• craniopharyngiomas;
  • Rathke pouch;
  • fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy;
  • local control;
  • toxicity



The long-term outcome in patients with craniopharyngiomas treated with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) was evaluated.


A total of 40 patients with craniopharyngiomas were treated between May 1989 and July 2006 with FSRT. Most patients were treated for tumor progression after surgery. A median target dose of 52.2 grays (Gy) (range, 50.4–56 Gy) was applied in a median conventional fractionation of 5 × 1.8 Gy per week. Follow-up examinations included thorough clinical assessment as well as contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging scans.


After a median follow-up of 98 months (range, 3–326 months), local control was 100% at both 5 years and 10 years. Overall survival rates at 5 years and 10 years were 97% and 89%, respectively. A complete response was observed in 4 patients and partial responses were noted in 25 patients. Eleven patients presented with stable disease during follow-up. Acute toxicity was mild in all patients. Long-term toxicity included enlargement of cysts requiring drainage 3 months after FSRT. No visual impairment, radionecrosis, or development of secondary malignancies were observed.


The long-term outcome of FSRT for craniopharyngiomas is excellent with regard to local control as well as treatment-related side effects. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.