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Radiat Oncol. 2006 Dec 16;1:46.

CyberKnife radiosurgery in the treatment of complex skull base tumors: analysis of treatment planning parameters.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Georgetown University Hospital, USA.



Tumors of the skull base pose unique challenges to radiosurgical treatment because of their irregular shapes, proximity to critical structures and variable tumor volumes. In this study, we investigate whether acceptable treatment plans with excellent conformity and homogeneity can be generated for complex skull base tumors using the Cyberknife radiosurgical system.


At Georgetown University Hospital from March 2002 through May 2005, the CyberKnife was used to treat 80 patients with 82 base of skull lesions. Tumors were classified as simple or complex based on their proximity to adjacent critical structures. All planning and treatments were performed by the same radiosurgery team with the goal of minimizing dosage to adjacent critical structures and maximizing target coverage. Treatments were fractionated to allow for safer delivery of radiation to both large tumors and tumors in close proximity to critical structures.


The CyberKnife treatment planning system was capable of generating highly conformal and homogeneous plans for complex skull base tumors. The treatment planning parameters did not significantly vary between spherical and non-spherical target volumes. The treatment parameters obtained from the plans of the complex base of skull group, including new conformity index, homogeneity index and percentage tumor coverage, were not significantly different from those of the simple group.


Our data indicate that CyberKnife treatment plans with excellent homogeneity, conformity and percent target coverage can be obtained for complex skull base tumors. Longer follow-up will be required to determine the safety and efficacy of fractionated treatment of these lesions with this radiosurgical system.

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