Research Papers:

5-ALA fluorescence of cerebral metastases and its impact for the local-in-brain progression

Marcel A. Kamp _, Igor Fischer, Julia Bühner, Bernd Turowski, Jan Frederick Cornelius, Hans-Jakob Steiger, Marion Rapp, Philipp J. Slotty and Michael Sabel

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66776-66789. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11488

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Marcel A. Kamp1, Igor Fischer2, Julia Bühner1, Bernd Turowski3, Jan Frederick Cornelius1, Hans-Jakob Steiger1, Marion Rapp1, Philipp J. Slotty1, Michael Sabel1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

2Division of Informatics and Statistics, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

3Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Correspondence to:

Marcel A. Kamp, email: [email protected]

Keywords: 5-aminolevulinic acid, cerebral metastases, recurrence, in-brain-progression, overall survival

Received: March 30, 2016     Accepted: July 19, 2016     Published: August 22, 2016


Aim of the present study was to analyze the oncological impact of 5-ALA fluorescence of cerebral metastases. A retrospective analysis was performed for 84 patients who underwent 5-ALA fluorescence-guided surgery of a cerebral metastasis. Dichotomized fluorescence behavior was correlated to the histopathological subtype and primary site of the metastases, the degree of surgical resection on an early postoperative MRI within 72 hours after surgery, the local in-brain-progression rate and the overall survival. 34/84 metastases (40.5%) showed either strong or faint and 50 metastases (59.5%) no 5-ALA derived fluorescence. Neither the primary site of the cerebral metastases nor their subtype correlated with fluorescence behavior. The dichotomized 5-ALA fluorescence (yes vs. no) had no statistical influence on the degree of surgical resection. Local in-brain progression within or at the border of the resection cavity was observed in 26 patients (30.9%). A significant correlation between 5-ALA fluorescence and local in-brain-progression rate was observed and patients with 5-ALA-negative metastases had a significant higher risk of local recurrence compared to patients with 5-ALA positive metastases. After exclusion of the 20 patients without any form of adjuvant radiation therapy, there was a trend towards a relation of the 5-ALA behavior on the local recurrence rate and the time to local recurrence, although results did not reach significance anymore. Absence of 5-ALA-induced fluorescence may be a risk factor for local in-brain-progression but did not influence the mean overall survival. Therefore, the dichotomized 5-ALA fluorescence pattern might be an indicator for a more aggressive tumor.

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