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The efficacy of fractionated radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for pituitary adenomas


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The efficacy of fractionated radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery for pituitary adenomas: long-term results of 125 consecutive patients treated in a single institution.


2007/09/28 08:40

Cancer. 2007 Aug 15;110(4):854-60.


Kong DS, Lee JI, Lim do H, Kim KW, Shin HJ, Nam DH, Park K, Kim JH.


Department of Neurosurgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Kangnam-Gu, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to define the efficacy and safety of fractionated radiotherapy (FRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of patients with pituitary adenoma.


METHODS: Between January 1995 and April 2006, 125 consecutive patients with pituitary adenomas (54 hormone-secreting adenomas and 71 nonsecretory adenomas) received FRT or underwent SRS. Sixty-four patients received FRT, for which the mean total dose was 50.4 grays (Gy) (range, 48-54 Gy), and 61 patients underwent gamma-knife SRS with mean marginal dose of 25.1 Gy (range, 9-30 Gy).


RESULTS: After mean follow up of 36.7 months, the tumor volume was increased in only 4 patients (3.2%). The overall actuarial progression-free survival rate was 99% at 2 years and 97% at 4 years. No difference was observed between the FRT group and the SRS group in the control of tumor growth. Based on the endocrinologic results in the patients who had secretory adenomas, the overall hormone complete remission rate was 26.2% at 2 years and 76.3% at 4 years. The median time to complete remission was 26 months in the SRS group and 63 months in the FRT group (P = .0068). Hypopituitarism developed as a delayed complication in 11.5% of patients at a median of 84 months.


CONCLUSIONS: Both FRT and SRS were efficient treatment modalities for the control of tumor growth in patients with pituitary adenomas. The current results indicated that single-dose radiosurgery more promptly produces an effect on the hypersecretion of pituitary hormones and may be recommended over FRT for suitable patients.


Medical Director

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center

Scottsdale Healthcare

Scottsdale, AZ

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Thanks so much for this. My dad is being evaluated again for the abnormality that has shown up in his pituitary. There is some suspicion that the mass effect is causing him to lose his vision. Hopefully, the neurologist will have some answers at Dad's appointment this week.


I have been trying to think of which way to go on this if they determine that is the problem. His overall health is no longer good and in our area there are no surgeons with sufficient experience to trust to send in that close to the optic nerve. Also, if we travel and there are complications, how do I get him back to the surgeon to fix it?


So, I will follow up on the stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) angle to see if there are treatment centers that might be doable. It looks like the fractionated radiotherapy (FRT) might take a while to see results, he is 76. He is already hypopit on a number of hormones, so I don't think preserving pit function is necessarily at the top of the list as far as decision making.


Thanks again for bringing this up..





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