Dose-Effect Analysis of Early Changes in Orbital Bone Morphology After Radiation Therapy for Rhabdomyosarcoma

Pract Radiat Oncol. 2020 Jan-Feb;10(1):53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2019.10.002. Epub 2019 Oct 16.


Purpose: In survivors of orbital embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS), late effects include facial deformation and asymmetry. We sought to quantify orbital asymmetry in ERMS survivors and characterize the dose effect of radiation to the orbital bones.

Methods and materials: We evaluated the most recent follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 17 children (≤21 years old) with stage 1 group III orbital ERMS treated with proton therapy between 2007 and 2018. For all patients, the orbital socket volumes were calculated and compared with the contralateral, unirradiated orbital socket. Patient age, orbital tumor quadrant, and the radiation dose delivered to the major orbital bones (maxillary, frontal, and zygomatic bones) were recorded and correlated with the orbital socket volume difference.

Results: The mean age at diagnosis was 5.4 years old (range, 1.1-9.7 years). All patients received a prescription dose of 45 GyRBE. The mean time interval between radiation and MRI was 2.9 years (range, 0.8-3.2 years). The mean age at most recent MRI was 8.4 years (range, 2.3-12.9 years). In 16 of 17 patients, the volume of the ipsilateral orbit was significantly smaller than the contralateral orbit on follow-up MRI (P ≤ .0001). In one patient with nonviable tumor in situ, the irradiated orbit was larger. The volume difference increased with follow-up time and did not correlate with age at treatment or age at MRI. A dose >40 GyRBE to all bones of the orbital rim was associated with a significant decrease in orbital volume (P < .05), but an isolated dose of >40 GyRBE to either the frontal, maxillary, or zygomatic bone was not.

Conclusions: Despite the dosimetric precision of proton therapy, orbital asymmetry will develop after >40 GyRBE to multiple bones of the orbital rim. These data may be used to guide treatment planning and counsel patients on expected cosmesis.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Facial Asymmetry / diagnostic imaging
  • Facial Asymmetry / etiology*
  • Facial Asymmetry / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbit / pathology
  • Orbit / radiation effects*
  • Orbital Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Neoplasms / pathology
  • Orbital Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Organ Size / radiation effects
  • Proton Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Proton Therapy / methods
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / diagnostic imaging
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / radiotherapy*