What is the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of prolactinomas?

Updated: Mar 25, 2018
  • Author: Venkatesh Babu Segu, MD, MBBS, DM; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Radiation treatment (XRT) has had a less prominent role in the treatment of prolactinomas. Following conventional XRT, PRL levels normalize in only approximately 25% of patients. The major complication of this treatment is hypopituitarism, which occurs in 12.5-80% of patients. Other complications include optic nerve damage and neurologic dysfunction (see Complications). [35]

Because of the excellent results produced by medical treatment, with or without surgery, XRT is seldom used. XRT is considered only in select cases, ie, when there is rapid tumor regrowth despite medical and surgical treatment.


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