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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Neurofibromatosis type 2


Other Names for this Disease
  • Acoustic neurinoma bilateral
  • Acoustic schwannomas bilateral
  • Bilateral acoustic neurofibromatosis
  • Neurofibromatosis central type
  • Neurofibromatosis type II
More Names
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Your Question

Are large, inoperable schwannomas treatable or able to be shrunk with chemotherapy or radiation?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Are large, inoperable schwannomas treatable or able to be shrunk with chemotherapy or radiation?

There are typically three treatment options for individuals with a vestibular schwannoma: observation, radiotherapy, and surgery. Which option is best for each individual must be carefully determined based on the size of the tumor, the location of the tumor, the symptoms, the individual's age and general health, and the individual's goals and concerns. Each option has unique risks and benefits.[1]

Stereotactic radiation therapy (commonly called radiosurgery) is a method of delivering a radiation dose in such a way as to minimize the dose of radiation to surrounding normal tissues (brain) while delivering a very high dose to the tumor. Low dose beams of radiation are aimed from many different directions by a computer to focus on the tumor. However, this form of treatment may not be appropriate for schwannomas in other areas of the body, or for an individual with a tumor larger than 2.5 to 3cm in diameter, as radiosurgery may be ineffective in larger tumors.[1][2]

Chemotherapy is generally not used for treating schwannomas.[2]
Last updated: 4/11/2011

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