High Dose Intensity Modulated Proton Radiation Treatment +/- Surgical Resection of Sarcomas of the Spine, Sacrum and Base of Skull


There are two types of external radiation treatments; proton beam and photon beam radiation. What type of therapy participants will receive will depend upon the location of their tumor. Standard treatment would involve receiving either proton or photon radiation delivered by a three dimensional (3-D) conformal radiation technique. 3-D conformal radiation therapy is a technique where the beams of radiation used in the treatment are shaped to match the tumor in order to avoid damaging the healthy surrounding tissue. Standard treatment also may include photon radiation delivered by intensity modulated (IMRT) technique. In this research study the investigators are using an investigational technique to deliver proton radiation therapy called intensity modulated proton radiation treatment (IMPT) which is used to target cancer while sparing healthy tissue. With IMPT (and standard IMRT), radiation intensity can be turned down during the treatment. This control over the intensity of the radiation dose has the potential to provide accuracy and allows us to more safely increase the amount of radiation delivered to the tumor. This accuracy may potentially reduce side effects that patients would normally experience with 3-D proton radiation therapy. Surgery is often an important component of the treatment for these tumors and may be integrated with the IMPT.

Study Start Date

December 2012

Estimated Completion Date

March 2017


  • Radiation: High Dose Intensity Modulated Proton Radiation


  • Oncology: Bone/Cartilage,Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology: Radiotherapy (XRT)
  • Orthopedics: Oncology,Spine
  • Physician Assistant: Hematology/Oncology,Radiology

MeSH Terms

  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Radiotherapy

Study ID

Massachusetts General Hospital -- 10-133



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase

Phase 2

Enrollment Quota



Massachusetts General Hospital

Inclusion Criteria

  • Pathological diagnosis of chondrosarcoma of the spine or sacrum or chordoma of the base of skull, spine or sacrum. Pathologic diagnosis to be confirmed at MGH or other participating institution.
  • Participants need not have measurable disease. Lesion may be primary or recurrent after prior surgery. Patient tumor status: 1) Status post biopsy only and no further surgery planned, 2) Status post resection with gross residual disease, 3) Status post grossly complete research but with margins positive or close (10mm or less), 4) Status post biopsy and patient to have additional surgery and radiation
  • No prior radiation treatment to the affected skull base, spine, or sacral region. Prior chemotherapy is allowed within 30 days of start of treatment
  • 18 years of age or older
  • ECOG Performance Status of 0, 1 or 2
  • NOrmal organ and marrow function as outlined in the protocol
  • No clinical, radiographic or other evidence of distant metastasis
  • Women of child-bearing potential and men must agree to use adequate contraception prior to study entry and for the duration of study participation

Exclusion Criteria

  • Participants may not be receiving any other investigational agents
  • Participants with metastases
  • Evidence of brainstem/cord/cauda or other neuromuscular or neurosensory malfunction from causes other than effects of local tumor growth or metabolic effects of tumor
  • Uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to ongoing or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements. Disease/conditions characterized by high radiation sensitivity. These include genetic diseases, such as ataxia telangiectasia
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with a history of a different malignancy are ineligible except for the following circumstance. Individuals with a history of other malignancies are eligible if they have been disease-free for at least 5 years and are deemed by the investigator to be at low risk for recurrence of that malignancy. Individuals with the following cancers are eligible if diagnosed and treated within the past 5 years: cervical cancer in situ, and basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
  • HIV-positive individuals on combination antiretroviral therapy




18 Years and older

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (4)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Massachusetts General Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts 2.6 miles None None None
Massachusetts General Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts 2.6 miles Thomas DeLaney MD None tdelaney@partners.org
MD Anderson Cancer Center - Houston, Texas 1,609.9 miles None None None
MD Anderson Cancer Center - Houston, Texas 1,609.9 miles Paul Brown MD None PDBrown@mdanderson.org

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