Stereotactic radiation treatment of vestibular schwannoma: indications, limitations, and outcomes.

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Stereotactic radiation treatment of vestibular schwannoma: indications, limitations, and outcomes.
Conley GS, Hirsch BE.

Department of Otolaryngology, Eye and Ear Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Stereotactic radiation treatment is an increasingly performed procedure for patients with vestibular schwannoma and other benign skull base tumors. During the past 30 years, advancements in stereotactic imaging, radiation delivery techniques, and dose planning have improved overall patient outcomes. The specific role of radiation in current management strategies for vestibular schwannoma continues to evolve as long-term outcome data are analyzed and standardized studies are performed. The recent literature regarding the indications, limitations, and outcomes for stereotactic radiation treatment is reviewed. RECENT FINDINGS: Systematic reviews of the Gamma Knife literature demonstrate improved overall outcomes with radiation doses below 13 Gy. Observation of small vestibular schwannomas is recommended over early radiation or microsurgical intervention. Radiation may be used as adjunctive therapy for large tumors and in certain postradiation treatment failures. Stereotactic radiosurgery and fractionated radiotherapy are equally effective treatment modalities. SUMMARY: Long-term outcome data will ultimately define future indications and limitations for the use of stereotactic radiation with benign skull base lesions. Current evidence supports its use for small to medium sized primary and recurrent vestibular schwannomas with optimal dosing below 13 Gy. It is also recommended for adjunctive therapy, recurrent tumors, in poor surgical candidates, and for those who do not desire observation or surgery.

PMID: 20613529 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]