Radiosurgery has been proven to be a safe and effective management strategy for skull base meningiomas either primarily or for tumor recurrence or progression after prior microsurgical resection. With its steep radiation falloff, radiosurgery provides long-term tumor growth control without the complications associated with conventional fractionated radiation therapy. Stereotactic MR imaging has allowed better definition of the tumor margin for precise multiisocenter conformal dose planning, and our current radiation dose prescription has decreased the incidence of new cranial nerve deficits after radiosurgery to less than 10%. Tumor growth control after radiosurgery remains greater than 90%; patients with subsequent growth typically have tumor outside the irradiated volume or a histologic diagnosis of atypical or malignant meningioma. Still, longer follow-up is needed to ensure that tumor growth control remains permanent after radiosurgery. For patients with large tumors of the skull base, radiosurgery can be part of a staged approach with microsurgery. Initially, the tumor is debulked without an attempt at resection involving the cranial nerves or basal vessels. Radiosurgery can then be performed for the small remaining tumor volume with little risk of cranial nerve deficits. Such multimodality treatment should result in reduced patient morbidity, with long-term tumor control.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology