Radiation therapy for Cushing's disease: a review.

Because patients with Cushing's disease have an increased morbidity and an age-corrected mortality, treatment is generally started as soon as possible. The goal of treatment in these patients is to induce remission. Although a variety of treatments are available, pituitary radiation is a good option for aggressive Cushing's disease that fails to respond to surgery, disease that invades the cavernous sinus, and disease that relapses following an initial remission. Conventional radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy, and brachytherapy with Yttrium-90 (Y 90) and Gold-198 (Au 198) have been used successfully to treat ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas in specialized centers. Conventional radiation therapy is the most frequently used method of radiation therapy for Cushing's disease. Stereotactic radiosurgery may be used as an alternative in patients with adenomas that are smaller than 30 mm and located at least 3 to 5 mm from the optic chiasm. Fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy is an alternative to radiosurgery while interstitial pituitary irradiation is an alternative to surgical resection in invasive tumors. Hypopituitarism is the most common side effect of pituitary irradiation. This article will review the role of radiation in the primary and secondary treatment in patients with Cushing's disease caused by pituitary adenomas.
AuthorsAshraf S Mahmoud-Ahmed, John H Suh
JournalPituitary (Pituitary) Vol. 5 Issue 3 Pg. 175-80 ( 2002) ISSN: 1386-341X [Print] United States
PMID12812309 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
  • Adenoma (radiotherapy, surgery)
  • Cushing Syndrome (radiotherapy, surgery)
  • Humans
  • Pituitary Neoplasms (radiotherapy, surgery)
  • Radiosurgery

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