Quality of life in patients with skull base tumors: Current status and future challenges

Ziv Gil*, Dan M. Fliss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In selection of the right treatment for a specific patient, the surgeon should consider not only the best approach to remove a tumor but also the impact of treatment on the quality of life (QOL) of the patient. Procedures involving extirpation of skull base tumors may be associated with high morbidity. It is therefore important to study patients with skull base neoplasms, because survival differences between various treatment modalities may be small, yet larger differences are expected regarding morbidity. The overall QOL in the majority of patients after skull base tumor resection can be classified as good, with significant improvement taking place within 12 months following surgery. Patients with carcinomas, acoustic schwannoma, or Cushing's disease suffer from more significant deterioration in their QOL after any intervention. Data retrieved from disease-specific questionnaires revealed that the financial and emotional domains have the worse impact on patients QOL. Old age, malignancy, comorbidity, radiotherapy, and extensive surgery were found to be also negative prognostic factors for QOL. Pain control regimens, antidepressants, and other psychological modalities, including group support, can improve QOL measures in these patients. It is critical that surgeons understand that they cannot assess their patients' perspectives on QOL correctly without asking them. For adequate assessment, validated disease-specific instruments addressing multiple domains of QOL should be utilized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalSkull Base
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cancer
  • Cranial base
  • Craniofacial
  • Neurosurgery
  • Quality of life


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