Acute Toxicity Grade 3 and 4 After Irradiation in Children and Adolescents: Results From the IPPARCA Collaboration

Caroline Pixberg, Raphael Koch, Hans Theodor Eich, Ulla Martinsson, Ingrid Kristensen, Christiane Matuschek, Rolf-Dieter Kortmann, Fabian Pohl, Khaled Elsayad, Hans Christiansen, Normann Willich, Jack Lindh, Diana Steinmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: In the context of oncologic therapy for children, radiation therapy is frequently indicated. This study identified the frequency of and reasons for the development of high-grade acute toxicity and possible sequelae.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Irradiated children have been prospectively documented since 2001 in the Registry for the Evaluation of Side Effects After Radiation in Childhood and Adolescence (RiSK) database in Germany and since 2008 in the registry for radiation therapy toxicity (RADTOX) in Sweden. Data were collected using standardized, published forms. Toxicity classification was based on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer criteria.

RESULTS: As of June 2013, 1500 children have been recruited into the RiSK database and 485 into the RADTOX registry leading to an analysis population of 1359 patients (age range 0-18). A total of 18.9% (n=257) of all investigated patients developed high-grade acute toxicity (grades 3/4). High-grade toxicity of the bone marrow was documented for 63.8% (n=201) of those patients, oral mucositis for 7.6% (n=24), and dermatitis for 7.6% (n=24). Patients with high-grade acute toxicity received concomitant chemotherapy more frequently (56%) than patients with no or lower acute toxicity (31.5%). In multivariate analyses, concomitant chemotherapy, diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma, and total radiation dose showed a statistically noticeable effect (P≤.05) on acute toxicity, whereas age, concomitant chemotherapy, Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing sarcoma, total radiation dose, and acute toxicity influenced the time until maximal late toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: Generally, high-grade acute toxicity after irradiation in children and adolescence occurs in a moderate proportion of patients (18.9%). As anticipated, the probability of acute toxicity appeared to depend on the prescribed dose as well as concomitant chemotherapy. The occurrence of chronic toxicity correlates with the prior acute toxicity grade. Age seems to influence the time until maximal late toxicity but not the development of acute toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-9
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 15
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology

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