Long-term outcomes and prognostic factors of skull-base chondrosarcoma patients treated with pencil-beam scanning proton therapy at the Paul Scherrer Institute

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Skull-base chondrosarcoma (ChSa) is a rare disease, and the prognostication of this disease entity is ill defined.


We assessed the long-term local control (LC) results, overall survival (OS), and prognostic factors of skull-base ChSa patients treated with pencil beam scanning proton therapy (PBS PT). Seventy-seven (male, 35; 46%) patients with histologically confirmed ChSa were treated at the Paul Scherrer Institute. Median age was 38.9 years (range, 10.2–70.0y). Median delivered dose was 70.0 GyRBE (range, 64.0–76.0 GyRBE). LC, OS, and toxicity-free survival (TFS) rates were calculated using the Kaplan Meier method.


After a mean follow-up of 69.2 months (range, 4.6–190.8 mo), 6 local (7.8%) failures were observed, 2 of which were late failures. Five (6.5%) patients died. The actuarial 8-year LC and OS were 89.7% and 93.5%, respectively. Tumor volume > 25 cm3 (P = .02), brainstem/optic apparatus compression at the time of PT (P = .04) and age >30 years (P = .08) were associated with lower rates of LC. High-grade (≥3) radiation-induced toxicity was observed in 6 (7.8%) patients. The 8-year high-grade TFS was 90.8%. A higher rate of high-grade toxicity was observed for older patients (P = .073), those with larger tumor volume (P = .069), and those treated with 5 weekly fractions (P = .069).


This is the largest PT series reporting the outcome of patients with low-grade ChSa of the skull base treated with PBS only. Our data indicate that protons are both safe and effective. Tumor volume, brainstem/optic apparatus compression, and age were prognosticators of local failures.

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