Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

Randall E. Merchant


Radiosurgery using the Linear Accelerator or the Gamma Knife has proven to be an effective treatment modality for malignant brain tumors. In comparison to other treatments, radiosurgery can be performed on an outpatient basis and is noninvasive (Table 5). Due to the functional properties of radiosurgical devices, they are ideal for patients who are unable to undergo surgical removal of their brain tumors. The sharp dose drop—off beyond the tumor margin allows for high dosage tumor irradiation while sparing normal brain tissue. Many procedures that involve radiosurgery use it as a ”boost” therapy in conjunction with surgical resection and whole brain irradiation. ”Boost" therapy enhances the standard treatment procedure for malignant brain tumors.

Unfortunately, radiosurgery is not always able to halt the progression of malignant brain tumors. Patients with metastatic brain tumors usually succumb to systemic disease. Patients who have gliomas generally die due to the inability of local tumor control. However, the use of radiosurgery can contribute to increasing a patient’s quality of life. Often, treatment is followed by a decrease in corticosteroid administration and an improvement in a patient's neurological status. The future directions of radiosurgery could include the development and implementation of a randomized studies to determine a dose-volume protocol for gliomas and the different forms of metastases. Also, an investigation should be undertaken to determine whether the use of high (50 Gy or more) radiosurgical doses as the only treatment for gliomas and cerebral metastases would prove to be a more effective use than ”boost” therapy.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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