Tumour control and Quality of Life in children with rhabdomyosarcoma treated with pencil beam scanning proton therapy

Radiother Oncol. 2016 Jul;120(1):163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.05.013. Epub 2016 May 28.


Purpose: To assess clinical outcomes in children with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) treated with pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy (PT).

Methods and materials: Eighty-three RMS (embryonal, n=74; 89%) patients treated between January 2000 and December 2014 were included. The median age was 4.5years (range, 0.8-15.5). All patients received systemic chemotherapy according to prospective protocols. Patients had low-, intermediate-, and high-risk disease in 24%, 63%, and 13% of cases, respectively. The median total dose delivered was 54Gy(RBE) (range, 41.4-64.8).

Results: After a median follow-up time of 55.5 months (range, 0.9-126.3), local failure occurred in 16 patients. The 5-year local-control survival rate was 78.5% [95% confidence interval (CI), 69.5-88.5%]. Significant predictors for local failure were group/stage, tumour location, and size. Fourteen patients (16%) died, all from tumour progression. The 5-year overall survival was 80.6% (95%CI, 71.8-90.0%). The 5-year incidence of grade 3 non-ocular late toxicity was 3.6% (95%CI, 1-12%). No grade 4-5 late toxicities were observed. One radiation-induced malignancy was observed (1.2%). The Quality of Life (QoL) scores increased significantly after PT compared to baseline values.

Conclusions: PBS PT led to excellent outcome in children with RMS. Late non-ocular toxicity was minimal and QoL good.

Keywords: Children; Late toxicity; Pencil beam scanning proton therapy; Quality of Life; Radiation-induced tumours; Rhabdomyosarcoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Proton Therapy / methods*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / mortality
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / psychology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / radiotherapy*