Stereotactic radiosurgery as an adjunct to surgery and external beam radiotherapy in the treatment of patients with malignant gliomas

Dave Gannett, Baldassarre Stea, Bruce Lulu, Tad Adair, Chris Verdi, Allan Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a stereotactic radiosurgery boost as part of the primary management of a minimally selected population of patients with malignant gliomas. Methods and Materials: Between June, 1991 and January, 1994 a stereotactic radiosurgery boost was given to 30 patients after completion of fractionated external beam radiotherapy. The study population consisted of 22 males and 8 females, with a ranged in age at treatment from 5 to 74 years (median: 54 years). Tumor volume ranged from 2.1 to 115.5 cubic centimeters (cc) (median: 24 cc). Histology included 17 with glioblastoma multiforme, 10 with anaplastic astrocytoma, 1 with a mixed anaplastic astrocytoma-oligodendroglioma, and 2 with a gliosarcoma. A complete resection was performed in 9 (30%) patients, while 18 (60%) underwent a subtotal resection, and 3 (10%) received a biopsy only. Fractionated radiation dose ranged from 44 to 62 Gy, with a median of 59.4 Gy. Prescribed stereotactic radiosurgery dose ranged from 0.5 to 18 Gy (median: 10 Gy), and the volume receiving the prescription dose ranged from 2.1 to 158.7 cc (median: 46 cc). The volume of tumor receiving the prescription dose ranged from 70-100% (median: 100%). One to four (median: 2) isocenters were used, and collimator size ranged from 12.5 to 50 mm (median size: 32.5 mm). The median minimum stereotactic radiosurgery dose was 70% of the prescription dose and the median maximum dose was 200% of the prescription dose. Results: With a minimum follow-up of 1 year from radiosurgery, 7 (23%) of the patients are still living and 22 (73%)_have died of progressive disease. One patient died of a myocardial infarction 5 months after stereotactic radiosurgery. Follow-up for living patients ranged from 12 to 45 months, with a median of 30 months. The 1- and 2-year disease-specific survival from the date of diagnosis is 57 [95% confidence interval (CI) 39 to 74%] and 25% (95% CI 9 to 41%), respectively (median survival: 13.9 months). No significant acute or late toxicity has been observed. Conclusions: Stereotactic radiosurgery provides a safe and feasible technique for dose escalation in the primary management of unselected malignant gliomas. Longer follow-up and a randomized prospective trial is required to more thoroughly evaluate the role of radiosurgery in the primary management of malignant gliomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 1995


  • Malignant glioma
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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