Proton therapy for skull base tumors: A review of clinical outcomes for chordomas and chondrosarcomas

Head Neck. 2019 Feb;41(2):536-541. doi: 10.1002/hed.25479. Epub 2018 Dec 7.


Background: Skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas are rare tumors traditionally treated by surgical resection and adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). We will discuss data evaluating clinical outcomes of proton therapy in the treatment of skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas.

Methods: A literature review was performed using a MEDLINE search from January 1990 to January 2017.

Results: The published data suggest that the dose intensification allowed by proton therapy has resulted in good clinical outcomes and a tolerable toxicity profile.

Conclusion: Proton therapy is a modern RT technique that has demonstrated improved preliminary clinical outcomes in the treatment of skull base chordomas and chondrosarcomas compared to conventional radiotherapy, and comparable to other advanced photon-based RT techniques.

Keywords: chondrosarcomas; chordomas; proton therapy; radiation oncology; skull-based tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chondrosarcoma / radiotherapy*
  • Chordoma / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Proton Therapy*
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / radiotherapy*