Purpose

Proton beam therapy (PBT) may provide an advantage when planning well-selected patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma (eSTS), specifically for large, anatomically challenging cases. We analyzed our early experience with PBT on toxicity and outcomes.

Materials and Methods

A retrospective study was performed for eSTS treated between June 2016 and October 2020 with pencil beam scanning PBT at 2 institutions. Diagnostic, treatment, and toxicity characteristics were gathered from baseline to last follow-up or death. Wound complications were defined as secondary operations for wound repair (debridement, drainage, skin graft, and muscle flap) or nonoperative management requiring hospitalization. Statistical analysis was performed with R software.

Results

Twenty consecutive patients with a median age 51.5 years (range, 19–78 years) were included. Median follow-up was 13.7 months (range, 1.7–48.1 months). Tumor presentation was primary (n = 17) or recurrent after prior combined modality therapy (n = 3). Tumor location was either lower extremity (n = 16) or upper extremity (n = 4). Radiation was delivered preoperatively in most patients (n = 18). Median pretreatment tumor size was 7.9 cm (range, 1.3 –30.0 cm). The 1-year locoregional control was 100%. Four patients (20%) had developed metastatic disease by end of follow-up. Maximum toxicity for acute dermatitis was grade 2 in 8 patients (40%) and grade 3 in 3 patients (15%). After preoperative radiation and surgical resection, acute wound complications occurred in 6 patients (35%). Tumor size was larger in patients with acute wound complications compared with those without (medians 16 cm, range [12–30.0 cm] vs 6.3 cm, [1.3–14.4 cm], P = .003).

Conclusion

PBT for well selected eSTS cases demonstrated excellent local control and similar acute wound complication rate comparable to historic controls. Long-term follow-up and further dosimetric analyses will provide further insight into potential advantages of PBT in this patient population.

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