Radiation Oncology/MPNST

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Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor


Epidemiology[edit]

  • Account for 5-10% of soft tissue tumors
  • Majority arise de novo or from neurofibromas; prior RT (median 15 years ago) a risk factor


Pathology[edit]

  • Normal nerve sheath: Schwann cells, perineural cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, pericytes, epineural lipocytes
  • MPNSTs - Malignant tumors arising from or differentiating toward cells of peripheral nerve sheath; resemble fibrosarcomas in their basic organization
  • Criteria (one of the following):
    • arise from peripheral nerve
    • arise from pre-existing benign nerve sheath tumor (e.g., neurofibroma)
    • displays a constellation of histologic features seen above, and reflecting Schwann cell differentiation
  • Cytogenetics
    • Loss of NF1 gene (neurofibromin) and high levels of RAS activity; necessary but not sufficient
    • In addition, p27-Kip1, p53, or p16


Treatment Overview[edit]

  • Literature mostly consists of small series or case reports
  • Primary treatment is surgery
  • RT appears beneficial in local control, but has no impact on long-term survival. Dose >60 Gy preferred
  • Chemotherapy does not appear very effective


Outcomes[edit]

  • MGH 1991-2001 PMID 12963767 -- "Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor: the clinical spectrum and outcome of treatment." (Baehring JM, Neurology. 2003 Sep 9;61(5):696-8.)
    • Retrospective. 54 patients. Median f/u 54 months
    • Median survival: 66 months
    • Local recurrence: 26% after median 22 months; Distant recurrence: 20%
    • Univariate factors: tumor diameter <5 cm (HR 0.4), total resection, lower age
    • Multivariate factors: extent of surgery, RT (HR 0.22), age, chemo (but caution: small sample size)
  • Mayo 1975-1993 PMID 9788415 -- "Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor: analysis of treatment outcome. (Wong WW, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Sep 1;42(2):351-60.)
    • Retrospective. 134 patients, 27% extremities, 73% non-extremities. Median f/u 53 months
    • Path: 10% Grade I, 32% Grade II, 32% Grade III, 24% Grade IV
    • RT (54%): 3-5 cm margins, no attempt to include LNs; 10% BT prescribed median 15 Gy to target volume
    • 5-year OS (10-year OS): 52% (34%). Median survival 61 months. RT did not affect 5-year survival (58% RT vs. 43% no RT)
    • Survival predictors: prior XRT, surgical margins
    • Local control: surgical margins, RT dose, use of IOERT/BT
    • Distant control: tumor size, grade, histologic subtype
    • Conclusion: Goal resection with negative margins. Adjuvant RT >=60 Gy, and inclusion of IOERT/BT provides improved local control
  • St. Jude 1995 PMID 8591083 -- "Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors: the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital experience." (DeCou JM, Ann Surg Oncol. 1995 Nov;2(6):524-9.)
    • Retrospective. 28 patients treated over 30 years. 45% extremity, 34% trunk, 21% head/neck
    • 5-year OS: 39% (resectable 65%, nonresectable 0% and median 12 months)
    • Survival predictors: surgical margins, sarcoma IRS group
    • Role for RT: authors recommend only for +margins

Review[edit]

  • Zurich (Switzerland) 2005 -- PMID 16442014 "Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors: an update." (Fuchs B, J Surg Orthop Adv. 2005 Winter;14(4):168-74.)


Malignant Intracranial Nerve Sheath Tumor[edit]

  • Historically also called malignant Schwannoma, but Malignant Intracranial Nerve Sheath Tumor preferred, since it is not yet clear whether these tumors truly arise from Schwann cells
  • Only 5 cases reported in literature:
    • 2/5 patients were disease-free 17 and 19 months after surgery
    • 3/5 patients recurred (5 months (death 9 months), 10 months (death 18 monts), and last had 3rd recurrence 5 years after surgery)


  • Saint-Etienne (France) 2004 PMID 14744297 -- "Malignant nerve sheath tumor of the right cerebral peduncle: case report." (Beauchesne P, Neurosurgery. 2004 Feb;54(2):500-3; discussion 503-4.)
    • Case report. 35 yo man with right cerebral peduncle tumor
    • Treated with stereotactic biopsy and cranial RT to 56.25 Gy in 24 fractions
    • After recurrence, treated with doxorubicin with mild benefit
    • OS: 29 months (recurred 24 months after initial treatment)
  • NYU 1998 PMID 9452273 -- "Malignant intracerebral nerve sheath tumor: a case report and review of the literature." (Sharma S, Cancer. 1998 Feb 1;82(3):545-52.)
    • Case report. 8 yo girl with right posterior temporal lobe tumor
    • Treated with surgery. RT appears to have been used, but no information provided
    • OS: healthy recurrence-free 17 months after surgery
  • Abstract -- "Immunocytochemistry of recurring intracerebral nerve sheath tumour." (Bruner JM, J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 43: 296, 1984 (abstr).)