Long-term results of irradiation for paraganglioma

Aaron J. Krych, Robert L. Foote, Paul D. Brown, Yolanda I. Garces, Michael J. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: The management of paragangliomas is controversial. Observation, surgery, external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT), and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) may, alone or in combination, be appropriate, depending on the size and extent of the tumor, previous treatment, and patient age, general health, and neurologic condition. Few data exist regarding long-term tumor control and late effects after EBRT or SRS. Methods and Materials: We performed a retrospective review of all patients treated with EBRT or SRS for paraganglioma at our institution between 1967 and 1994. The endpoints of the study were tumor control and late complications. Results: The 33 patients in this study had a median follow-up of 13 years (range, 4 months to 36 years). The 10-year tumor control rate was 92% (95% confidence interval, 75-98%). At the last follow-up visit, no patient had developed a radiation-induced malignancy. Conclusion: External-beam RT and SRS are safe and effective for enlarging and/or symptomatic paragangliomas. The risk of developing a delayed radiation-induced malignancy after EBRT or SRS is low. This risk must be weighed against the significant immediate and permanent risk of cranial nerve deficits if the tumor is untreated or is surgically resected. This risk must also be weighed against the immediate but low risk of surgical mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1066
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2006


  • Paraganglioma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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