Sparing of the hippocampus, limbic circuit and neural stem cell compartment during partial brain radiotherapy for glioma: a dosimetric feasibility study

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2011 Aug;55(4):442-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2011.02282.x.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of sparing contralateral or bilateral neural stem cell (NSC) compartment, hippocampus and limbic circuit during partial brain radiotherapy (PBRT).

Methods and materials: Treatment plans were generated for five hemispheric high-grade gliomas, five hemispheric low-grade gliomas and two brainstem gliomas (12 patients). For each, standard intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans were generated, as well as IMRT plans which spared contralateral (hemispheric cases) or bilateral (brainstem cases) limbic circuit, hippocampus, and NSC. Biologically equivalent dose for late effects (BED(late effects)) was generated for limbic circuit, hippocampus and NSC. Per cent relative reduction in mean physical dose and BED was calculated for each plan (standard vs. sparing).

Results: We were able to reduce physical dose and BED(late effects) to these critical structures by 23.5-56.8% and 23.6-66%, respectively.

Conclusion: It is possible to spare contralateral limbic circuit, NSC and hippocampus during PBRT for both high- and low-grade gliomas using IMRT, and to spare the hippocampus bilaterally during PBRT for brainstem low-grade gliomas. This approach may reduce late cognitive sequelae of cranial radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Cranial Irradiation / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Glioma / radiotherapy*
  • Hippocampus / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / radiation effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated