Research over the past 2 decades has been characterizing the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the treatment of benign intracranial tumors, including meningiomas. However, few studies have examined the long-term outcomes of SRS treatment for posterior fossa meningiomas (PFMs). Furthermore, previous studies have typically used single diameter measurements when reporting outcomes, which can yield misleading results. The authors describe the use of SRS in the treatment of benign WHO grade I PFMs and correlate volumetric analysis with long-term outcomes.
This study is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained IRB-approved database. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of WHO grade I PFM with subsequent treatment via single-session SRS and a minimum of 3 follow-up MRI studies available. Volumetric analysis was performed on the radiosurgical scan and each subsequently available follow-up scan by using slice-by-slice area calculations of the meningioma and numerical integration with the trapezoid rule.
The final cohort consisted of 120 patients, 76.6% (92) of whom were female, with a median age of 61 years (12–88 years). Stereotactic radiosurgery was the primary treatment for 65% (78) of the patients, whereas 28.3% (34) had 1 resection before SRS treatment and 6.7% (8) had 2 or more resections before SRS. One patient had prior radiotherapy. Tumor characteristics included a median volume of 4.0 cm3 (0.4–40.9 cm3) at treatment with a median margin dose of 15 Gy (8–20 Gy). The median clinical and imaging follow-ups were 79.5 (15–224) and 72 (6–213) months, respectively. For patients treated with a margin dose ≥ 16 Gy, actuarial progression-free survival rates during the period 2–10 years post-SRS were 100%. In patients treated with a margin dose of 13–15 Gy, the actuarial progression-free survival rates at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years were 97.5%, 97.5%, 93.4%, 93.4%, and 93.4%, respectively. Those who were treated with ≤ 12 Gy had actuarial progression-free survival rates of 95.8%, 82.9%, 73.2%, 56.9%, and 56.9% at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years, respectively. The overall tumor control rate was 89.2% (107 patients). Post-SRS improvement in neurological symptoms occurred in 23.3% (28 patients), whereas symptoms were stable in 70.8% (85 patients) and worsened in 5.8% (7 patients). Volumetric analysis demonstrated that a change in tumor volume at 3 years after SRS reliably predicted a volumetric change and tumor control at 5 years (R2 = 0.756) with a p < 0.001 and at 10 years (R2 = 0.421) with a p = 0.001. The authors also noted that the 1- to 5-year tumor response is predictive of the 5- to 10-year tumor response (R2 = 0.636, p < 0.001).
Stereotactic radiosurgery, as an either upfront or adjuvant treatment, is a durable therapeutic option for WHO grade I PFMs, with high tumor control and a low incidence of post-SRS neurological deficits compared with those obtained using alternate treatment modalities. Lesion volumetric response at the short-term follow-up of 3 years is predictive of the long-term response at 5 and 10 years.