Medline: 10661350

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 46(2): 427-432, 2000.

Brachytherapy for pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma.

Merchant TE, Parsh B, del Valle PL, et al.


To review the use of brachytherapy (BRT) to treat soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) in pediatric patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

AND MATERIALS: Thirty-one patients, median age 11 years (range 1-21 years) with Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) Grade 2-3 soft-tissue sarcoma (excluding rhabdomyosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma) were treated with BRT initially (n = 27) or at the time of recurrence (n = 4) using I-125 or Ir-192 in a temporary (n = 29) or permanent implant (n = 2). Twelve patients were treated with BRT alone and the remaining 19 were treated with a combination of BRT and external beam irradiation (EBRT). The majority of patients had involved margins of resection (n = 20) and tumors less than 5 cm (n = 17).

Twenty-seven patients were treated with BRT at the time of presentation. Among the 10 patients treated with BRT alone, one patient developed metastases (4 months) and died of metastatic disease (12 months after presentation); there were no local or regional failures among the remaining 9 patients. Among the 17 patients treated with a combination of BRT and EBRT, there was one local (17 months), two regional (both at 8 months), and 3 distant failures (12, 15, 66 months). The median survival for the surviving 25 patients was 34 months. Wound dehiscence, fibrosis/telangectasia, pigment changes, and cellulitis were the most common side effects.

BRT is an excellent treatment option for pediatric patients with STS. Disease control may be achieved with a high rate of success when BRT is used alone or in combination with EBRT. BRT should be considered for patients with STS who require radiation therapy with the objective of reducing the dose to normal tissues and shortening the overall treatment time. Limb preservation, functional outcome, and toxicity assessment require careful assessment in a prospective study.

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