Safety of multiple stereotactic radiosurgery treatments for multiple brain lesions

Virany H. Hillard, Lynn L. Shih, Shing Chin, Chitti R. Moorthy, Deborah L. Benzil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a widely used therapy for multiple brain lesions, and studies have clearly established the safety and efficacy of single-dose SRS. However, as patient survival has increased, the recurrence of tumors and the development of metastases to new sites within the brain have made it desirable to repeat treatments over time. The cumulative toxicity of multi-isocenter, multiple treatments has not been well defined. We have retrospectively studied 10 patients who received multiple SRS treatments for multiple brain lesions to assess the cumulative toxicity of these treatments. Methods: In a retrospective review of all patients treated with SRS using the X-knife (Radionics, Burlington, MA) at Westchester Medical Center/New York Medical College between December 1995 and December 2000, 10 patients were identified who received at least two treatments to at least 3 isocenters and had a minimum follow-up period of 6 months. Image fusion technique was used to determine cumulative doses to targeted lesions, whole brain and critical brain structures. Toxicities and complications were identified by chart and radiological review. Results: The average of the maximum doses (cGy) to a point within the whole brain was 2402 (range 1617-3953); to the brainstem, 1059 (range 48-4126); to the right optic nerve, 223 (range 14-1012); to the left optic nerve, 159 (range 17-475); and to the optic chiasm, 219 (range 15-909). There were no focal neurological toxicities, including visual disturbances, cranial nerve palsies, or ataxia in any of the 10 patients. There were also no global toxicities, including cognitive decline or secondary tumors. Only one patient developed seizures that were difficult to control in association with radiation necrosis. Conclusions: Multiple SRS treatments at the cumulative doses used in our study are a safe therapy for patients with multiple brain lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Metastasis
  • Radiation necrosis
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery


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