BACKGROUND: The dural tail (DT) has been described as a common feature in meningiomas. There is a great variation of tumor invasion and extent of tumor cells in the DT. Therefore, the necessity to include the whole DT in Gamma Knife radiosurgery is not clear, since inclusion increases the target volume and therefore increases the risk of complications. In this analysis, we evaluated whether the complete tail should be included as part of the target in Gamma Knife radiosurgery for meningiomas.
METHODS: Between June 2002 and December 2010, Gamma Knife radiosurgery was performed in 160 patients with 203 meningiomas with a DT. In 105 tumors, the diagnosis was based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics, and in 98 tumors, the diagnosis was confirmed by histopathologic examination after surgery. The median volume of the tumors was 3.55 cc. All tumors were treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery with a median prescribed dose of 13 Gy (range 11-15), resulting in a median marginal dose of 11 Gy (range 10-15). Only the part of the DT closely related to the tumor mass was included in the target. The median follow-up period was 41 months (range 12-123).
RESULTS: In image-based meningiomas, the overall local control rate was 96.2% with 2- and 5-year control rates of 98.0% and 95.1%, respectively. In WHO grade I tumors, the overall local control rate was 85.9% with 2- and 5-year control rates of 94.5% and 88.0%, respectively. The overall local control rate in World Health Organization (WHO) grade II tumors was 70.6% with control rates of 83.4% and 64.4% after 2 and 5 years, respectively. The growth of all new tumors was found in the radiation target area. No tumor growth was observed in the part of the DT that had been excluded from the target volume.
CONCLUSION: We found in this study that routinely excluding the DT from the target does not lead to out-of-field tumor progression. Given the possibility that the DT is infiltrated with tumor cells, regular follow-up is needed.