Impact of radiation technique upon the outcome of treatment for medulloblastoma.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) is an essential component of the therapy of medulloblastoma. Because medulloblastoma disseminates via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), CSI technique involves the irradiation of all CSF-bearing areas which are at risk for tumor seeding. Underdosing with radiation because of inadequacies in CSI technique will produce dose "cold spots" which have the potential of serving as a nidus for tumor recurrence. A simple mathematic model of subclinical disease in medulloblastoma based on the available data concerning the radiosensitivity of medulloblastoma cell lines as well as the known clinical dose-response relationships support the hypothesis that for most cases of medulloblastoma, the radiotherapist is working in a range of doses arrayed on the steep portion of the tumor control probability curve. Underdosing of CSF-bearing areas because of technical problems at the junction of the cranial and spinal fields of irradiation, placement of shielding blocks in the cribiform plate-subfrontal region, and/or anatomic errors in the design of the caudal end of the CSI fields may lead to significant risks of tumor relapse. One may debate the necessity of a posterior fossa boost encompassing the entire anatomic posterior fossa rather than the primary tumor volume with a margin. This review critically evaluates the potential impact of CSI technique upon the outcome of treatment for medulloblastoma, and suggests future areas of inquiry.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Halperin, EC

Published Date

  • August 1, 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 233 - 239

PubMed ID

  • 8823280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0360-3016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0360-3016(96)00276-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States