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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Jerome C. Landry, MD, Emory Clinic Department of Radiation Oncology, 1365 Clifton Road NE A1300, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Tel.: +1-404-778-4051; Fax: +1-404-778-4139; E-mail: jerome@radonc.emory.org.

We have no proprietary interest or conflicts of interest to disclose.



  • IMRT
  • 3D-CRT
  • retroperitoneal sarcoma
  • VaRA
  • radiation therapy

Intensity modulated radiation therapy for retroperitoneal sarcoma: A case for dose escalation and organ at risk toxicity reduction


Journal Title:



Volume 7, Number 3-4


, Pages 137-148

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Purpose: Radiation therapy for retroperitoneal sarcoma remains challenging because of proximity to surrounding organs at risk (OAR). We report the use of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in the treatment of retroperitoneal sarcomas to minimize dose to OAR while concurrently optimizing tumor dose coverage. Patients and methods: From January 2000 to October 2002, 10 patients (average age 56 years) with retroperitoneal sarcoma and one with inguinal sarcoma were treated with radiation at Emory University. Prescription dose to the planning treatment volume (PTV) was commonly 50.4 at 1.8 Gy/fraction. CT simulation was used in each patient, three patients were treated with 3D-conformal treatment (3D-CRT), and the remaining eight received multi-leaf collimator-based (MLC) IMRT. IMRT treatment fields ranged from eight to 11 and average volume treated was 3498 cc. Optimal 3D-CRT plans were generated and compared with IMRT with respect to tumor coverage and OAR dose toxicity. Dose volume histograms were compared for both the 3D-CRT and IMRT plans. Results: Mean dose to small bowel decreased from 36 Gy with 3D-CRT to 27 Gy using IMRT, and tumor coverage (V95) increased from 95.3% with 3D-CRT to 98.6% using IMRT. Maximum and minimum doses delivered to the PTV were significantly increased by 6 and 22%, respectively (P=0.11, P=0.055). Volume of small bowel receiving >30 Gy was significantly decreased from 63.5 to 43.1% with IMRT compared with conventional treatment (P=0.043). Seven patients developed grade 2 nausea, three developed grade 2 diarrhea, one had grade 2 skin toxicity, and one patient developed grade 3 liver toxicity (RTOG toxicity scale). No other delayed toxicities related to radiation were observed. At a median follow-up of 58 weeks, there were no local recurrences and only one patient developed disease progression with distant metastasis in the liver. Conclusions: IMRT for retroperitoneal sarcoma allowed enhanced tumor coverage and better sparing of dose to critical normal structures such as small bowel, liver, and kidney. Escalation of dose has a positive impact on local control for retroperitoneal sarcoma; IMRT may be an effective method to achieve this goal. We are evaluating preoperative dose escalation to 59.4 Gy.

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© 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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