Stereotactic radiosurgery for craniopharyngiomas

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2021 Sep 13. doi: 10.1007/s00701-021-04990-1. Online ahead of print.


Background: The management of craniopharyngiomas is challenging, usually requiring multidisciplinary care. We evaluated the long-term clinical and radiologic outcomes of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for craniopharyngiomas.

Methods: This retrospective study involved patients managed with GKRS for a craniopharyngioma during the period of 1989 to 2019. Patient clinical and radiologic data, tumor characteristics, and procedural details were analyzed.

Results: Thirty-eight consecutive patients (24 males; mean patient age at GKRS = 30.82 years [SD ± 20.45 years]) were treated with GKRS for craniopharyngioma. Overall survival rates at 5 and 10 years were 84.1% and 80.1%, respectively. Progression-free survival at 5 years was 48.1%, and, at 10 years, it was 29.8%. Risk factors for post-GKRS clinical deterioration were increasing number of isocenters used (p = 0.04 (HR1.32, CI 1-1.73)), increasing margin dose [p = 0.02 (HR1.52, CI 1.31-1.84)], and maximum dose > 35 Gy [p = 0.002 (HR1.35, CI 1.11-1.63)].

Conclusion: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) appears a safe and effective management option in selected craniopharyngioma patients. Increasing margin dose and maximum dose > 35 Gy are associated with an increased risk for post-SRS neurologic deficit. Further, well-designed studies are necessary to determine the optimal timing and SRS parameters and to identify which patients with craniopharyngioma will benefit the most from SRS.

Keywords: Craniopharyngioma; Gamma Knife; Radiosurgery.