Radiation therapy in the treatment of partially resected meningiomas
To address the question of whether radiation therapy is beneficial in the management of partially resected meningiomas, we reviewed the records of all patients admitted to the University of California, San Francisco, between 1968 and 1978 who had a diagnosis of intracranial meningioma. The patients were divided into three groups: 51 patients had gross total resection and did not receive radiation therapy, 30 patients had subtotal resection and no radiation therapy, and 54 patients had subtotal resection followed by radiation therapy. The subtotal resection groups were similar in average age, male:female ratio, and tumor location, which allowed a valid comparison of the effects of irradiation. The recurrence rate in the total resection group was 4% (2 of 51 patients). Among patients in the subtotal resection groups, 60% of nonirradiated patients had a recurrence, compared with only 32% of the irradiated patients. The median time to recurrence was significantly longer in the irradiated group than in the nonirradiated group (125 vs. 66 months, P less than 0.05). There was no complication related to irradiation. These results provide convincing evidence that radiation therapy is beneficial in the treatment of partially resected meningiomas.