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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 26(2); 2008 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2008;26(2): 113-117. doi: https://doi.org/10.3857/JKSTRO.2008.26.2.113
Radiation Therapy in Elderly Skin Cancer
Jin Hee Kim
Department of Radiation Oncology, Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. jhkim@dsmc.or.kr
To evaluate the long term results (local control, survival, failure, and complications) after radiation therapy for skin cancer in elderly patients.
The study spanned from January 1990 to October 2002. Fifteen elderly patients with skin cancer were treated by radiotherapy at the Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center. The age distribution of the patients surveyed was 72 to 95 years, with a median age of 78.8 years. The pathologic classification of the 15 patients included squamous cell carcinoma (10 patients), basal cell carcinoma (3 patients), verrucous carcinoma (1 patient) and skin adnexal origin carcinoma (1 patient). The most common tumor location was the head (13 patients). The mean tumor diameter was 4.9 cm (range 2 to 9 cm). The radiation dose was delivered via an electron beam of 6 to 15 MeV. The dose range was adjusted to the tumor diameter and depth of tumor invasion. The total radiation dose ranged from 50~80 Gy (mean: 66 Gy) with a 2 Gy fractional dose prescribed to the 80% isodose line once a day and 5 times a week. One patient with lymph node metastasis was treated with six MV photon beams boosted with electron beams. The length of the follow-up periods ranged from 10 to 120 months with a median follow-up period of 48 months.
The local control rates were 100%(15/15). In addition, the five year disease free survival rate (5YDFS) was 80% and twelve patients (80%) had no recurrence and skin cancer recurrence occurred in 3 patients (20%). Three patients have lived an average of 90 months (68~120 months) without recurrence or metastasis. A total of 9 patients who died as a result of other causes had a mean survival time of 55.8 months after radiation therapy. No severe acute or chronic complications were observed after radiation therapy. Only minor complications including radiation dermatitis was treated with supportive care.
The results suggest that radiation therapy is an effective and safe treatment method for the treatment of skin cancer in elderly patients who achieved a good survival rate and few minor complications.
Key Words: Skin cancer, Old age, Radiation therapy
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