In acromegaly, pituitary irradiation is a slow, but effective, intervention in decreasing GH concentration. Few studies addressing the outcome of radiotherapy have used the currently accepted strict criteria for remission in the analysis of data. These studies report a low percentage of remission after radiotherapy. Doubt has especially been raised as to whether radiotherapy is effective in normalizing serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I concentration. We analyzed the long-term follow-up data of postoperatively administered radiotherapy in 36 patients with postoperative persistent acromegaly, using both the normalization of GH suppression during oral glucose loading (GTT) and the normalization of IGF-I concentration as criteria for remission. Before radiotherapy, mean suppressed GH was 9.8 +/- 1.9 mU/L (n = 31), and mean IGF-I concentration was 44.3 +/- 3.9 nmol/L, equivalent to + 4.76 +/- 0.78 age-related IGF-I SD score (n = 13). The median radiation dose was 40 Gray (range, 25-50 Gray). At 5, 10, and 15 yr follow-up, 18 out of 30 patients (60%), 23 out of 31 patients (74%), and 16 out of 19 patients (84%), respectively, achieved normal serum IGF-I concentration. At the last assessment of all patients, after a mean follow-up period of 139 +/- 12 months, 27 out of 36 (75%) patients had a normal IGF-I concentration without additional medication, whereas 5 patients still required treatment with octreotide. Remission, as judged by normalization of GH suppression during GTT, was documented in 65% of patients from 2-5 yr after radiotherapy (n = 34); in 69% of patients, up to 10 yr after radiotherapy (n = 29); and in 71% of patients, up to 15 yr post irradiation (n = 17). At the latest assessment, a mean of 125 +/- 11 months after radiotherapy, 71% of patients (n = 35) were in remission, as defined by normal suppression of serum GH during GTT. Remission, as judged by normalization of both GTT and IGF-I, was found in 40% of patients 3-5 yr after radiotherapy (n = 30); in 61% of patients, 6-10 yr after radiotherapy (n = 28); in 65%, after 11-15 yr after radiotherapy (n = 17); and in 63% of patients, at the end of the follow-up period (n = 35). Substitution of one or more pituitary hormone deficiencies was required in 11% of patients postoperatively; in 29%, 5 yr after radiotherapy; in 54%, 10 yr after radiotherapy; and in 58%, more than 15 yr after radiotherapy. Our findings support the use of radiotherapy as an effective intervention in the treatment of residual clinical activity of disease after surgery for acromegaly.