Meningioma WHO I with involvement of the optical structures—does proton therapy lead to changes in quality of life with regard to subjective visual performance?

Birgit Flechl, Lisa Konrath, Eugen Hug, Piero Fossati, Carola Lütgendorf-Caucig*, Milana Achtaewa, Maciej Pelak, Petra Georg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Background: In addition to local tumor control, the aim of any curative radio-oncological treatment is to maintain quality of life. In the treatment of patients with meningioma with a close relationship to optical structures, the preservation of visual performance is a particular challenge. Use of proton therapy can reduce the dose burden to organs at risk immediately adjacent to the tumor. The aim of this study was to score the subjective assessment of visual performance in patients with meningioma involving the optical structures before and after proton therapy. Methods: All proton-treated patients with meningioma WHO I whose planning target volumes (PTV) included parts of the optic nerve and/or chiasm were included in this study. Subjective assessment of visual performance was evaluated using the Visual Disorder Scale (VDS) of the EORTC QLQ-BN20 questionnaire. This scale includes values from 0 to 100, whereby high values reflect a high degree of subjective symptom burden and thus subjective visual impairment. The visual acuity in externally performed eye tests at baseline and follow-ups (FU) was also evaluated. The timepoints for testing were before the start of radiotherapy, at the end of treatment, and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months in FU (times t1–t6). All patients with at least the first annual postradiation FU at the time of the evaluation were included. The correlation between VDS changes and potential influencing factors such as previous therapies, dosimetric data, initial tumor volume, and tumor shrinkage 1 year after treatment was assessed. Results: A total of 56 patients (45 female/11 male) aged 24–82 years (mean ± SD = 53.9 ± 13.3) treated between March 2017 and September 2019 were included in the analysis. The prescription dose was 54.0 Gy (RBE) with active scanned proton therapy. The mean/D2% dose ± SD for the optic chiasm and ipsilateral optic nerve was 43.4 ± 8.9 Gy (RBE)/49.9 ± 7.1 Gy (RBE) and 35.6 ± 11.7 Gy (RBE)/51.7 ± 4.8 Gy (RBE); the mean/D2% dose ± SD of the contralateral optic nerve was 18.8 ± 12.1 Gy (RBE)/42.4 ± 14.6 Gy (RBE), respectively. A total of 302 data collections were available (t1/t2/t3/t4/t5/t6: n = 56/56/48/56/52/34). Median observation time was 23.6 months. Mean symptom burden decreased over time (mean VDS: t1 29.8 ± 27.9; t2 25.0 ± 27.9; t3 21.8 ± 26.0; t4 22.2 ± 26.0; t5 21.4 ± 26.2; t6 17.3 ± 23.6) with statistically significant improvement at 3‑ and 6‑month FU as well as 1 year after proton therapy (p = 0.0205; p = 0.0187; p = 0.0054). Objective eye tests available in 41/52 patients confirm the trend towards improved visual acuity (97.5% stable/improved until 24-month FU). However, no potential predictor for VDS changes was revealed. Conclusion: Proton treatment of patients with meningioma WHO I with involvement of optical structures does not impair subjective visual performance. After treatment, there is a significant improvement in perceived visual performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-411
Number of pages8
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Meningeoma
  • Proton therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Subjective vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
  • Oncology


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