Understanding the radiobiology of vestibular schwannomas to overcome radiation resistance

Torin P. Thielhelm, Stefania Goncalves, Scott M. Welford, Eric A. Mellon, Erin R. Cohen, Aida Nourbakhsh, Cristina Fernandez-Valle, Fred Telischi, Michael E. Ivan, Christine T. Dinh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are benign tumors arising from cranial nerve VIII that ac-count for 8–10% of all intracranial tumors and are the most common tumors of the cerebellopontine angle. These tumors are typically managed with observation, radiation therapy, or microsurgical resection. Of the VS that are irradiated, there is a subset of tumors that are radioresistant and con-tinue to grow; the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are not fully understood. In this review, the authors summarize how radiation causes cellular and DNA injury that can activate (1) checkpoints in the cell cycle to initiate cell cycle arrest and DNA repair and (2) key events that lead to cell death. In addition, we discuss the current knowledge of VS radiobiology and how it may contribute to clinical outcomes. A better understanding of VS radiobiology can help optimize existing treatment protocols and lead to new therapies to overcome radioresistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4575
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cell cycle
  • Cell death
  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Radiation resistance
  • Radiobiology
  • Vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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