The ongoing challenge of large anal cancers: prospective long term outcomes of intensity-modulated radiation therapy with concurrent chemotherapy
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Purpose: Patterns of failure and long term outcomes were prospectively evaluated following tumor factors-stratified radiation dose for anal/perianal cancer. Methods: Between 2008-2013, patients with anal/perianal squamous cell carcinoma were accrued to an institutional REB-approved prospective study. All patients were treated with image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT). Radiation dose selection (27-36 Gy for elective target, and 45-63 Gy for gross target) was based on tumor clinico-pathologic features. Chemotherapy regimen was 5-fluorouracil/mitomycin-C (weeks 1&5). Local [LF], regional failure [RF], distant metastasis [DM], overall- [OS], disease-free [DFS], colostomy-free survival [CFS] and late toxicity were analyzed. Results: Overall, 101 patients were evaluated; median follow-up: 56.5 months; 49.5% male; 34.7% T3/4-category, and 35.6% N+. Median radiation dose was 63 Gy. The most common acute grade ≥3 toxicities were skin (41.6%) and hematological (30.7%). Five-year OS, DFS, CFS, LF, RF, DM rates were 83.4%, 75.7%, 74.7, 13.9%, 4.6% and 5% respectively. Five-year LF for patients with T1-2 and T3-4 disease were 0% and 39.2% respectively. All LF (n = 14, after 63 Gy, in tumors ≥5 cm) were in the high dose volume except one marginal to the high dose volume. All RF (n = 4) were within elective dose volume except one within the high dose volume. On multivariable analysis, T3/4-category predicted for poor DFS, CFS and OS. The overall late grade ≥3 toxicity was 36.2% (mainly anal [20%]). Conclusions: Individualized radiation dose selection using IG-IMRT resulted in good long term outcomes. However, central failures remain a problem for locally advanced tumors even with high dose radiation (63 Gy/7weeks).
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