Authors: Maguire PD, Samulski TV, Prosnitz LR, Jones EL, Rosner GL, Powers B, Layfield LW, Brizel DM, Scully SP, Harrelson JM, Dewhirst MW.
Publication: Int J Hyperthermia. 2001 Jul-Aug;17(4):283-90.
We prospectively evaluated whether delivering a thermal dose of > 10 cumulative equivalent minutes at 43 degrees C to >90% of the tumour sites monitored (CEM43 degrees T90) would produce a pathologic complete response (pCR) in > 75% of high-grade soft tissue sarcomas treated pre-operatively with thermoradiotherapy.
METHODS and MATERIALS:
The impact of thermal dose on local failure (LF), distant metastasis (DM), and toxicity was also assessed. Thirty-five patients > or = 18 years old with grade 2 or 3 soft tissue sarcomas accessible for invasive thermometry were enrolled on the protocol. All patients received megavoltage external beam radiotherapy (RT) in daily fractions of 1.8-2.0 Gy, five times a week, to a median total dose of 50 Gy and an initial hyperthermia treatment (HT) of I h duration utilizing the BSD 2000 with Sigma 60 or MAPA applicators at frequencies of 60-140 MHz. Further HT was given for patients with CEM43 degrees T90 > 0.5 after initial HT ('heatable' patients), twice a week to a maximum of 10 HT or CEM43 degrees T90 > 100. Of the 35 patients entered, 30 had heatable tumours, one of which was inevaluable for pCR or LF as the patient died of DM prior to surgery, leaving 29 evaluable patients.
Of these 29 patients, 15 (52%) had a pCR (95% CI: 37-73%), significantly less than the projected rate of > or = 75% (p = 0.02). Of the 25 heatable tumours that achieved CEM43 degrees T90 > or = 10, 14 (56%) had a pCR (95% CI: 39-78%) significantly less than the projected rate (p = 0.06). Three of the 29 patients (10%) with heatable tumours had a LF, versus 1/5 unheatable tumours (p = 0.48). Fourteen of the 30 patients (47%) with heatable tumours developed DM, versus 2/5 unheatable tumours (p = 1.00). Ten of the 30 patients (33%) with heatable tumours developed treatment-induced toxicity. Thus, no correlation of thermal dose with histologic response was observed. Prospective control of CEM43 degrees T90 failed to achieve the projected pCR rate following pre-operative thermoradiotherapy for high-grade soft tissue sarcomas, despite excellent local control. Possible explanations for this outcome are discussed.