Refining the Intraoperative Identification of Suspected High-Grade Glioma Using a Surgical Fluorescence Biomarker: GALA BIDD Study Report.


BACKGROUND: Improving intraoperative accuracy with a validated surgical biomarker is important because identifying high-grade areas within a glioma will aid neurosurgical decision-making and sampling. METHODS: We designed a multicentre, prospective surgical cohort study (GALA-BIDD) to validate the presence of visible fluorescence as a pragmatic intraoperative surgical biomarker of suspected high-grade disease within a tumour mass in patients undergoing 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence-guided cytoreductive surgery. RESULTS: A total of 106 patients with a suspected high-grade glioma or malignant transformation of a low-grade glioma were enrolled. Among the 99 patients who received 5-ALA, 89 patients were eligible to assess the correlation of fluorescence with diagnosis as per protocol. Of these 89, 81 patients had visible fluorescence at surgery, and 8 patients had no fluorescence. A total of 80 out of 81 fluorescent patients were diagnosed as high-grade gliomas on postoperative central review with 1 low-grade glioma case. Among the eight patients given 5-ALA who did not show any visible fluorescence, none were high-grade gliomas, and all were low-grade gliomas. Of the seven patients suspected radiologically of malignant transformation of low-grade gliomas and with visible fluorescence at surgery, six were diagnosed with high-grade gliomas, and one had no tissue collected. CONCLUSION: In patients where there is clinical suspicion, visible 5-ALA fluorescence has clinical utility as an intraoperative surgical biomarker of high-grade gliomas and can aid surgical decision-making and sampling. Further studies assessing the use of 5-ALA to assess malignant transformation in all diffuse gliomas may be valuable.