mediate these functions, fluid-like movement in the ventricles and subarachnoid space is necessary. Furthermore, the relationship between the behaviors of CSF and interstitial fluid in the brain and spinal cord is important. In this review, we will present classical studies on CSF circulation from its discovery over 2,000 years ago, and will subsequently introduce functions that were recently discovered such as CSF production and absorption, water molecule movement in the interstitial space, exchange between interstitial fluid and CSF, and drainage of CSF and interstitial fluid into both the venous and the lymphatic systems. Finally, we will summarize future challenges in research. This review includes articles published up to February 2016.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using talaporfin sodium together with a semiconductor laser was approved in Japan in October 2003 as a less invasive therapy for early-stage lung cancer. The author believes that the principle of PDT would be applicable for controlling the invading front of malignant brain tumors and verified its efficacy through experiments using glioma cell lines and glioma xenograft models. An investigator-initiated clinical study was jointly conducted with Tokyo Women’s Medical University with the support of the Japan Medical Association. Patient enrollment was started in May 2009 and a total of 27 patients were enrolled by March 2012. Of 22 patients included in efficacy analysis, 13 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma showed progression-free survival of 12 months, progression-free survival at the site of laser irradiation of 20 months, 1-year survival of 100%, and overall survival of 24.8 months. In addition, the safety analysis of the 27 patients showed that adverse events directly related to PDT were mild. PDT was approved in Japan for health insurance coverage as a new intraoperative therapy with the indication for malignant brain tumors in September 2013. Currently, the post-marketing investigation in the accumulated patients has been conducted, and the preparation of guidelines, holding training courses, and dissemination of information on the safe implementation of PDT using web sites and videos, have been promoted. PDT is expected to be a breakthrough for the treatment of malignant glioma as a tumor cell-selective less invasive therapy for the infiltrated functional brain area.
Shin-Ichi MIYATAKE, Shinji KAWABATA, Ryo HIRAMATSU, Toshihiko KUROIWA, Minoru SUZUKI, Natsuko KONDO, Koji ONO
Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) is a biochemically targeted radiotherapy based on the nuclear capture and fission reactions that occur when non-radioactive boron-10, which is a constituent of natural elemental boron, is irradiated with low energy thermal neutrons to yield high linear energy transfer alpha particles and recoiling lithium-7 nuclei. Therefore, BNCT enables the application of a high dose of particle radiation selectively to tumor cells in which boron-10 compound has been accumulated. We applied BNCT using nuclear reactors for 167 cases of malignant brain tumors, including recurrent malignant gliomas, newly diagnosed malignant gliomas, and recurrent high-grade meningiomas from January 2002 to May 2014. Here, we review the principle and history of BNCT. In addition, we introduce fluoride-18-labeled boronophenylalanine positron emission tomography and the clinical results of BNCT for the above-mentioned malignant brain tumors. Finally, we discuss the recent development of accelerators producing epithermal neutron beams. This development could provide an alternative to the current use of specially modified nuclear reactors as a neutron source, and could allow BNCT to be performed in a hospital setting.
Tomotsugu ICHIKAWA, Yoshihiro OTANI, Kazuhiko KUROZUMI, Isao DATE
Malignant glioma is characterized by rapid proliferation, invasion into surrounding central nervous system tissues, and aberrant vascularization. There is increasing evidence that shows gliomas are more complex than previously thought, as each tumor comprises considerable intratumoral heterogeneity with mixtures of genetically and phenotypically distinct subclones. Heterogeneity within and across tumors is recognized as a critical factor that limits therapeutic progress for malignant glioma. Recent genotyping and expression profiling of gliomas has allowed for the creation of classification schemes that assign tumors to subtypes based on similarity to defined expression signatures. Also, malignant gliomas frequently shift their biological features upon recurrence and progression. The ability of glioma cells to resist adverse conditions such as hypoxia and metabolic stress is necessary for sustained tumor growth and strongly influences tumor behaviors. In general, glioma cells are in one of two phenotypic categories: higher proliferative activity with angiogenesis, or higher migratory activity with attenuated proliferative ability. Further, they switch phenotypic categories depending on the situation. To date, a multidimensional approach has been employed to clarify the mechanisms of phenotypic shift of glioma. Various molecular and signaling pathways are involved in phenotypic shifts of glioma, possibly with crosstalk between them. In this review, we discuss molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity of glioma cells and mechanisms of phenotypic shifts in regard to the glioma proliferation, angiogenesis, and invasion. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie phenotypic shifts of glioma may provide new insights into targeted therapeutic strategies.
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) has increasingly been recognized, and it is well known that SIH is sometimes complicated by chronic subdural hematoma (SDH). In this study, 55 cases of SIH with SDH were retrospectively analyzed, focusing on therapeutic strategies and outcomes. Of 169 SIH cases (75 males, 84 females), 55 (36 males, 19 females) were complicated by SDH. SIH was diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, neuroimaging, and/or low cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Presence of orthostatic headache and diffuse meningeal enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging were regarded as the most important criteria. Among 55 SIH with SDH cases, 13 improved with conservative treatment, 25 initially received an epidural blood patch (EBP), and 17 initially underwent irrigation of the hematomas. Of the 25 initially treated with EBP, 7 (28.0%) needed SDH surgery and 18 (72.0%) recovered fully without surgery. Of 17 SDH cases initially treated with surgery, 6 (35.7%) required no EBP therapy and the other 11 (64.3%) needed EBP and/or additional SDH operations. In the latter group, 2 cases had transient severe complications during and after the procedures. One of these 2 cases developed a hoarse voice complication. Despite this single, non-severe complication, all enrolled in this study achieved good outcomes. The present study suggests that patients initially receiving SDH surgery may need additional treatments and may occasionally have complications. If conservative treatment is insufficient, EBP should be performed prior to hematoma irrigation.