Silent corticotroph adenomas after stereotactic radiosurgery: A case-control study

Zhiyuan Xu, Scott Ellis, Cheng Chia Lee, Robert M. Starke, David Schlesinger, Mary Lee Vance, M. Beatriz Lopes, Jason Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Conclusion: Silent corticotroph adenomas exhibited a more aggressive course with a higher progression rate than other subtypes of NFAs. Stereotactic radiosurgery is an important adjuvant treatment for control of tumor growth. Increased radiation dose may lead to improved tumor control in SCA patients.

Purpose: To investigate the safety and effectiveness of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with a silent corticotroph adenoma (SCA) compared with patients with other subtypes of non-adrenocorticotropic hormone staining nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFA).

Methods and Materials: The clinical features and outcomes of 104 NFA patients treated with SRS in our center between September 1994 and August 2012 were evaluated. Among them, 34 consecutive patients with a confirmatory SCA were identified. A control group of 70 patients with other subtypes of NFA were selected for review based on comparable baseline features, including sex, age at the time of SRS, tumor size, margin radiation dose to the tumor, and duration of follow-up.

Results: The median follow-up after SRS was 56 months (range, 6-200 months). No patients with an SCA developed Cushing disease during the follow-up. Tumor control was achieved in 21 of 34 patients (62%) in the SCA group, compared with 65 of 70 patients (93%) in the NFA group. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 58 months in the SCA group. The actuarial PFS was 73%, 46%, and 31% in the SCA group and was 94%, 87%, and 87% in the NFA group at 3, 5, and 8 years, respectively. Silent corticotroph adenomas treated with a dose of ≥17 Gy exhibited improved PFS. New-onset loss of pituitary function developed in 10 patients (29%) in the SCA group, whereas it occurred in 18 patients (26%) in the NFA group. Eight patients (24%) in the SCA group experienced worsening of a visual field deficit or visual acuity attributed to the tumor progression, as did 6 patients (9%) in the NFA group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-910
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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