Intensity-modulated radiation therapy with dose-painting for pediatric sarcomas with pulmonary metastases

Joanna C. Yang, Leonard H. Wexler, Paul A. Meyers, Laura Happersett, Michael P. La Quaglia, Suzanne L. Wolden

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13 Scopus citations


Background: We examined patterns of failure in pediatric patients with thoracic sarcoma and pulmonary metastases treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy with dose-painting (DP-IMRT). Procedure: Eleven pediatric patients, five with Ewing sarcoma family tumors (ESFT) and six with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), with primary thoracic tumors and pulmonary metastases underwent DP-IMRT with chemotherapy for definitive treatment. Eight patients also underwent surgery. Median time to RT was 21 (15-31) weeks. Nine patients received 45-50.4-Gy in 1.8Gy fractions to the primary tumor (n=3) or post-operative tumor bed (n=6). Two patients ≤4 years received 12Gy intraoperative radiation therapy and 30.6-36Gy IMRT postoperatively to the tumor bed. All patients received 14-16.8Gy in 0.54-0.88Gy fractions to the whole lungs (n=6) or hemithorax (n=5) using dose-painting technique. A representative case was re-planned with IMRT plus standard AP/PA whole lung irradiation (WLI) for dosimetric comparison. Results: With 27-month median follow-up, 3-year pulmonary relapse-free survival in all patients was 61%: 80% for RMS and 40% for ESFT. Five patients (4 ESFT and 1 RMS) experienced pulmonary relapse at median 16 (9-41) months. There were no local failures. Our representative case demonstrated more homogeneous target volume coverage of the whole lungs and decreased mean dose to esophagus (15%), heart (31%), spinal cord (15%), and liver (19%) with DP-IMRT. Conclusions: The treatment of children with a primary thoracic tumor and pulmonary metastases poses a significant challenge. DP-IMRT is one solution to this technical problem. Initial data from this small series suggest DP-IMRT is feasible and produces superior sparing of critical normal tissues. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013;60:1616-1620.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1620
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Ewing sarcoma family tumors
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy with dose-painting
  • Pediatric sarcomas
  • Pulmonary metastases
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma


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