Role of fractionated external beam radiotherapy in hemangioblastoma of the central nervous system

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Dec 1;69(5):1521-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.05.025. Epub 2007 Sep 14.


Purpose: To assess the clinical outcomes and toxicity in patients receiving fractionated external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for hemangioblastoma of the central nervous system, treated at two Canadian radiation oncology institutions.

Methods and materials: Between January 1980 and December 2004, the data of all patients receiving EBRT for central nervous system hemangioblastoma were retrospectively reviewed. The patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics were collected and overall survival, disease-free survival, and EBRT-related toxicities assessed.

Results: A total of 18 cases, 5 associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) and 13 sporadic (non-VHL), with a total 31 lesions, were documented. These were located in the cerebellum in 20 and spinal cord in 8 patients. EBRT was delivered for recurrence in 12, adjuvantly for residual disease in 4, and definitively in 2. The EBRT schedules ranged from 50.0 to 55.8 Gy in 1.8-2.0-Gy daily fractions (n = 17), typically with parallel-opposed fields to the cerebellar target volumes and direct posterior fields for spinal disease. At a median follow-up of 5.1 years (range, 0.1-14.5), the 5-year OS rate was 69% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50-96%), decreasing to 30% (95% CI, 10-87%) at 10 years. The disease-free survival rate at 5 and 10 years was 57% (95% CI, 37-87%) and 30% (95% CI, 11-83%), respectively. The outcomes differed according to VHL status. The 5-year OS rate was 100% for those with VHL compared with 55% (95% CI, 32-95%) for those with non-VHL disease (log-rank p = 0.003), and the 5-year disease-free survival rate was 80% (95% CI, 52-100%) with VHL compared with 48% (95% CI, 26-89%) without (log-rank p = 0.036).

Conclusions: Fractionated EBRT has a role in the management of extensive intracranial and/or spinal cord disease, the adjuvant treatment of residual postoperative disease, and the treatment of recurrence. More favorable outcomes were reported for VHL-associated lesions than for sporadic cases.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • British Columbia
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / mortality
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Hemangioblastoma / mortality
  • Hemangioblastoma / radiotherapy*
  • Hemangioblastoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Radiation Injuries / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery
  • von Hippel-Lindau Disease / complications