Influence of radiotherapy on long-term relapse in clinically non-secreting pituitary adenomas: A retrospective study (1970-1988)

M. L. Jaffrain-Rea, P. Derome, J. P. Bataini, P. Thomopoulos, X. Bertagna, J. P. Luton

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Objective: We wished to evaluate the influence of postoperative radiotherapy on the incidence of tumour regrowth in non-secreting pituitary adenomas. Methods: The cases of 57 patients with clinically non-secreting pituitary adenomas were retained for a retrospective study of long-term disease-free survival out of a series of 66 patients treated between 1970 and 1988. Thirty-three patients were treated by surgery only (Group A), and twenty-four by surgery followed by external radiotherapy (Group B). Disease-free survival curves were calculated according to the Kaplan-Meyer method and compared by the Logrank test. The impact of some supposed prognostic parameter - such as tumoural volume, macroscopic features of invasiveness and quality of surgical resection - on the disease-free survival was analyzed according to the Logrank adjusted test. Results: The mean follow-up duration was 7.1 ± 6.2 years, and eleven patients relapsed: nine in group A (27.0%) and two in group B (8.3%), with respective free intervals of 6.1 ± 5.0 years and 9.6 ± 2.4 years. Statistical analysis of the disease-free survival curves confirmed that this difference was significant (p <0.01). Further analysis of putative risk factors (the importance of extrasellar extension and the estimated quality of surgical resection) was attempted, but it did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Radiotherapy is effective in preventing post-operative regrowth of non-secreting pituitary adenomas. Whether it should be systematically proposed or reserved to selected cases remains to be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-403
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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