Proton beam stereotactic radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS Harsh, G. R., Thornton, A. F., Chapman, P. H., Bussiere, M. R., Rabinov, J. D., Loeffler, J. S. 2002; 54 (1): 35-44


The proton beam's Bragg peak permits highly conformal radiation of skull base tumors. This study, prompted by reports of transient (30% each) and permanent (10% each) facial and trigeminal neuropathy after stereotactic radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas with marginal doses of 16-20 Gy, assessed whether proton beam radiosurgery using a marginal dose of only 12 Gy could control vestibular schwannomas while causing less neuropathy.Sixty-eight patients (mean age 67 years) were treated between 1992 and 1998. The mean tumor volume was 2.49 cm(3). The dose to the tumor margin (70% isodose line) was 12 Gy. The prospectively specified follow-up consisted of neurologic evaluation and MRI at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.After a mean clinical follow-up of 44 months and imaging follow-up of 34 months in 64 patients, 35 tumors (54.7%) were smaller and 25 (39.1%) were unchanged (tumor control rate 94%; actuarial control rate 94% at 2 years and 84% at 5 years). Three tumors enlarged: one shrank after repeated radiosurgery, one remained enlarged at the time of unrelated death, and one had not been imaged for 4 years in a patient who remained asymptomatic at last follow-up. Intratumoral hemorrhage into one stable tumor required craniotomy that proved successful. Thus, 97% of tumors required no additional treatment. Three patients (4.7%) underwent shunting for hydrocephalus evident as increased ataxia. Of 6 patients with functional hearing ipsilaterally, 1 improved, 1 was unchanged, and 4 progressively lost hearing. Cranial neuropathies were infrequent: persistent facial hypesthesia (2 new, 1 exacerbated; 4.7%); intermittent facial paresthesias (5 new, 1 exacerbated; 9.4%); persistent facial weakness (2 new, 1 exacerbated; 4.7%) requiring oculoplasty; transient partial facial weakness (5 new, 1 exacerbated; 9.4%), and synkinesis (5 new, 1 exacerbated; 9.4%).Proton beam stereotactic radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas at the doses used in this study controls tumor growth with relatively few complications.

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View details for PubMedID 12182972