Effect of radiotherapy techniques (IMRT vs. 3D-CRT) on outcome in patients with intermediate-risk rhabdomyosarcoma enrolled in COG D9803--a report from the Children's Oncology Group

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiation Oncology; Quality Assurance Review Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Child; Epidemiologic Methods; Female; Humans; Male; Organs at Risk; Radiotherapy, Conformal; Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated; Rhabdomyosarcoma; Rhabdomyosarcoma, Alveolar; Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal; Sarcoma; Treatment Failure


Neoplasms | Oncology


PURPOSE: To compare the dosimetric parameters of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in patients with intermediate-risk rhabdomyosarcoma and to analyze their effect on locoregional control and failure-free survival (FFS).

METHODS AND MATERIALS: The study population consisted of 375 patients enrolled in the Children's Oncology Group protocol D9803 study, receiving IMRT or 3D-CRT. Dosimetric data were collected from 179 patients with an available composite plan. The chi-square test or Fisher's exact test was used to compare the patient characteristics and radiotherapy parameters between the two groups. The interval-to-event outcomes were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using log-rank tests. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to examine the effect of the treatment technique on FFS after adjusting for primary site and risk group.

RESULTS: The median follow-up time was 5.7 and 4.2 years for patients receiving 3D-CRT and IMRT, respectively. No differences in the 5-year failure of locoregional control (18% vs. 15%) or FFS (72% vs. 76%) rates were noted between the two groups. Multivariate analysis revealed no association between the two techniques and FFS. Patients with primary tumors in parameningeal sites were more likely to receive IMRT than 3D-CRT. IMRT became more common during the later years of the study. Patients receiving IMRT were more likely to receive >50 Gy, photon energy of 5 radiation fields than those who received 3D-CRT. The coverage of the IMRT planning target volume by the prescription dose was improved compared with the coverage using 3D-CRT with similar target dose heterogeneity.

CONCLUSIONS: IMRT improved the target dose coverage compared with 3D-CRT, although an improvement in locoregional control or FFS could not be demonstrated in this population. Future studies comparing the integral dose to nontarget tissue and late radiation toxicity between the two groups are warranted.



DOI of Published Version



Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Apr 1;82(5):1764-70. 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.01.036. Epub 2011 Apr 4. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID