Author(s): Ganz JC
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Abstract The question has been raised recently whether gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) can induce secondary neoplasia. Because there is little or no detailed knowledge about this potential complication, background information culled from the radiotherapy literature is reviewed as a guide to the clinical situations in which radiotherapy may induce secondary neoplastic change. Available case reports are then reviewed and discussed against the background of the current knowledge. On the basis of the review, the following suggestions are proposed on how to limiting the extent of this complication, document its frequency, and inform patients. It should be remembered that: the benefits of GKS are great; its alternatives also have risks; there often are no alternatives to GKS; follow-up documentation should be pursued more actively so that, if possible, no patient falls through the net; practitioners should be proactive in defining the problem, and genetic analysis of tumor biopsy specimens obtained in patients who will undergo or have undergone GKS should become routine; the extent of secondary neoplasia is not known; and patient information should be guided by what is known rather than by what is feared.
This article was published in J Neurosurg
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation