Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors of the pituitary gland and account for 10% to 15% of all intracranial tumors. The tumors can be non-secreting or they can secrete hormones causing systemic (whole body) hormonal changes. The first-line treatment for pituitary adenomas is surgical resection. However, these tumors occasionally return after surgical resection, and any further surgery would have an unacceptable risk or be very difficult.
Gamma knife radiosurgery presents an alternative and successful plan of treatment for patients with pituitary adenomas. Even though these pituitary adenomas are benign, if left alone to progress, they can become quite large and be fatal. Therefore, it is important to proceed with gamma knife radiosurgery at the time of progression.
Gamma knife radiosurgery is not possible in everybody with a pituitary adenoma, because the adenoma may be too close to the optic chiasma and optic nerve.