Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for meningioma

Nathan W. Uy, Shiao Y. Woo, Bin S. Teh, Wei Yuan Mai, L. Steven Carpenter, Joseph K. Chiu, Hsin H. Lu, Phillip Gildenberg, Todd Trask, Walter H. Grant, Edward Brian Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in the treatment of intracranial meningioma. Methods and Materials: Forty patients with intracranial meningioma (excluding optic nerve sheath meningiomas) were treated using IMRT with the NOMOS Peacock system between 1994 and 1999. Twenty-five patients received IMRT after surgery either as adjuvant therapy for incomplete resection or for recurrence, and 15 patients received definitive IMRT after presumptive diagnosis based on imaging. Thirty-two patients had skull base lesions, and 8 had nonskull base lesions. The prescribed dose ranged from 40 to 56 Gy (median 50.4 Gy) at 1.71 to 2 Gy per fraction, and the volume of the primary target ranged from 1.55 to 324.57 cc (median 20.22 cc). The mean dose to the target ranged from 44 to 60 Gy (median 53 Gy). Follow-up ranged from 6 to 71 months (median 30 months). Acute and chronic toxicity were assessed using Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) morbidity criteria and tumor response was assessed by patient report, examination, and imaging. Overall survival, progression-free survival, and local control were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Cumulative 5-year local control, progression-free survival, and overall survival were 93%, 88%, and 89%, respectively. Two patients progressed after IMRT, one locally and one distantly. Each was treated with IMRT after multiple recurrences of benign meningioma over many years. Both were found to have malignant meningioma at the time of relapse after IMRT, and it is likely their tumors had already undergone malignant change by the time IMRT was given. Defined normal structures generally received a significantly lower dose than the target. The most common acute central nervous system (CNS) toxicity was mild headache, usually relieved with steroids. One patient experienced RTOG Grade 3 acute CNS toxicity, and 2 experienced Grade 3 or higher late CNS toxicity, with one possible treatment-related death. No toxicity was observed with mean doses to the optic nerve/chiasm up to 47 Gy and maximum doses up to 55 Gy. Conclusion: IMRT is a promising new technology that is safe and efficacious in the primary and adjuvant treatment of intracranial meningiomas. A history of local aggression may indicate malignant degeneration and predict a poorer outcome. Toxicity data are encouraging, but the potential for serious side effects exists, as demonstrated by one possible treatment-related death. Larger cohort and longer follow-up are needed to better define efficacy and late toxicity of IMRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1270
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002


  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Intracranial meningioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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