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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in Radiation Oncology.

Volume 7, Issue 225, December 28 2012.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-225. Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd.


BACKGROUND: Skull base meningiomas commonly present with cranial neuropathies. Fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy (FSRT) has been used to treat these tumors with excellent local control, but rates of improvement in cranial neuropathies have not been well defined. We review the experience at Thomas Jefferson University using FSRT in the management of these patients with a focus on symptom outcomes.

METHODS: We identified 225 cases of skull base meningiomas treated with FSRT at Thomas Jefferson University from 1994 through 2009. The target volume was the enhancing tumor, treated to a standard prescription dose of 54 Gy. Symptoms at the time of RT were classified based on the cranial nerve affected. Logistic regression was performed to determine predictors of symptom improvement after FSRT.

RESULTS: The median follow-up time was 4.4 years. In 92% of cases, patients were symptomatic at the time of RT; the most common were impaired visual field/acuity (58%) or extraocular movements (34%). After FSRT, durable improvement of at least one symptom occurred in 57% of cases, including 40% of visual acuity/visual field deficits, and 40% of diplopia/ptosis deficits. Of all symptomatic patients, 27% experienced improvement of at least one symptom within 2 months of the end of RT.

CONCLUSIONS: FSRT is very effective in achieving improvement of cranial neuropathies from skull base meningiomas, particularly visual symptoms. Over half of treated patients experience a durable improvement of at least one symptom, frequently within 2 months from the end of RT.

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