Palliative short-course radiation therapy in rectal cancer: A phase 2 study

Vincenzo Picardi, Francesco Deodato, Alessandra Guido, Lucia Giaccherini, Gabriella Macchia*, Leonardo Frazzoni, Andrea Farioli, Dajana Cuicchi, Savino Cilla, Francesco Cellini, A.F.M. Kamal Uddin, Maria Antonietta Gambacorta, Milly Buwenge, Andrea Ardizzoni, Gilberto Poggioli, Vincenzo Valentini, Lorenzo Fuccio, Alessio G. Morganti, Alessio Giuseppe Morganti

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

20 Citazioni (Scopus)


Purpose The management of patients with symptomatic rectal cancer not amenable to curative treatment may be challenging. The aim of this phase 2 study was to evaluate the efficacy of short-course radiation therapy in patients with obstructing rectal cancer. Methods and Materials Patients who were not candidates for surgical resection because of synchronous metastases, age, and/or comorbidities were considered eligible. The sample size was calculated based on the 2-stage design of Simon. Short-course radiation therapy was delivered with an isocentric 4-field box technique (total, 25 Gy; 5 fractions in 5 days). Chemotherapy was suspended during radiation treatment. Clinical outcome measures were symptomatic response rate, toxicity, colostomy-free survival, and overall survival. Results From October 2003 to November 2012, 18 patients (median age, 77.5 years) were enrolled. The median follow-up was 11.5 months (range, 3-36 months). Four weeks after treatment, a complete response (ie, complete symptom resolution) was observed in 38.9% of patients and a partial response in 50.0% cases, whereas 11.1% had no response. The rates of reduction or resolution of pain and bleeding were 87.5% and 100%, respectively. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year colostomy-free survival rates were 100%, 71.4%, and 47.6%, respectively (median, 30 months). The 1-, 2-, and 3-year cumulative overall survival rates were 85.2%, 53%, and 39.8%, respectively (median, 25 months). No patients stopped treatment because of gastrointestinal or genitourinary toxicities: 38.9% of patients had grade 1 to 2 toxicity, and 16.7% had grade 3 toxicity. Only 1 patient had hematologic grade 2 toxicity, and 2 patients had grade 2 skin toxicity. Conclusions Short-course radiation therapy may represent a safe and effective alternative treatment option in patients with obstructing rectal cancer not eligible for curative treatment, allowing colostomy to be avoided in a substantial proportion of patients.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1184-1190
Numero di pagine7
RivistaInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiation
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging


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