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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Aug 1;65(5):1514-21. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Sacral chordomas: Impact of high-dose proton/photon-beam radiation therapy combined with or without surgery for primary versus recurrent tumor.

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Department of Radiation, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



To assess the efficacy of definitive treatment of sacral chordoma by high-dose proton/photon-beam radiation therapy alone or combined with surgery.


The records of 16 primary and 11 recurrent sacral chordoma patients treated from November 1982 to November 2002 by proton/photon radiation therapy alone (6 patients) or combined with surgery (21 patients) have been analyzed for local control, survival, and treatment-related morbidity. The outcome analysis is based on follow-up information as of 2005.


Outcome results show a large difference in local failure rate between patients treated for primary and recurrent chordomas. Local control results by surgery and radiation were 12/14 vs. 1/7 for primary and recurrent lesions. For margin-positive patients, local control results were 10 of 11 and 0 of 5 in the primary and recurrent groups, respectively; the mean follow-up on these locally controlled patients was 8.8 years (4 at 10.3, 12.8, 17, and 21 years). Radiation alone was used in 6 patients, 4 of whom received > or =73.0 Gy (E); local control was observed in 3 of these 4 patients for 2.9, 4.9, and 7.6 years.


These data indicate a high local control rate for surgical and radiation treatment of primary (12 of 14) as distinct from recurrent (1 of 7) sacral chordomas. Three of 4 chordomas treated by > or =73.0 Gy (E) of radiation alone had local control; 1 is at 91 months. This indicates that high-dose proton/photon therapy offers an effective treatment option.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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