Radiation-induced brain tumours: Potential late complications of radiation therapy for brain tumours

S. Nishio, T. Morioka, T. Inamura, I. Takeshita, M. Fukui, M. Sasaki, K. Nakamura, S. Wakisaka

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109 Citations (Scopus)


The development of neoplasms subsequent to therapeutic cranial irradiation is a rare but serious and potentially fatal complication. In this study, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical and pathological aspects of 11 patients who underwent cranial irradiation (range, 24-110 cGy) to treat their primary disease and thereafter developed secondary tumours within a span of 13 years. All tumours arose within the previous radiation fields, and satisfied the widely used criteria for the definition of radiation-induced neoplasms. There was no sex predominance (M: 5, F: 6) and the patients tended to be young at irradiation (1.3-42 years; median age: 22 years). The median latency period before the detection of the secondary tumour was 14.5 years (range: 6.5-24 years). Meningiomas developed in 5 patients, sarcomas in 4, and malignant gliomas in 2. A pre-operative diagnosis of a secondary tumour was correctly obtained in 10 patients based on the neuro-imaging as well as nuclear medicine findings. All patients underwent a surgical removal of the secondary tumour, 3 underwent additional chemotherapy, and one received stereotactic secondary irradiation therapy. During a median of 2 years of follow-up review after the diagnosis of a secondary tumour, 3 patients died related to the secondary tumours (2 sarcomas, 1 glioblastoma), one died of a recurrent primary glioma, while the remaining 7 have been alive for from 10 months to 12 years after being treated for the secondary tumours (median: 3 years). Based on these data, the clinicopathological characteristics and possible role of treatment for secondary tumours are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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