Stereotactic radiosurgery for WHO grade I meningiomas
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- Sheehan, J.P., Williams, B.J. & Yen, C.P. J Neurooncol (2010) 99: 407. doi:10.1007/s11060-010-0363-x
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Meningiomas represent a common intracranial tumor in the adult population. Although extirpation to achieve a gross total resection or at least decrease mass effect has been the mainstay of treatment, stereotactic radiosurgery has come to play an increasingly important role in the management of patients with meningiomas. Radiosurgery utilizes highly focused, beams of ionizing radiation to inactivate tumor cells. Image guidance and a steep dose fall off are critical features of this approach. The radiobiology of radiosurgery differs in certain advantageous ways from conventional radiotherapy. Radiosurgery initially was utilized to treat recurrent or residual skull base meningiomas. As success was observed in this setting, radiosurgery has gradually expanded its role so as to treat convexity meningiomas; it is also used as an upfront treatment for patients for whom clinical and neuro-imaging findings are consistent with a meningioma. Most large series demonstrate tumor control rates for patients with grade I meningiomas in excess of 85%. Neurological function is generally preserved or improved for patients with meningiomas. However, complications can occur. Longitudinal follow-up including neurologic and radiologic assessment is required. Single and multisession stereotactic radiosurgery will likely play an expanded role in the treatment of patients with meningiomas.