The biology of radiosurgery and its clinical applications for brain tumors

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Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) was developed decades ago but only began to impact brain tumor care when it was coupled with high-resolution brain imaging techniques such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. The technique has played a key role in the management of virtually all forms of brain tumor. We reviewed the radiobiological principles of SRS on tissue and how they pertain to different brain tumor disorders. We reviewed the clinical outcomes on the most common indications. This review found that outcomes are well documented for safety and efficacy and show increasing long-term outcomes for benign tumors. Brain metastases SRS is common, and its clinical utility remains in evolution. The role of SRS in brain tumor care is established. Together with surgical resection, conventional radiotherapy, and medical therapies, patients have an expanding list of options for their care. Clinicians should be familiar with radiosurgical principles and expected outcomes that may pertain to different brain tumor scenarios.

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