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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Jun 1;62(2):333-41.

Treatment of pituitary adenomas by fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy: a prospective study of 110 patients.

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Department of Radiation, Polyclinique Courlancy, Reims, France; Department of Neurosurgery, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Reims, Reims, France.



To optimize and reduce the toxicity of pituitary adenoma irradiation by assessing the feasibility and effectiveness of fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSR).


Between 1990 and 1999, 110 consecutive patients, 47 with a functioning adenoma, were treated according to a strategy of either early surgery and FSR (n = 89) or FSR only (n = 21). Of the 110 patients, 75 had persistent macroscopic tumor and 47 persistent hormonal secretions; 15 were treated in the prophylactic setting. The linear accelerator-delivered dose was 50.4 Gy (5 x 1.8 Gy weekly), with a 2-mm safety margin.


After a minimal follow-up of 48 months, only 1 patient had developed progression. Of the 110 patients, 27 (36%) had a complete tumor response, 67 (89.3%) had an objective tumor response, 20 (42%) had a hormonal complete response, and 47 (100%) had a hormonal objective tumor response. The proportion of patients without a complete tumor response, objective tumor response, complete hormonal response, and objective hormonal response was 85.1%, 62%, 83%, and 59.3% at 4 years and 49.3%, 9%, 59.3%, and 10.6% at 8 years, respectively. The sole unfavorable predictive factor was preoperative SSE >20 mm for tumor response (p = 0.01) and growth hormone adenoma for the hormonal response (p <0.001). No late complications, except for pituitary deficiency, were reported, with a probability of requiring hormonal replacement of 28.5% and 35% at 4 and 8 years, respectively. Nonfunctioning status was the sole unfavorable factor (p = 0.0016).


Surgery plus FSR is safe and effective. FSR focused to the target volume seems more suitable than standard radiotherapy, and standard fractionation reduces the risk of optic neuropathy sometimes observed after single-dose radiosurgery. Therefore, FSR allows us to consider combined transrhinoseptal surgery and early radiotherapy, with a curative goal without patient selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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