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Radiotherapy for craniopharyngioma


Radiotherapy remains the mainstay of multidisciplinary management of patients with incompletely resected and recurrent craniopharyngioma. Advances in imaging and radiotherapy technology offer new alternatives with the principal aim of improving the accuracy of treatment and reducing the volume of normal brain receiving significant radiation doses. We review the available technologies, their technical advantages and disadvantages and the published clinical results. Fractionated high precision conformal radiotherapy with image guidance remains the gold standard; the results of single fraction treatment are disappointing and hypofractionation should be used with caution as long term results are not available. There is insufficient data on the use of protons to assess the comparative efficacy and toxicity. The precision of treatment delivery needs to be coupled with experienced infrastructure and more intensive quality assurance to ensure best treatment outcome and this should be carried out within multidisciplinary teams experienced in the management of craniopharyngioma. The advantages of the combined skills and expertise of the team members may outweigh the largely undefined clinical gain from novel radiotherapy technologies.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare they do not have financial interest in the organisations sponsoring this work.

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Correspondence to Michael Brada.

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Aggarwal, A., Fersht, N. & Brada, M. Radiotherapy for craniopharyngioma. Pituitary 16, 26–33 (2013).

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  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Radiosurgery
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • IMRT