Since 1989, 79 patients with benign or malignant cavernous sinus tumors, have been treated at Stanford University with linear accelerator (linac) radiosurgery. Radiosurgery has been used as (1) a planned second-stage procedure for residual tumor following surgery, (2) primary treatment for patients whose medical conditions preclude surgery, (3) palliation of malignant lesions, and (4) definitive treatment for small, well-localized, poorly accessible tumors. Mean patient age was 52 years (range, 18 to 88); there were 28 males and 51 females. Sixty-one patients had benign tumors; 18 had malignant tumors. Mean tumor volume was 6.8 cm(3) (range 0.5 to 22.5 cm(3)) covered with an average of 2.3 isocenter (range, 1 to 5). Radiation dose averaged 17.1 Gy. Mean follow-up was 46 months. Tumor control or shrinkage, or both, varied with pathology. Radiographic tumor improvement was most pronounced in malignant lesions, with greater than 85% showing reduction in tumor size; benign tumors (meningiomas and schwannomas) had a 63% control rate and 37% shrinkage rate, with none enlarging. We concluded that stereotactic radiosurgery is a valuable tool in managing cavernous sinus tumors. There was excellent control and stabilization of benign tumors and palliation of malignant lesions.
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