BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of reirradiation and hyperthermia in the treatment of radiation-associated sarcoma (RAS) in the thoracic region, which is an increasing, yet extremely rare condition with a poor prognosis.
METHODS: Between 1979 and 2009, 16 patients with RAS in the thoracic region were treated in the Academic Medical Center and the Institute Verbeeten with reirradiation and hyperthermia. In 13 patients, this treatment was given for unresectable disease and 3 times after resection as adjuvant treatment. The median latency period between the original malignancy diagnosis and the RAS diagnosis was 86 months (range 19-212 months). Histology was angiosarcoma in 11 patients (69%). The literature on reirradiation with or without hyperthermia for RAS was reviewed.
RESULTS: The median survival was 15.5 months (range, 3-204 months). Four patients were not evaluable for response. The response rate for the remaining 12 patients was 75% (7 complete responses and 2 partial responses). Six patients remained free of local failure until death (5 months and 7 months) or last follow-up (8 months, 11 months, 39 months, and 68 months).
CONCLUSIONS: The current study indicates that combined reirradiation and hyperthermia for RAS in the thoracic region is feasible. The high response rate and the possibility of durable local control suggest that this treatment is promising.