Multicenter Study of Carbon-Ion Radiation Therapy for Mucosal Melanoma of the Head and Neck: Subanalysis of the Japan Carbon-Ion Radiation Oncology Study Group (J-CROS) Study (1402 HN)

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1;97(5):1054-1060. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.12.028. Epub 2016 Dec 26.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of carbon-ion radiation therapy (RT) for mucosal melanoma of the head and neck (MMHN) in the Japan Carbon-Ion Radiation Oncology Study Group study.

Methods and materials: Patients with MMHN with N0-1M0 status who were treated with carbon-ion RT at 4 institutions in Japan between November 2003 and December 2014 were analyzed retrospectively. Two hundred sixty patients (male, 111; female, 149; median age, 68 years) with histologically proven MMHN were enrolled.

Results: Primary sites included the nasal cavity in 178 patients, paranasal sinuses in 43, oral cavity in 27, and pharynx in 12. Eighty-six patients had T3 tumors, 147 had T4a tumors, and 27 had T4b tumors. Two hundred fifty-one patients were diagnosed with N0 disease, and 9 with N1 disease. The median total dose and number of fractions were 57.6 Gy RBE (relative biological effectiveness) and 16, respectively. Chemotherapy including dimethyl traizeno imidazole carboxamide was used concurrently in 129 patients. The median follow-up duration was 22 months (range, 1-132 months). The 2-year overall survival and local control rates were 69.4% and 83.9%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that gross tumor volume and concurrent chemotherapy were significant prognostic factors for overall survival. Grade 3 and grade 4 late morbidities were observed in 27 and 7 patients (5 developed ipsilateral blindness, 1 mucosal ulcer, and 1 second malignant disease in the irradiated volume), respectively. No patients developed grade 5 late morbidities.

Conclusion: Carbon-ion RT is a promising treatment option for MMHN.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy / mortality*
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality*
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome