Mayo Clinic study finds radiosurgery is effective alternative to surgery

April 24, 2002

A Mayo Clinic study has found that radiosurgery on a rare, typically benign intracranial tumor, is an effective alternative to surgery.

The use of stereotactic radiosurgery has less risk of injuring the cranial nerves where these tumors, non-vestibular schwannomas, appear. Schwannomas are typically benign tumors arising from the covering of nerves.

The study reviewing patient outcomes after radiosurgery appears in a recent issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a radiation therapy technique that uses a large number of narrow, precisely aimed, highly focused beams of ionizing radiation. The beams are aimed from many directions circling the head and meet at a specific point.

"Nonvestibular schwannomas are quite rare, representing less than one-half of one percent of intracranial tumors," said Bruce Pollock, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon and the lead author of the study. "Our study found that radiosurgery offers patients an alternative to surgical resection that has less risk of injuring the cranial nerves."

The study followed 23 patients who had radiosurgery for nonvestibular schwannomas at Mayo Clinc from April 1992 to February 2000. Nine of the study's patients had undergone one or more prior tumor resections or surgeries. One patient had a malignant schwannoma.

After radiosurgery, 22 of 23 tumors (96 percent) were either smaller (12) or unchanged in size (10). In the study, one patient with a malignant schwannoma had tumor progression outside the irradiated volume despite having both radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy; he died four years later. No patient with a lower cranial nerve schwannoma developed any hearing loss, facial weakness, or swallowing difficulty after radiosurgery.

In the study, Dr. Pollock and his colleagues concluded that although the reported number of patients having radiosurgery for nonvestibular schwannomas is limited, the high tumor control rates demonstrated after vestibular schwannoma radiosurgery should apply to these rare tumors. Compared to historical controls treated with surgical resection, radiosurgery appears to have less treatment-associated death for nonvestibular schwannomas, especially for schwannomas involving the lower cranial nerves.
Lisa Copeland
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)

Mayo Clinic

Related Tumors Articles from Brightsurf:

A viable vaccine for tough tumors
While immunotherapies work well for some cancers, others are immune-resistant and condemn patients to the severe side effects of long-term chemo treatment.

Women could conceive after ovarian tumors
Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumours were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows.

Attacking tumors from the inside
A new technology that allows researchers to peer inside malignant tumors shows that two experimental drugs can normalize aberrant blood vessels, oxygenation, and other aspects of the tumor microenvironment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), helping to suppress the tumor's growth and spread, UT Southwestern researchers report.

Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue.

A solid vaccine for liquid tumors
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a deadly blood cancer that kills most of its victims within five years.

Evolutionarily novel genes work in tumors
A team of scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University studied the evolutionary ages of human genes and identified a new class of them expressed in tumors -- tumor specifically expressed, evolutionarily novel (TSEEN) genes.

Identification of all types of germ cells tumors
Germ cell tumors were considered very heterogeneous and diverse, until recently.

Laser light detects tumors
A team of researchers from Jena presents a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light.

Better prognosticating for dogs with mammary tumors
For dogs with mammary tumors, deciding a course of treatment can depend on a variety of factors, some of which may seem to contradict one another.

The evolution of brain tumors
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center found in a recent study that only three different genetic alterations drive the early development of malignant glioblastomas.

Read More: Tumors News and Tumors Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to