Intensity-modulated radiation equally as effective as conventional therapy and less toxic

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 (Last Updated: 01/20/2011)

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of chemotherapy with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is equally as effective for the treatment of anal cancer after two years as the combination of chemotherapy and conventionally delivered radiation therapy, as well as less toxic, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, held from Jan. 20 to 22 in San Francisco.

In the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0529 trial, Lisa Kachnic, M.D., of Boston University, and colleagues evaluated 52 stage II and stage III anal cancer patients treated with IMRT and 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C chemotherapy. The investigators compared outcomes with those of 325 patients who received 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C and conventionally delivered radiation enrolled in the RTOG 9811 trial.

After a median follow-up of 26.7 months, the investigators found that two-year disease-free survival was 77 percent among those who received IMRT and 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C chemotherapy, while overall survival was 86 percent. The investigators found similar results at two years among those who received 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C and conventionally delivered radiation (75 percent disease-free survival and 91 percent overall survival). However, patients who received IMRT and 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C chemotherapy experienced less skin and gastrointestinal acute toxicity.

"Based on RTOG 0529, IMRT with 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin-C is associated with significant sparing of grade three and higher dermatologic and gastrointestinal acute toxicity as compared to the 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C and conventionally delivered radiation arm of RTOG 9811, without compromising two year outcomes," Kachnic said in a statement. "IMRT will now serve as the standard radiation technique in future RTOG anal cancer trials assessing novel agents in combination with radiation."

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health

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