Outcomes and acute toxicities of proton therapy for pediatric atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system

Susan L. McGovern, M. Fatih Okcu, Mark F. Munsell, Nancy Kumbalasseriyil, David R. Grosshans, Mary F. McAleer, Murali Chintagumpala, Soumen Khatua, Anita Mahajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Purpose Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) of the central nervous system is a rare cancer primarily affecting children younger than 5 years old. Because patients are young and receive intensive chemotherapy, there is concern regarding late radiation toxicity, particularly as survival rates improve. Therefore, there is interest in using proton therapy to treat these tumors. This study was undertaken to investigate outcomes and acute toxicities associated with proton therapy for AT/RT.

Methods and Materials The records of 31 patients with AT/RT treated with proton radiation from October 2008 to August 2013 were reviewed. Demographics, treatment characteristics, and outcomes were recorded and analyzed.

Results Median age at diagnosis was 19 months (range, 4-55 months), with a median age at radiation start of 24 months (range, 6-62 months). Seventeen patients received local radiation with a median dose of 50.4 GyRBE (range, 9-54 GyRBE). Fourteen patients received craniospinal radiation; half received 24 GyRBE or less, and half received 30.6 GyRBE or more. For patients receiving craniospinal radiation, the median tumor dose was 54 GyRBE (range, 43.2-55.8 GyRBE). Twenty-seven patients (87%) completed the planned radiation. With median follow-up of 24 months for all patients (range, 3-53 months), median progression-free survival was 20.8 months and median overall survival was 34.3 months. Five patients (16%) developed clinical findings and imaging changes in the brainstem 1 to 4 months after radiation, consistent with radiation reaction; all cases resolved with steroids or bevacizumab.

Conclusions This is the largest report of children with AT/RT treated with proton therapy. Preliminary survival outcomes in this young pediatric population are encouraging compared to historic results, but further study is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1152
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes and acute toxicities of proton therapy for pediatric atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor of the central nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this