Proton or Carbon Ion Therapy for Skull Base Chordoma: Rationale and First Analysis of a Mono-Institutional Experience

Slavisa Tubin, Piero Fossati, Ulrike Mock, Carola Lütgendorf-Caucig, Birgit Flechl, Maciej Pelak, Petra Georg, Christoph Fussl, Antonio Carlino, Markus Stock, Eugen Hug

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Skull base chordomas are radio-resistant tumors that require high-dose, high-precision radiotherapy, as can be delivered by particle therapy (protons and carbon ions). We performed a first clinical outcome analysis of particle therapy based on the initial 4-years of operation. Methods: Between August 2017 and October 2021, 44 patients were treated with proton (89%) or carbon ion therapy (11%). Prior gross total resection had been performed in 21% of lesions, subtotal resection in 57%, biopsy in 12% and decompression in 10%. The average prescription dose was 75.2 Gy RBE in 37 fractions for protons and 66 Gy RBE in 22 fractions for carbon ions. Results: At a median follow-up of 34.3 months (range: 1–55), 2-, and 3-year actuarial local control rates were 95.5% and 90.9%, respectively. The 2-, and 3-year overall and progression-free survival rates were 97.7%, 93.2%, 95.5% and 90.9%, respectively. The tumor volume at the time of particle therapy was highly predictive of local failure (p < 0.01), and currently, there is 100% local control in patients with tumors < 49 cc. No grade ≥3 toxicities were observed. There was no significant difference in outcome or side effect profile seen for proton versus carbon ion therapy. Five patients (11.4%) experienced transient grade ≤2 radiation-induced brain changes. Conclusions: The first analysis suggests the safety and efficacy of proton and carbon ion therapy at our center. The excellent control of small to mid-size chordomas underlines the effectiveness of particle therapy and importance of upfront maximum debulking of large lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2093
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2023


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