Treatment of acromegaly with megavoltage radiation therapy

David A. Pistenma, Don R. Goffinet, Malcolm A. Bagshaw, John W. Hanbery, J. R. Eltringham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


From 1956 to 1972, 22 previously untreated patients with acromegaly received high dose (average equivalent dose 5700 rad in 5.66 weeks) megavohage (4-4.8 MeV) irradiation at Stanford, 3 post-operatively and 19 as the only intended treatment. Two patients required surgical intervention for deteriorating vision 3 months after initial treatment by irradiation alone, but received no additional treatment. Four patients (18.2%) have died 5-11 years after treatment, 2 of suicide and 2 of cerebrovascular accidents. Eight patients (36%) experienced improvement of their soft tissue acromegalic features whereas the remainder, including the 4 who died, had shown no progression of disease with follow-up ranging from 20 months to almost 18 years. Radiation-induced hormone deficiencies were limited to a need for thyroid in one of 11 patients initially euthyroid and a subsequent need for testosterone in 2 of 6 men approximately 4 years after treatment. Considerations in the treatment of patients with acromegaly and plans for a limited controlled study at Stanford are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 1976


  • Acromegaly
  • Megavoltage irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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