The dose-volume relationship of acute small bowel toxicity from concurrent 5-FU-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy for rectal cancer
A direct relationship between the volume of small bowel irradiated and the degree of acute small bowel toxicity experienced during concurrent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemoradiotherapy for rectal carcinoma is well recognized but poorly quantified. This study uses three-dimensional treatment-planning tools to more precisely quantify this dose-volume relationship. Forty patients receiving concurrent 5-FU-based chemotherapy and pelvic irradiation for rectal carcinoma had treatment-planning CT scans with small bowel contrast. A median isocentric dose of 50.4 Gy was delivered using a posterior-anterior and opposed lateral field arrangement. Bowel exclusion techniques were routinely used, including prone treatment position on a vacuum bag cradle to allow anterior displacement of the abdominal contents and bladder distension. Individual loops of small bowel were contoured on each slice of the planning CT scan, and a small bowel dose-volume histogram was generated for the initial pelvis field receiving 45 Gy. The volume of small bowel receiving each dose between 5 and 40 Gy was recorded at 5-Gy intervals. Ten patients (25%) experienced Common Toxicity Criteria Grade 3+ acute small bowel toxicity. A highly statistically significant a...Continue Reading
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