Intensity modulated radiation therapy with dose painting to treat rhabdomyosarcoma

Joanna C. Yang, Kavita V. Dharmarajan, Leonard H. Wexler, Michael P. La Quaglia, Laura Happersett, Suzanne L. Wolden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine local control and patterns of failure in rhabdomyosarcoma patients treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (RT) with dose painting (DP-IMRT). Patients and Methods: A total of 41 patients underwent DP-IMRT with chemotherapy for definitive treatment. Nineteen also underwent surgery with or without intraoperative RT. Fifty-six percent had alveolar histologic features. The median interval from beginning chemotherapy to RT was 17 weeks (range, 4-25). Very young children who underwent second-look procedures with or without intraoperative RT received reduced doses of 24-36 Gy in 1.4-1.8-Gy fractions. Young adults received 50.4 Gy to the primary tumor and lower doses of 36 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to at-risk lymph node chains. Results: With 22 months of median follow-up, the actuarial local control rate was 90%. Patients aged ≤7 years who received reduced overall and fractional doses had 100% local control, and young adults had 79% (P=.07) local control. Three local failures were identified in young adults whose primary target volumes had received 50.4 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions. Conclusions: DP-IMRT with lower fractional and cumulative doses is feasible for very young children after second-look procedures with or without intraoperative RT. DP-IMRT is also feasible in adolescents and young adults with aggressive disease who would benefit from prophylactic RT to high-risk lymph node chains, although dose escalation might be warranted for improved local control. With limited follow-up, it appears that DP-IMRT produces local control rates comparable to those of sequential IMRT in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e371-e377
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


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