Radiotherapy for nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas: From conventional to modern stereotactic radiation techniques

Giuseppe Minniti, Marie Lise Jaffrain-Rea, Mattia Osti, Giampaolo Cantore, Riccardo Maurizi Enrici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The initial management of nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas (NFAs) is usually surgery; however, a significant proportion of NFAs may require further treatment. Radiotherapy is currently used in patients with residual tumour and achieves excellent long-term control, but there are concerns about potential late toxicity. Stereotactic radiotherapy, both in the form of radiosurgery or fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, has been developed as a more accurate technique of irradiation with more precise tumour localization and consequently a reduction in the volume of normal tissue, particularly the brain, irradiated to high radiation doses. A review of the literature suggests that new radiation techniques offer safe and effective treatment for recurrent or residual pituitary adenomas; however longer follow-up is necessary to confirm the excellent tumour control and the potential reduction of long-term radiation toxicity. Currently, radiotherapy has an important role in patients with residual or progressive disease after surgery. Patients with small or no residual tumours after surgery may generally continue on a policy of surveillance without immediate irradiation, in order to avoid the potential toxicity of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Radiosurgery
  • Toxicity
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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