Complications of whole abdominal and pelvic radiotherapy following chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer
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We examined the records of 105 patients with advanced ovarian cancer who had been treated with cisplatin combination chemotherapy followed by abdominopelvic radiotherapy. The purpose was to define the morbidity of this approach, and identify those factors predictive of toxicity. Acute toxicity resulting in delay or failure to complete treatment was most commonly due to myelosuppression. Nine of 105 patients (8.6%) required surgery for bowel obstruction that was not due to recurrent disease, 3 had an episode of bowel obstruction that settled conservatively, and a further 5 underwent surgery for obstruction due to recurrent tumor. The presence of both a dose of abdominopelvic radiotherapy over 2250 cGy, as well as a second-look laparotomy prior to radiotherapy, was associated with an increased risk of serious bowel complications. The increased frequency of late bowel morbidity seen in the combined modality group is likely explained by the presence of these two factors, rather than the exposure to chemotherapeutic agents per se. These observations are supported by the published literature.
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