Long-term outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery for skull base tumors involving the cavernous sinus

J Neurooncol. 2022 Jan 14. doi: 10.1007/s11060-021-03921-5. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an effective and less invasive therapeutic option for cavernous sinus (CS) tumors. However, its long-term effectiveness and neurological outcomes have yet to be fully elucidated. We aimed to examine the long-term outcomes of SRS for CS tumors.

Methods: Overall, a cohort of 113 patients with benign CS tumors, including 91 with meningioma, 14 with trigeminal schwannoma (TS), and eight with cavernous hemangioma, treated with SRS at our institution from 1990 to 2018, was included. Tumor control and functional preservation/recovery were evaluated in detail.

Results: The median post-SRS follow-up period was 77 months (interquartile range, 39-177). Progression-free survival (PFS) was 97% at 5 years, 89% at 10 years, and 87% at 15 years for the entire cohort; 96% at 5 years and 87% at 10 years for meningiomas; and 100% at 10 years for the other tumors. No significant difference was observed between meningiomas and non-meningiomas (log-rank test, p = 0.107). Improvement in cranial nerve (CN) function was observed in 35 (27%) patients. TSs tended to show CN improvements more often than meningiomas did (total improvements, 62% vs. 23%; p = 0.004; eye movement function, 100% vs. 20%; p = 0.002). CN deterioration or development of new CN deficits was observed in 11 (10%) patients.

Conclusion: SRS provides good tumor control and acceptable long-term outcome with sufficient preservation of CN function in patients with benign CS tumors.

Keywords: Cavernous sinus; Gamma knife radiosurgery; Skull base tumors; Stereotactic radiosurgery.