Author(s): Simmons NE, Laws ER Jr
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Tumor neogenesis is an uncommon but known consequence after therapeutic irradiation of the central nervous system. Causative agents for glioma induction remain unknown, but laboratory and clinical data suggest a possible role for radiation as a promotor. In the treatment of both pituitary adenomas and craniopharyngiomas, adjunctive conventional radiation therapy has long played a role. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: This report details two cases in which patients received standard sellar irradiation for growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas and later were diagnosed with gliomas, after a latency period of 11 and 18 years, respectively. Additionally, a comprehensive review of the literature with 30 reports of gliomas developing after conventional radiation for treatment of pituitary adenomas and craniopharyngiomas is presented. The mean dose for craniopharyngiomas (n = 8) was 5800 cGy, with a mean latency of 11.5 years from initial diagnosis to the eventual discovery of the gliomas. The mean dose for the treatment of pituitary adenomas (n = 24) was 5300 cGy, with a mean latency of 10.4 years. CONCLUSION: Typical features of the resulting gliomas included presentation in young patients, histologically high grades, and occurrence within the temporal lobe. A large proportion of gliomas were associated with growth hormone-secreting adenomas. This review assesses the implication of doses of conventional radiotherapy that were previously thought to be benign and concludes that although radiation-associated gliomas are uncommon, they represent a potentially devastating long-term risk. Based on this analysis, treatment of sellar tumors with conventional fractionated radiotherapy should be carefully considered and perhaps used primarily in those cases for which radiosurgery is not appropriate.
This article was published in Neurosurgery
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy