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BackgroundThe four different local therapy strategies used for head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma (HNRMS) include proton therapy (PT), photon therapy (RT), surgery with radiotherapy (Paris-method), and surgery with brachytherapy (AMORE). Local control and survival is comparable; however, the impact of these different treatments on facial deformation is still poorly understood. This study aims to quantify facial deformation and investigates the differences in facial deformation between treatment modalities.MethodsAcross four European and North American institutions, HNRMS survivors treated between 1990 and 2017, more than 2 years post treatment, had a 3D photograph taken. Using dense surface modeling, we computed facial signatures for each survivor to show facial deformation relative to 35 age-sex-ethnicity-matched controls. Additionally, we computed individual facial asymmetry.FindingsA total of 173 HNRMS survivors were included, survivors showed significantly reduced facial growth (p InterpretationWhen selecting optimal treatment, musculoskeletal facial outcomes are an expected difference between treatment options. These anticipated differences are currently based on clinicians' bias, expertise, and experience. These data supplement clinician judgment with an objective analysis highlighting the impact of patient age and tumor site between existing treatment options.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatric blood & cancer

Publication Date



Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.