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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Mar 1;61(3):795-808.

Integration of surgery with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy for treatment of nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.



To evaluate the efficacy of fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) after surgery in the management of residual or recurrent nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas with respect to tumor control and the development of complications.


The clinical records of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas who underwent FSRT were retrospectively analyzed. For newly diagnosed tumors, transsphenoidal surgery was performed, and, if residual tumor was identified at 3 months, FSRT was performed. If significant tumor volume persisted, transcranial surgery was performed before FSRT. We originally initiated FSRT with 2-Gy fractions to 46 Gy. We escalated the dose to 50.4 Gy thereafter. As a final modification, we dropped the daily dose to 1.8-Gy fractions delivered within 6 weeks. High-dose conformality and homogeneity was achieved with arc beam shaping and differential beam weighting. The radiographic, endocrinologic, and visual outcomes after FSRT were evaluated.


The 68 patients included 36 males and 32 females with an age range of 15-81 years. The median follow-up was 30 months (range, 2-82 months), and the median tumor volume was 6.2 cm(3). Of the 68 patients, 20 were treated to 46 Gy and 48 to 50-52.2 Gy. Most were treated to 50.4 Gy. Eleven patients had recurrent tumors, 54 had residual tumors, and no surgery was performed in 3 patients before FSRT. We noted no radiation-induced acute or late toxicities, except for radiation-induced optic neuropathy in 2 patients. At latest follow-up, the tumor had decreased in size in 26 patients and remained stable in 41 of the 42 remaining patients. Of the 68 patients, 4 (6%) developed hypopituitarism at 6, 11, 12, and 17 months after FSRT. Reviewing available serial Humphrey visual fields, visual fields were objectively improved in 28 patients, and remained stable in 24 patients, and worsened in 2 patients.


The findings of this analysis support the use of surgery followed by FSRT as a safe, effective, and integrated treatment for nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. Additional follow-up is needed to document the long-term tumor control rates, preservation rates for vision and pituitary function, and neurocognitive outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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