Radiotherapy for pituitary adenomas: long-term efficacy and toxicity

Sara C Erridge, David S Conkey, Diane Stockton, Mark W J Strachan, Patrick F X Statham, Ian R Whittle, Robin Grant, Gillian R Kerr, Anna Gregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy for pituitary adenomas is an effective treatment but remains controversial due to toxicity concerns.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective audit of patients referred for radiotherapy during 1974-2003 was conducted, the case records were examined and data linkage to cancer registry and hospital discharge records was performed to assess the overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and late effects (hormone deficiency, reduced vision, second cancer and stroke).

RESULTS: Three hundred and eighty-five patients had radiotherapy (median 45 Gy). The OS was 74% and 49%, PFS was 97% and 96%, at 10 and 20 years, respectively. No specific factors influenced local control. Additional hormone deficiencies occurred in 19% (ACTH) and 26% (TSH). Actuarial rate optic neuropathy at 10 years was 0.8%. Seventy-eight patients had a stroke, a RR for a matched Scottish population of 1.45 (CI 1.05-1.18, p=0.03) men and 2.22 (1.56-3.08, p<0.01) women. Four intra-cranial tumours were identified; 20-year actuarial risk 1.9% (CI 0-2.6%), a RR of 5.65 (0.53-20.77, p=0.10) men and 9.94 (0.94-36.56, p=0.04) women.

CONCLUSIONS: This treatment is effective with good local control rates at 20 years. A significant proportion developed hypo-pituitarism. The risk of optic neuropathy was low but risk of stroke increased, particularly in women who had slight increased risk of intra-cranial tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-601
Number of pages5
JournalRadiotherapy & Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adenoma
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary
  • Pituitary Neoplasms
  • Radiation Injuries
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiotherapy for pituitary adenomas: long-term efficacy and toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this