Treatment Outcomes After Proton Therapy for Ewing Sarcoma of the Pelvis

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Aug 1;107(5):974-981. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.04.043. Epub 2020 May 8.


Purpose: Ewing sarcoma of the pelvis is associated with inferior local control compared with those arising from other primary sites. Despite its increased use, outcome data for treatment with proton therapy remain limited. We report 3-year disease control and toxicity in pediatric patients treated with proton therapy.

Methods and materials: Thirty-five patients aged ≤21 years (median, 14 years) with nonmetastatic pelvic Ewing sarcoma received proton therapy and chemotherapy between 2010 and 2018. Overall survival and tumor control rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. A log-rank test assessed significance between strata of prognostic factors. Significant toxicity was reported per the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0.

Results: Most patients received definitive radiation (n = 26; median dose 55.8 Gy relative biological effectiveness [RBE]; range, 54.0-64.8), 7 received preoperative radiation (50.4 Gy RBE), and 2 received postoperative radiation (45 Gy RBE and 54 Gy RBE). The median primary tumor size was 10.5 cm. With a median follow-up of 3 years (range, 0.3-9.0 years), the 3-year overall survival, progression-free survival, and local control rates were 83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65%-93%), 64% (95% CI, 45%-79%), and 92% (95% CI, 74%-98%), respectively. There was no association between local control, progression-free survival, or overall survival and tumor size, patient age, radiation dose, or definitive versus pre-/postoperative radiation therapy. Median time to progression was 1 year (range, 0.1-1.9 years). All patients with large tumors (≥8 cm) who underwent definitive proton therapy with a higher dose (≥59.4 Gy RBE) remained free from tumor recurrence (n = 5). Five patients experienced grade ≥2 subacute/late toxicity, all of whom were treated with combined surgery and radiation.

Conclusions: Definitive proton therapy offers local control comparable to photon therapy in pediatric patients with pelvic Ewing sarcoma. These data lend preliminary support to radiation dose escalation without significant toxicity, which may contribute to the favorable outcomes. Combined surgery and radiation therapy, particularly preoperative radiation, is associated with postoperative complications, but not survival, compared with radiation alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Proton Therapy*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult