Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become an important treatment option for patients with intracranial meningiomas. The author reviews the 12-year experience at a single institution and discusses the relative strengths and weakness of this management approach.
Between January 1990 and December 2002, 330 patients (with 356 tumors) underwent radiosurgery for intracranial meningiomas. One hundred thirty-eight patients (42%) harbored recurrent/residual tumors after having already undergone resection; 192 patients (58%) underwent radiosurgery as primary treatment. The majority of patients (70%) harbored skull base tumors. The median tumor volume was 7.3 cm3 (range 0.5–50.5 cm3). The median tumor margin dose was 16 Gy (range 12–20 Gy). In 278 patients with 297 lesions the mean clinical and imaging follow-up period was 43 months (range 2–138 months). Two hundred seventy-eight tumors (94%) remained stable or decreased in size, and 19 tumors progressed in size. Factors associated with progression were tumor histological type and prior surgery. Treatment-related complications occurred in 8% of the patients and included cranial neuropathies, symptomatic edema, cyst formation, and stenosis of the internal carotid artery. In three patients (1%) tumor dedifferentiation was noted after SRS.
Radiosurgical treatment of meningioma is safe and it has become the primary treatment for patients with small skull base tumors. Further study is needed to determine the long-term tumor control rates after such treatment, especially for patients treated with doses of 14 Gy or less.