OBJECTIVE - To conduct a retrospective review of outcomes in 15 patients with 18 foraminal tumors, including 17 benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors and 1 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, who underwent CyberKnife (Accuray, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) radiosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center from 1999 to 2006.
METHODS - Symptoms and findings, neurofibromatosis (NF) association, previous radiation, imaging, dosimetry, tumor volume, central necrosis, and the relation of these factors to outcomes were evaluated.
RESULTS - Before treatment, 1 asymptomatic patient had radiculopathic findings, 3 patients experienced local pain with intact neurological examinations, and 7 patients had radiculopathic complaints with intact (1 patient), radiculopathic (4 patients), or radiculomyelopathic examinations (2 patients). Five patients had myelopathic complaints and findings. Three patients had NF1-associated neurofibromas, 1 patient with NF2 had a schwannoma, and 1 patient had a schwannomatosis-related lesion. Two likely radiation-induced lesions, a neurofibroma and a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, were observed. Prescribed doses ranging from 16 to 24 Gy, delivered in 1 to 3 fractions of 6 to 20 Gy, resulted in maximum tumor doses ranging from 20.9 to 30 Gy. Target volumes ranged from 1.36 to 16.9 mL. After radiosurgery, the asymptomatic case remained asymptomatic, and neurological findings improved. Thirteen of 15 symptomatic patients with (12 patients) or without (3 patients) neurological findings improved (3 cases after resection) or remained stable, and 2 patients worsened. Symptoms and examinations remained stable or improved in 8 (80%) of 10 patients with schwannomas and 3 (60%) of 5 patients with neurofibromas. Tumor volumes decreased in 12 (67%) of 18 tumors and increased in 3 tumors. Tumor volumes decreased in 8 of 10 schwannomas and 3 of 7 neurofibromas. Central necrosis developed in 8 (44%) of 18 tumors.
CONCLUSION - CyberKnife radiosurgery resulted in pain relief and functional preservation in selected foraminal peripheral nerve sheath tumors and a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor. Symptomatic and neurological improvements were more noticeable with schwannomas. Myelopathic symptoms may necessitate surgical debulking before radiosurgery.