Re-irradiation for recurrent rectal cancer – a single-center experience
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Oncologica. 2020, 59 (5), 534-540. 10.1080/0284186X.2020.1725111
Background: There is no clear consensus on the use of re-irradiation (reRT) in the management of locally recurrent rectal cancer (LRRC). The aim of the present study was to investigate all reRT administered for rectal cancer at a large referral institution and to evaluate patient outcomes and toxicity. Material and methods: All patients with rectal cancer were identified who had received previous pelvic radiotherapy (RT) and underwent reRT during 2006–2016. Medical records and RT details of the primary tumor treatments and rectal cancer recurrence treatments were registered, including details on reRT, chemotherapy, surgery, adverse events, and long-term outcomes. Results: Of 77 patients who received ReRT, 67 had previously received pelvic RT for rectal cancer and were administered reRT for LRRC. Re-irradiation doses were 30.0–45.0 Gy, most often given as hyperfractionated RT in 1.2–1.5 Gy fractions twice daily with concomitant capecitabine. The median time since initial RT was 29 months (range, 13–174 months). Of 36 patients considered as potentially resectable, 20 underwent surgery for LRRC within 3 months after reRT. Operated patients had better 3-year overall survival (OS) (62%) compared to those who were not operated (16%; HR 0.32, p = .001). The median gross tumor volume (GTV) was 107 cm3, and 3-year OS was significantly better in patients with GTV <107 cm3 (44%) compared to patients with GTV ≥107 cm3 (21%; HR 0.52, p = .03). Conclusion: Three-year survival was significantly better for patients who underwent surgery after reRT or who had small tumor volume. Prospective clinical trials are recommended for further improvements in patient selection, outcomes, and toxicity assessment.