Skip to main content

Craniospinal Radiotherapy

  • 497 Accesses


Craniospinal irradiation; CSI


Craniospinal radiotherapy is an irradiation that is directed at the whole brain and length of the spinal axis, including the meninges, as part of the cancer treatment to control malignant cells. It serves as a radical (curative) antineoplastic therapy, as a prophylaxis against a neoplasm’s involvement with the central nervous system, or as a palliative recourse when cure is impossible. Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) is technically challenging, and is used with computed tomography (CT) simulation and multimodality MRI registration to define a large target volume, which spares healthy tissues, and assures exact reproducibility of treatment from day-to-day. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, proton radiotherapy, and other new methods are new techniques for craniospinal treatment in order to reduce side effects and preserve sensitive neural and other tissue, such as cardiac, near the spine.

MRI evidence of the craniospinal radiation...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution.

References and Readings

  • Armstrong, C. L., Gyato, K., Awadalla, A. W., Lustig, R., & Tochner, Z. A. (2004). A critical review of the clinical effects of therapeutic irradiation damage to the brain: The roots of controversy. Neuropsychology Review, 14, 65–86.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Brady, L. W., Heilmann, H. P., Molls, M., & Schlegel, W. (2006). New techniques in radiation oncology. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mahajan, A. (2014). Proton craniospinal radiation therapy: Rationale and clinical evidence. International Journal of Particle Therapy, 1(2), 299–407.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sharma, D. S., Gupta, T., Jalali, R., Master, Z., Phurailatpam, R. D., & Sarin, R. (2009). High-precision radiotherapy for craniospinal irradiation: Evaluation of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy and helical TomoTherapy. The British Journal of Radiology, 82, 1000–1009.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jacqueline L. Cunningham .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer International Publishing AG

About this entry

Cite this entry

Cunningham, J.L. (2017). Craniospinal Radiotherapy. In: Kreutzer, J., DeLuca, J., Caplan, B. (eds) Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-56782-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-56782-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics