Stereotactic radiotherapy for head and neck paragangliomas: How long should we wait for treatment response?


Radiotherapy and Oncology, vol.195, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 195
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.radonc.2024.110232
  • Journal Name: Radiotherapy and Oncology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Gender Studies Database, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Glomus, Paraganglioma, Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background and purpose: Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is an effective treatment for head & neck (H&N) paragangliomas. Nevertheless, the timeline for achieving a tumor-volume-reduction (TVR) remains unclear. Materials and methods: Sixty-three cases with H&N paragangliomas received definitive SRT and were evaluated retrospectively. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) v23.0 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA) was used for statistics. Results: Sixty-eight lesions were irradiated, with glomus jugulotympanicum being the most common location (44 %). Median tumor diameter and volume were 3 cm (range, 1–7.6 cm) and 15.4 cm3 (range,1–185 cm3), respectively. Median dose was 25 Gy (range, 12–37.5 Gy) in 5 fractions (range, 1–5 fractions). Median follow-up was 40 months (range, 3–184 months). Treatment response, evaluated at a median 4.6 months post-SRT (range: 3–11 months), revealed TVR in 26 cases (41 %). During follow-up, 13 additional cases showed TVR, resulting in an overall TVR rate of 62 %. The median duration for attaining TVR was 9 months (range, 3–36 months) after SRT, and TVR occurred ≥ 12 months in 42 % of cases. Patients without prior surgery (p = 0.03) and with a longer follow-up (p = 0.04) demonstrated a higher rate of TVR. The likelihood of TVR tends to increase as the SRT dose increases (p = 0.06). Overall local control (LC) rate was 100 %. No ≥ grade 3 acute or late toxicities were observed. Conclusion: While SRT demonstrates an excellent LC rate for H&N paragangliomas, it's important to note that the response to treatment may require time. TVR may last beyond the initial year of treatment in a substantial proportion of patients.