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Logo of neuroncolAboutAuthor GuidelinesEditorial BoardNeuro-Oncology
Neuro Oncol. 1999 July; 1(3): 177–187.
PMCID: PMC1920746

Preliminary results of conformal radiation therapy for medulloblastoma.


Radiation therapy for medulloblastoma consists of postoperative irradiation of the intracranial and spinal subarachnoid volume with an additional boost to the primary site of disease in the posterior fossa. The entire posterior fossa is usually included in the boost volume. Conformal radiation therapy techniques may be used to boost the primary site alone and substantially reduce the dose received by normal tissues, including the supratentorial brain, the middle and inner ear, and the hypothalamus. Using these techniques to irradiate only the tumor bed or residual tumor and not the entire posterior fossa represents a new paradigm in the treatment of medulloblastoma. In this study, we examine the use of conformal radiation therapy in the treatment of 14 patients with medulloblastoma. These patients were treated with multiple static, individually shaped, noncoplanar beams directed at the primary site after craniospinal irradiation. Excluding two patients who had previously received irradiation to the posterior fossa, the mean dose delivered to the primary site was 5715 cGy. Among the medulloblastoma patients (n = 10) who received immediate postoperative radiation therapy, no failures have occurred with a median follow-up of 42 months (range from 30 to 54 months). To demonstrate the differences in the distribution of dose to normal tissues when comparing conventional and conformal techniques, dose-volume histograms of the total brain, middle and inner ear, hypothalamus, and temporal lobe were created and presented for an example case. The neurologic, neuroendocrine, and neurocognitive outcome for patients with medulloblastoma may be influenced with the use of conformal radiation therapy. The use of these techniques should be formally tested in prospective studies of rigorously staged patients with failure rate monitoring.

Articles from Neuro-Oncology are provided here courtesy of Society for Neuro-Oncology and Oxford University Press