20-year experience with intraoperative high-dose-rate brachytherapy for pediatric sarcoma: Outcomes, toxicity, and practice recommendations

Michael R. Folkert, William Y. Tong, Michael P. Laquaglia, Leonard H. Wexler, Alexander J. Chou, Heather Magnan, Michael J. Zelefsky, Suzanne L. Wolden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess outcomes and toxicity of high-dose-rate intraoperative radiation therapy (HDR-IORT) in the management of pediatric sarcoma.

Methods and Materials: Seventy-five pediatric patients underwent HDR-IORT for sarcoma from May 1993 to November 2013. The median age was 9 years old (36 patients were ≤6 years old). HDR-IORT was part of initial therapy in 37 patients (49%) and for recurrent disease in 38 patients (51%). Forty-one patients (55%) received HDR-IORT and postoperative external beam RT (PORT), and 22 patients (29%) were previously treated with external beam radiation therapy to the IORT site. Local control (LC), overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods.

Conclusions: HDR-IORT is a well-tolerated component of multimodality therapy for pediatric sarcoma, allowing additional local treatment while reducing external beam exposure. Taking clinical considerations into account, doses between 8-12 Gy are appropriate for HDR-IORT in patients ≤6 years of age.

Results: At a median follow-up of 7.8 years for surviving patients, 5-year projected rates of LC, EFS, and OS were 63% (95% confidence interval [CI] 50%-76%), 33% (95% CI 21%-45%), and 43% (95% CI 30%-55%), with a median survival of 3.1 years. The 5-year LC, EFS, and OS rates for patients with recurrent disease were 46% (95% CI, 28%-64%), 30% (95% CI, 13%-46%), and 36% (95% CI, 18%-54%). Acute toxicity ≥grade 3 occurred in 2 (2.5%) treatments; late toxicity ≥grade 3 occurred in 4 (5.3%) patients 0.3-9.9 years after HDR-IORT. The incidence of toxicity ≥grade 3 was not associated with HDR-IORT applicator size, HDR-IORT dose, prior RT or PORT, or prior or postoperative chemotherapy, but all toxicity ≥grade 3 occurred in patients ;6 years treated with HDR-IORT doses ≥12 Gy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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