We report a single institution experience with total lung irradiation in 53 metastatic bone sarcoma patients in the context of two young female patients who died from treatment-induced pulmonary toxicity. A radiation dose of 19.5 Gy in 1.5 Gy daily fractions was given as two opposing fields with a conventional technique. Both patients succumbed within 3 months following radiotherapy. One patient had osteosarcoma whereas the other advanced Ewing's sarcoma; both with widespread metastases to the lungs at primary diagnosis. In retrospect, most likely high dose methotrexate lung toxicity observed in the osteosarcoma patient, and the GI-toxicity following pelvic radiotherapy in Ewing's case, both observed during the initial phase of their multimodal treatment, might indicate an increased individual radiosensitivity. In view of this, a review of our experience in 53 bone sarcoma patients (19 with Ewing's sarcoma and 34 with osteosarcoma) treated at our institution was conducted. We have not previously experienced significant toxicity following total lung irradiation. Among these, 42% (8/19) with Ewing's sarcoma and 9% (3/34) with osteosarcoma are long-term survivors and without clinically significant lung toxicity.
Keywords: Ewing's sarcoma; Lung toxicity; Osteosarcoma; Pulmonary irradiation; Pulmonary metastasis.