Truebeam Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia: Preliminary Results at a Single Institution

Cureus. 2017 Jun 16;9(6):e1362. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1362.


Introduction: Radiosurgery is now an established method of satisfactory pain control in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The Varian Truebeam STx (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) linear accelerator (LINAC) system is an arc-based, frameless stereotactic radiosurgery system used for the treatment of TN. To our knowledge, there has been only one published series of patient histories that documents the use of a frameless LINAC system for the treatment of TN. We describe the treatment parameters, patient outcomes, and complications associated with the treatment of TN.

Methods: All patients treated with the Truebeam system for TN between 2012 and 2015, with at least a six-month follow-up, were identified. A dose of 90 Gy was delivered to the isocenter using a 0.5 cm diameter cone. The cisternal segment of the trigeminal nerve was placed at the location of the LINAC isocenter using an ExacTrac™ (Brainlab, Munich, Germany) image guidance system. The radiosurgical dose, Barrow Neurologic Institute pain score (BNI PS), symptom recurrence, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiographic changes, and other complications, including Barrow Neurologic Institute facial numbness score (BNI FN), were analyzed.

Results: A total of 18 patients-15 women and 3 men-with a mean age of 58 years (median: 59 years; range: 22-84 years) were treated at our institution. Fourteen patients (78%) had a BNI PS of IIIb or better, which was considered successful treatment. Twelve patients had excellent (BNI PS I) pain relief and two patients had good (BNI PS II-IIIB; recurrence after one year) pain relief. The pain of four patients recurred after a mean of 10 months.

Conclusion: Truebeam radiosurgery can provide effective and safe treatment for patients suffering from TN. The efficacy appears similar to other frame- and frameless-based systems.

Keywords: cyberknife; gamma knife; linear accelerator; radiosurgery; radiosurgical rhizotomy; stereotactic radiosurgery; trigeminal neuralgia; truebeam.