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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 17(2); 1999 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 1999;17(2): 129-135.
Early Bowel Complications Following Radiotherapy of Uterine Cervix Carcinoma
Won Dong Kim
Department of Therapeutic Radiology, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.
This study evaluated early bowel complications in cervix cancer patients, following external radiotherapy (ERT) and high dose rate intracavitary radiation (HDR ICR). Factors affecting the risk of developing early bowel complications and its incidence are analyzed and discussed.
The study is the retrospective review of 66 patients who received radiotherapy at Chungbuk National University Hospital from April 1994 to December 1998. The patients underwent 41.4 or 50.4 Gy ERT according to FIGO stage and tumor size, then A point dose was boosted to 71.4 or 74.4 Gy using a remotely controlled afterloading Buchler HDR ICR. The EORTC/RTOG morbidity criteria were used to grade early bowel complications, which are valid from day 1, the commencement of therapy, through day 90. The actuarial incidence, severity of complications were investigated and clinical pretreatment factors relevant to complications were found through univariate (Wilcoxon) and multivariate (Cox proportional hazard model) analysis.
Of the 66 patients, 30 patients (46%) developed early bowel complications; 25 patients (38%) with grade 1 or 2, 4 patients (6%) with grade 3 and 1 patient (2%) with grade 4. The complications usually began to occur 3 weeks after the commencement of radiotherapy. The actuarial incidence of early bowel complications was 41% at 10 weeks. The early bowel complications were associated significantly with an old age and a history of previous abdomino-pelvic surgery. All three patients who had a protracted overall treatment time (about 2 weeks) due to severe bowel complication, suffered from pelvic recurrences.
Forty six percent of patients experienced early bowel complications, most of which were grade 1 or 2 and relieved spontaneously or by medication. The patients with an old age or a previous surgery have a high probability of early complications and they may be less compliant with planned radiotherapy. So more careful precaution is necessary for these patients.
Key Words: Early bowel complications, Radiotherapy, Cervix cancer
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