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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 362761, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/362761
Review Article

Radiobiology of Radiosurgery for the Central Nervous System

1Departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
3Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received 10 May 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Ana Maria Tari

Copyright © 2013 Antonio Santacroce et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

According to Leksell radiosurgery is defined as “the delivery of a single, high dose of irradiation to a small and critically located intracranial volume through the intact skull.” Before its birth in the early 60s and its introduction in clinical therapeutic protocols in late the 80s dose application in radiation therapy of the brain for benign and malignant lesions was based on the administration of cumulative dose into a variable number of fractions. The rationale of dose fractionation is to lessen the risk of injury of normal tissue surrounding the target volume. Radiobiological studies of cell culture lines of malignant tumors and clinical experience with patients treated with conventional fractionated radiotherapy helped establishing this radiobiological principle. Radiosurgery provides a single high dose of radiation which translates into a specific toxic radiobiological response. Radiobiological investigations to study the effect of high dose focused radiation on the central nervous system began in late the 50s. It is well known currently that radiobiological principles applied for dose fractionation are not reproducible when single high dose of ionizing radiation is delivered. A review of the literature about radiobiology of radiosurgery for the central nervous system is presented.