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Modern Gamma Knife radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas: treatment concept, volumetric tumor response, and functional results.
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Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
The objective of the present study was longitudinal evaluation of the volumetric tumor response and functional results after Gamma Knife radiosurgery of vestibular schwannomas, performed according to the modern standards of treatment. From October 2003 to September 2007, 133 consecutive patients with vestibular schwannomas were treated according to the concept of robotic Gamma Knife microradiosurgery, which is based on precise irradiation of the lesion, sparing adjacent structures, and delivery of the high radiation energy to the target. Multiple small-sized isocenters located within the border of the neoplasm were applied. The mean marginal dose was 11.5 Gy (range, 11-12 Gy). In total, 126 cases with a minimum posttreatment follow-up of 2 years (range, 2-7 years; median, 4 years) were analyzed. Temporary enlargement was noted in 25 % of tumors at 6 months after radiosurgery. At 3 years of follow-up, tumor shrinkage, stabilization, and increase in volume were marked in 73 %, 23 %, and 4 % of cases, respectively. All progressing lesions spontaneously stabilized later on and did not require additional management. In 3 % of patients, transitory impairment of the facial nerve function was marked; however, neither its permanent dysfunction nor trigeminal neuropathy attributed to radiosurgery was noted. Impairment of hearing compared to its pretreatment level was revealed in 4 %, 12 %, 13 %, and 16 % of patients at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years after radiosurgery, respectively, and this trend was statistically significant (P = 0.0042). Overall, 77 % of patients with serviceable hearing before treatment preserved it 3 years thereafter. In conclusion, modern Gamma Knife radiosurgery provides effective and safe management of vestibular schwannomas. Nevertheless, possible temporary tumor enlargement, delay of its growth arrest, transient dysfunction of the cranial nerves, and gradual deterioration of hearing after irradiation should be always taken into consideration.
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