Purpose: To describe the technique and results of stereotactically guided conformal radiotherapy (SCRT) in patients with craniopharyngioma after conservative surgery. Methods and materials: Thirty-nine patients with craniopharyngioma aged 3-68 years (median age 18 years) were treated with SCRT between June 1994 and January 2003. All patients were referred for radiotherapy after undergoing one or more surgical procedures. Treatment was delivered in 30-33 daily fractions over 6-6.5 weeks to a total dose of 50 Gy using 6 MV photons. Outcome was assessed prospectively. Results: At a median follow-up of 40 months (range 3-88 months) the 3- and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 97% and 92%, and 3- and 5-year survival 100%. Two patients required further debulking surgery for progressive disease 8 and 41 months after radiotherapy. Twelve patients (30%) had acute clinical deterioration due to cystic enlargement of craniopharyngioma following SCRT and required cyst aspiration. One patient with severe visual impairment prior to radiotherapy had visual deterioration following SCRT. Seven out of 10 patients with a normal pituitary function before SCRT had no endocrine deficits following treatment. Conclusion: SCRT as a high-precision technique of localized RT is suitable for the treatment of incompletely excised craniopharyngioma. The local control, toxicity and survival outcomes are comparable to results reported following conventional external beam RT. Longer follow-up is required to assess long-term efficacy and toxicity, particularly in terms of potential reduction in treatment related late toxicity.
- Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging