Target delineation and optimal radiosurgical dose for pituitary tumors

Giuseppe Minniti, Mattia Falchetto Osti, Maximillian Niyazi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) delivered as either single-fraction or multi-fraction SRS (2-5 fractions) is frequently employed in patients with residual or recurrent pituitary adenoma. The most common delivery systems used for SRS include the cobalt-60 system Gamma Knife, the CyberKnife (CK) robotic radiosurgery system, or a modified conventional radiotherapy machine (linear accelerator, LINAC). Tumor control and normalization of hormone hypersecretion have been reported in 75-100 % and 25-80 % of patients, respectively. Hypopituitarism is the most commonly reported late complication of radiation treatment, whereas other toxicities occur less frequently. We have provided an overview of the recent available literature on SRS in patients with a pituitary adenoma. Critical aspects of pituitary irradiation, including target delineation and doses to organs at risk, optimal radiation dose, as well as the long-term efficacy and toxicity of SRS for either nonfunctioning or secreting pituitary adenomas are discussed. Single-fraction SRS represents an effective treatment for patients with a pituitary adenoma; however, caution should be used for lesions > 2.5-3 cm in size and/or involving the anterior optic pathway. Future studies will be necessary to optimize target doses and critical organ dose constrains in order to reduce the long-term toxicity of treatments while maintaining high efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2016


  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing's disease
  • Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Radiosurgery
  • Target delineation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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