Secretory pituitary adenomas are very common brain tumors. Historically, the treatment armamentarium for secretory pituitary adenomas included neurosurgery, medical management, and fractionated radiotherapy.
In recent years, MASEP gamma knife radiosurgery (MASEP GKRS) has emerged as an important treatment modality in the management of secretory pituitary adenomas. The goal of this research is to define accurately the efficacy, safety, complications, and role of MASEP GKRS for treatment of secretory pituitary adenomas.
Methods: Between 1997 and 2007 a total of 347 patients with secretory pituitary adenomas treated with MASEP GKRS and with at least 60 months of follow-up data were identified.
In 47 of these patients some form of prior treatment such as transsphenoidal resection, or craniotomy and resection had been conducted. The others were deemed ineligible for microsurgery because of body health or private choice, and MASEP GKRS served as the primary treatment modality.
Endocrinological, ophthalmological, and neuroradiological responses were evaluated.
Results: MASEP GKRS was tolerated well in these patients under the follow-up period ranged from 60 to 90 months; acute radioreaction was rare and 17 patients had transient headaches with no clinical significance.
Late radioreaction was noted in 1 patient and consisted of consistent headache. Of the 68 patients with adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting(ACTH) adenomas, 89.7% showed tumor volume decrease or remain unchanged and 27.9% experienced normalization of hormone level.
Of the 176 patients with prolactinomas, 23.3% had normalization of hormone level and 90.3% showed tumor volume decrease or remain unchanged. Of the 103 patients with growth hormone-secreting(GH) adenomas, 95.1% experienced tumor volume decrease or remain unchanged and 36.9% showed normalization of hormone level.
Conclusions: MASEP GKRS is safe and effective in treating secretory pituitary adenomas.
None of the patients in our study experienced injury to the optic apparatus or had other neuropathies related with gamma knife. MASEP GKRS may serve as a primary treatment method in some or as a salvage treatment in the others.
However, treatment must be tailored to meet the patient's symptoms, tumor location, tumor morphometry, and overall health. Longer follow-up is required for a more complete assessment of late radioreaction and treatment efficacy.
Author: Heng Wan, Ohye Chihiro and Shu BIN Yuan
Credits/Source: Journal of Experimental &Clinical Cancer Research 2009, 28:36