Cancer Management and Research (Mar 2018)

Prospective study of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy using intensity-modulated radiotherapy and 5 fluorouracil for locally advanced rectal cancer – toxicities and response assessment

  • Simson DK,
  • Mitra S,
  • Ahlawat P,
  • Saxena U,
  • Kumar Sharma M,
  • Rawat S,
  • Singh H,
  • Bansal B,
  • Sripathi LK,
  • Tanwar A

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 10
pp. 519 – 526


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David K Simson,1 Swarupa Mitra,2 Parveen Ahlawat,2 Upasna Saxena,2 Manoj Kumar Sharma,2 Sheh Rawat,2 Harpreet Singh,1 Babita Bansal,1 Lalitha Kameshwari Sripathi,1 Aditi Tanwar2 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Action Cancer Hospital, New Delhi, India; 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi, India Aims and objectives: The past 2 decades witnessed the strengthening of evidence favoring the role of neoadjuvant chemoradiation (CHRT) in the treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer. The study aims to evaluate the response and acute toxicities to neoadjuvant CHRT using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in the treatment of rectal cancer. Predictive factors to achieve pathological complete response (pCR) were analyzed, as a secondary endpoint. Materials and methods: All consecutive patients who underwent IMRT as part of neoadjuvant CHRT in the treatment of rectal cancer between August 2014 and December 2016 at a tertiary cancer care center were accrued for the study. The cohort underwent CHRT with IMRT technique at a dose of 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions concurrent with continuous infusion of 5 fluorouracil during the first and the last 4 days of CHRT. Surgery was performed 6 weeks later and the pathological response to CHRT was noted. Results: Forty-three subjects were accrued for the study. Radiation dermatitis and diarrhea were the only observed grade ≥3 acute toxicities. Sphincter preservation rate (SPR) was 43.3%. pCR was observed in 32.6%. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression showed that carcinoembryonic antigen was the only independent predictive factor to achieve pCR. Conclusion: IMRT as part of neoadjuvant CHRT in the treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer is well tolerated and gives comparable results with respect to earlier studies in terms of pathological response and SPR. Further randomized controlled studies are needed to firmly state that IMRT is superior to 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Keywords: IMRT, rectal cancer, chemoradiation, neoadjuvant, response