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Stereotactic radiosurgery vs. fractionated radiotherapy for tumor control in vestibular schwannoma patients: a systematic review.

Review article
Authors Oscar Persson
Jiri Bartek
Netanel Ben Shalom
Theresa Wangerid
Asgeir Store Jakola
Petter Förander
Published in Acta neurochirurgica
Volume 159
Issue 6
Pages 1013–1021
ISSN 0942-0940
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages 1013–1021
Language en
Subject categories Neurosurgery, Cancer and Oncology


Repeated controlled studies have revealed that stereotactic radiosurgery is better than microsurgery for patients with vestibular schwannoma (VS) <3 cm in need of intervention. In this systematic review we aimed to compare results from single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) for patients with VS.We systematically searched MEDLINE, Web of Science, Embase and Cochrane and screened relevant articles for references. Publications from 1995 through 2014 with a minimum of 50 adult (>18 years) patients with unilateral VS, followed for a median of >5 years, were eligible for inclusion. After screening titles and abstracts of the 1094 identified articles and systematically reviewing 98 of these articles, 19 were included.Patients with unilateral VS treated with radiosurgery were compared to patients treated with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy.No randomized controlled trial (RCT) was identified. None of the identified controlled studies comparing SRS with FSRT were eligible according to the inclusion criteria. Nineteen case series on SRS (n = 17) and FSRT (n = 2) were included in the systematic review. Loss of tumor control necessitating a new VS-targeted intervention was found in an average of 5.0% of the patients treated with SRS and in 4.8% treated with FSRT. Mean deterioration ratio for patients with serviceable hearing before treatment was 49% for SRS and 45% for FSRT, respectively. The risk for facial nerve deterioration was 3.6% for SRS and 11.2% for FSRT and for trigeminal nerve deterioration 6.0% for SRS and 8.4% for FSRT. Since these results were obtained from case series, a regular meta-analysis was not attempted.SRS and FSRT are both noninvasive treatment alternatives for patients with VS with low rates of treatment failure in need of rescue therapy. In this selection of patients, the progression-free survival rates were on the order of 92-100% for both treatment options. There is a lack of high-quality studies comparing radiation therapy alternatives for patients with VS. Finally, 19 articles reported long-term tumor control after SRS, while only 2 articles reported long-term FSRT results, making effect estimates more uncertain for FSRT.

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