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Case Study
Glomus tumors treated with stereotactic radiosurgery: A retrospective study
Victor Tse, Jussi Sillanpaa, Ann Y Minn, Ming Teng, Xiaoyang Fu, Amy Gillis, Laura Millender, William Sheridan and William Wara

Background: Glomus tumors are difficult to manage surgically because they are vascular tumors that are topographically associated with important vascular and neuronal structures. Hence, there is a strong risk of incomplete resection and a high morbidity rate. In addition, they grow slowly. Recent treatments have increasingly involved a combination of surgical resection and radiosurgery. We present our experience in treating glomus tumors of the skull base with stereotactic radiosurgery as an upfront therapy.

Methods: We analyzed data from 13 consecutive patients with glomus tumors that were initially treated with stereotactic radiosurgery in our institute from February 2010 to April 2012. The tumor control rate, resolution of symptoms, and the complication rate were tabulated.

Results: All patients were female with a median age of 63 (mean 62.7+/-14.6 years). The median treatment dose was 25.8 Gy (27.6 Gy +/- 9.5 Gy) and the median tumor volume 10.4 mL (9.2 +/- 6.5). The median follow-up was 47.4 months (51.8+/-11.2 months, range 31-74). The tumor control rate was 92.3%; 46.7% of the patients had noticeable tumor shrinkage. This happened at a median interval of 17 months (18.7+/-6.8) after treatment. Most patients with tinnitus had resolution of their symptoms (87.5%). Four patients presented with new symptoms and four patients with worsening of pre-existing symptoms. The time course of symptomatic improvement followed that of tumor size reduction. However, there was no statistical correlation between the amount of tumor reduction and symptomatic relief.

Conclusion: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an effective upfront treatment option in the management of glomus tumors.

Keywords: Stereotactic radiosurgery, glomus tumors, outcome study, case series

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