Safety and Efficacy of Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy For Acoustic Neuromas


Shearwood McClelland III M.D.1, Bruce J. Gerbi Ph.D.2, Patrick D. Higgins Ph.D.2, James B. Orner M.D.2,  Walter A. Hall M.D., M.B.A.1


Departments of 1Neurosurgery and 2Radiation Oncology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN




The treatment of acoustic neuromas (AN) has historically involved surgical excision or stereotactic radiosurgery, with a relatively limited number of reports available describing the use of fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT).  To enhance the existing knowledge regarding the safety and efficacy of this treatment modality, we describe our initial experience with FSRT for AN.



From 1999-2005, 20 patients (12F, 8M) with AN underwent FSRT.  All patients were treated using the Radionics X-Knife 4.0 3D planning system, receiving 54 Gy in 1.8 Gy daily fractions with a prescription isodose line of 90%.  Treatments were delivered stereotactically using a dedicated Varian 6/100 linear accelerator, with immobilization achieved via the Gill-Thomas-Cosman relocatable frame.  Median tumor size (maximum diameter) was 2.1 cm (range, 1.1-3.4 cm).  Median patient age was 49.5 years, with median follow-up of 22 months.  All patients were evaluated with pre- and postgadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.



Following FSRT, local tumor control was achieved in every patient, with the treatment well-tolerated by all patients.  No patient experienced acute complications or facial nerve weakness.  Two patients experienced permanent trigeminal nerve morbidity manifesting as facial numbness.  All nine patients with preserved hearing before treatment had hearing preservation at last follow-up.



In our series of 20 patients with AN, all had local tumor control following FSRT, with minimal morbidity.  These results support the growing body of literature demonstrating the safety and efficacy of FSRT in achieving local control for AN, further validating the viability of FSRT as a treatment modality for this patient population.



Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy, Acoustic Neuroma, Tumor Control, Morbidity