Background and purpose: Usefulness of carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) for sacral chordoma has been reported from single institutions. We conducted a retrospective nationwide multicentre study to evaluate the clinical outcomes of CIRT for sacral chordoma in Japan. Materials and methods: A total of 219 patients who underwent CIRT for sacral chordoma at institutions across Japan between December 2003 and July 2014 were included in this study. Results: Median patient age was 67 years (range, 26–87 years). Most patients had no history of surgical resection (96%). The most frequent planning target volume (PTV) range was 100–500 mL (65%). The most frequently used dose-fractionation was 67.2 Gy (relative biological effectiveness) in 16 fractions (65%). The median follow-up was 56 months (range, 7–132 months). The 5-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, and local control rates were 84%, 48%, and 72%, respectively. Frequent sites of out-of-field recurrence included bone (9%) and lung (9%) metastases. The Cox proportional hazards model revealed that both younger age (P = 0.004) and smaller PTV (P = 0.001) were associated with significantly better OS. Acute toxicities of ≥Grade 3 occurred in eight patients (4%). Late toxicities of ≥Grade 3 occurred in 13 patients (6%): skin disorders in six patients (3%), pain in three (1%), myositis in three (1%), etc. Conclusion: Our retrospective nationwide multicentre study showed that CIRT for sacral chordoma was effective and safe, and replicated the previously reported data from a representative CIRT institution in Japan demonstrating high local control and low toxicity rates.
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