Anal canal squamous cell carcinoma responds better with intensity-modulated radiation therapy

Monday, February 28, 2011 (Last Updated: 03/01/2011)

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with anal canal squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is associated with less toxicity, fewer and shorter treatment breaks, and good overall survival (OS) and locoregional control (LRC) compared with conventional radiotherapy (CRT), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Cancer.

Jose G. Bazan, M.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 46 patients with SCCA who received primary chemoradiotherapy between 1993 and 2009. Concurrent chemotherapy was given to 45 patients either as 5-fluorouracil with mitomycin or as cisplatin. Seventeen patients received CRT and 29 received IMRT, all at an average dose of 54 Gy. Both radiotherapy groups had similar staging and lymph node-positive disease. The average follow-up was 26 months in the CRT group and 32 months in the IMRT group.

The investigators found that patients in the CRT group required significantly longer treatment duration, and more frequent and longer treatment breaks compared to the IMRT group. There was significantly more nonhematologic toxicity higher than grade 2 in the CRT group. The IMRT group had significantly improved three-year OS, LRC, and progression-free survival compared to the CRT group. Use of IMRT and T stage of disease were independent predictors of both OS and LRC; OS was also associated with treatment duration.

"Our study shows that the use of IMRT is associated with less nonhematologic toxicity and reduced need for treatment breaks compared with CRT in patients with SCCA of the anal canal," the authors write.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Family Practice
Internal Medicine

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