Multiple small doses of highly focused radiation therapy may be safer and more effective than a single larger dose of radiation in destroying pituitary gland tumors, according to a recent study published online in Neurosurgery (doi:10.1227/NEU.0000000000001155).1

David Baskin, MD, of the Houston Methodist Hospital, and fellow authors examined 75 patients who underwent fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT), which is considered a variation of the traditional stereotactic radiosurgery used to treat pituitary adenomas more aggressively.

The researchers found that none of the patients experienced any tumor recurrence during the monitoring period, and nearly 70% of those with hormonal imbalances caused by adenomas returned to normal levels.


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The study suggests that FSRT may demonstrate more long-term effectiveness compared with SRT and conventional radiotherapy.

“We also plan to conduct prospective research that will evaluate FSRT and SRT so that the benefits and limitations of both therapies in treating pituitary adenomas can be directly compared,” said Baskin.

REFERENCE

1. Houston Methodist. Study shows multiple-dose, targeted radiation more effective for treating pituitary tumors [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/hm-ssm121615.php. Posted December 16, 2015. Accessed December 17, 2015.