Stereotactic radiosurgery: The preferred management for patients with nonvestibular schwannomas?

Bruce E. Pollock, Robert L. Foote, Scott L. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review patient outcomes after radiosurgery of nonvestibular schwannomas. Methods and Materials: From April 1992 to February 2000, 23 patients had radiosurgery at our center for nonvestibular schwannomas. Affected cranial nerves included the trochlear (n = 1), trigeminal (n = 10), jugular foramen region (n = 10), and hypoglossal (n = 2). Nine patients had undergone one or more prior tumor resections. One patient had a malignant schwannoma; 2 patients had neurofibromatosis. The median prescription isodose volume was 8.9 cc (range, 0.2 to 17.6 cc). The median tumor margin dose was 18 Gy (range, 12 to 20 Gy); the median maximum dose was 36 Gy (range, 24 to 40 Gy). The median follow-up after radiosurgery was 43 months (range, 12 to 111 months). Results: Twenty-two of 23 tumors (96%) were either smaller (n = 12) or unchanged in size (n = 10) after radiosurgery. One patient with a malignant schwannoma had tumor progression outside the irradiated volume despite having both radiosurgery and fractionated radiation therapy (50.4 Gy); he died 4 years later. Morbidity related to radiosurgery occurred in 4 patients (17%). Three of 10 patients with trigeminal schwannomas suffered new or worsened trigeminal dysfunction after radiosurgery. One patient with a hypoglossal schwannoma had eustachian tube dysfunction after radiosurgery. No patient with a lower cranial nerve schwannoma developed any hearing loss, facial weakness, or swallowing difficulty after radiosurgery. Conclusions: Although the reported number of patients having radiosurgery for nonvestibular schwannomas is limited, the high tumor control rates demonstrated after vestibular schwannoma radiosurgery should apply to these rare tumors. Compared to historical controls treated with surgical resection, radiosurgery appears to have less treatment-associated morbidity for nonvestibular schwannomas, especially for schwannomas involving the lower cranial nerves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1007
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2002


  • Jugular foramen
  • Radiosurgery
  • Schwannoma
  • Trigeminal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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