Outcomes After Radiation Therapy to Metastatic Sites in Patients With Stage 4 Neuroblastoma

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In patients with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma, the benefit of radiation therapy (RT) to metastatic sites as part of primary treatment has not been fully investigated. The purpose of this single-institution study was to evaluate local control of irradiated metastatic sites, and characterize metastatic disease burden and anatomic distribution in patients with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma. The records of all patients diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma between August 2000 and January 2010 were reviewed. Exclusion criteria included: bone-marrow only metastatic site, total body irradiation, or no imaging follow-up. A total of 37 patients met eligibility criteria. Median follow-up period for patients without relapse was 61 months. Five-year overall survival for all patients was 67%. Thirteen patients (35%) received RT to a metastatic site as part of their primary treatment. Among these patients, in-field recurrence occurred in three patients (23%), including two of three treated calvarial sites. In patients treated with or without RT to a metastatic site, respectively, there was no significant difference in 5-year overall survival (73% vs. 63%, P=0.84) or relapse-free survival (46% and 55%, P=0.48). Current metastatic site RT dose may be suboptimal, and certain locations may predict for a poor response. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the optimal role of RT to metastatic sites.

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