Long term outcomes of patients with skull-base low-grade chondrosarcoma and chordoma patients treated with pencil beam scanning proton therapy

Radiother Oncol. 2016 Jul;120(1):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 28.


Purpose: To evaluate the long term tumor control and toxicity of skull base tumors treated with pencil beam scanning proton therapy (PT).

Materials and methods: PT was delivered to 151 (68%) and 71 (32%) chordoma and chondrosarcoma (ChSa) patients, respectively. Mean age of patients was 40.8±18.4years and the male to female ratio was 0.53. The postoperative tumor was abutting the brainstem or optic apparatus in 71 (32.0%) patients. The postoperative mean gross tumor volume (GTV) was 35.7±29.1cm(3). The delivered mean PT dose was 72.5±2.2GyRBE.

Results: After a mean follow-up of 50 (range, 4-176) months, 35 local (15.8%) failures were observed between 10.9 and 85.4months. The estimated 7-year LC rate for chordoma (70.9%; CI95% 61.5-81.8) was significantly lower compared to the LC rate for ChSa patients (93.6%; 95%CI 87.8-99.9; P=0.014). The estimated 7-year distant metastasis-free- and overall survival rate was 91.6% (95%CI 91.6-98.6) and 81.7% (95%CI 74.7-89.5), respectively. On multivariate analysis, optic apparatus and/or brainstem compression, histology and GTV were independent prognostic factors for LC and OS. The 7-year high grade toxicity-free survival was 87.2 (95%CI 82.4-92.3).

Conclusions: PBS PT is an effective treatment for skull base tumors with acceptable late toxicity. Optic apparatus and/or brainstem compression, histology and GTV allow independent prediction of the risk of local failure and death in skull base tumor patients.

Keywords: Chondrosarcoma; Chordoma; Pencil beam scanning; Proton therapy; Skull base tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chondrosarcoma / radiotherapy*
  • Chordoma / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proton Therapy / methods*
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult