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Am J Otol. 1995 May;16(3):283-9.

Radiation therapy in the management of paragangliomas of the temporal bone.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The use of radiation therapy for the treatment of paragangliomas of the temporal bone remains controversial. Few studies exist that provide sufficient information on staging the long-term follow-up to clarify this issue. A retrospective study was undertaken of 38 patients with temporal bone paragangliomas treated with radiation therapy between 1956 and 1991. All patients received radiation therapy, either as a primary modality (14 patients), in combination treatment with surgery (13 patients), or as salvage therapy (11 patients). Mean disease stage (Fisch classification system) for each group was C2, B, and C1, respectively. The follow-up period ranged from 1 to 27 years (median 11.5 yr). Local control was achieved in 79% of the primary radiation therapy group, 100% of the combined treatment group, and 91% of the salvage therapy group. Complications resulting from radiation therapy were few and minor. This study demonstrates that the use of radiation therapy for temporal bone paragangliomas offers effective local control as a primary treatment modality, in combination with surgery, and as salvage therapy with few long-term complications.

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