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Radiotherapy is the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high energy (ionising) radiation. Ionising radiation damages or destroys cells in the area being treated making it impossible for the cancer cells to continue to grow and multiply. Most radiotherapy is delivered from the outside of the body (external beam radiotherapy) usually in the form of high energy X-rays or sometimes as Gamma rays. For certain cancers a radioactive implant can be placed next to the tumour inside the body (internal radiotherapy). As radiotherapy can damage normal cells as well as cancer cells there can be potential side effects, these may depend on the radiotherapy dose, site(s) of treatment, age and other factors.

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Overviews - What is Radiotherapy?
Recent Research
Radiation Oncology (medical specialty)
Specialist Journals

Overviews - What is Radiotherapy? (8 links)

Recent Research

Ben-David MA, Elkayam R, Gelernter I, Pfeffer RM
Melatonin for Prevention of Breast Radiation Dermatitis: A Phase II, Prospective, Double-Blind Randomized Trial.
Isr Med Assoc J. 2016 Mar-Apr; 18(3-4):188-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiation-induced dermatitis is commonly seen during radiotherapy for breast cancer. Melatonin-based creams have shown a protective effect against ultraviolet-induced erythema and a radioprotective effect in rats.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of melatonin-containing cream in minimizing acute radiation dermatitis.
METHODS: In this phase II, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study, patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery for stage 0-2 breast cancer were randomly allocated to melatonin emulsion (26 women) or placebo (21 women) for twice daily use during radiation treatment and 2 weeks following the end of radiotherapy. All women received 50 Gy whole breast radiation therapy with 2 Gy/fx using computed tomography-based 3D planning. Patients were examined and completed a detailed questionnaire weekly and 2 weeks following the end of treatment.
RESULTS: The occurrence of grade 1/2 acute radiation dermatitis was significantly lower (59% vs. 90%, P = 0.038) in the melatonin group. Women older than 50 had significantly less dermatitis than younger patients (56% vs. 100%, P = 0.021). The maximal radiation dermatitis in the study group was grade 2 in 15% of the treated patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients treated with melatonin-containing emulsion experienced significantly reduced radiation dermatitis compared to patients receiving placebo.

Tang Y, Huang Y, Mo X, et al.
Efficacy and safety of Yunxiangjing derived from Chinese herbal medicine administered as an enema in the management of acute radiation-induced proctitis in patients with pelvic malignancy.
J Tradit Chin Med. 2016; 36(1):45-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of Yunxiangjing (YXJ), derived from Chinese herbal medicine, in the management of acute radiation-induced proctitis (ARIP) in patients with pelvic malignancy.
METHODS: Forty-eight patients with grade 2 ARIP were administered YXJ as an enema (1 : 30 dilution) for 2 weeks and followed up for 2 years. All were assessed for response and ARIP grade. Quality of life (QOL) was assessed with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30.
RESULTS: Of the 48 patients, six (12.5%) achieved complete remission of ARIP and 28 (58.3%) showed a decrease from grade 2 to grade 1 ARIP. No patient experienced a grade ≥3 toxicity. At the end of radiotherapy, patients showed significant improvements in QOL (P < 0.05). Two years after treatment, 46 patients showed no late toxicity, with only two experiencing grade 1 late toxicity.
CONCLUSION: YXJ can be used as an enema to manage acute radiation-induced proctitis in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. These findings suggest that YXJ enema may be an alternative treatment of ARIP.

Rades D, Šegedin B, Conde-Moreno AJ, et al.
Radiotherapy With 4 Gy × 5 Versus 3 Gy × 10 for Metastatic Epidural Spinal Cord Compression: Final Results of the SCORE-2 Trial (ARO 2009/01).
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(6):597-602 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To compare short-course radiotherapy (RT) (4 Gy × 5) to longer-course RT (3 Gy × 10) for metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two-hundred three patients with MESCC and poor to intermediate expected survival were randomly assigned to 4 Gy × 5 in 1 week (n = 101) or 3 Gy × 10 in 2 weeks (n = 102). Patients were stratified according to ambulatory status, time developing motor deficits, and primary tumor type. Seventy-eight and 77 patients, respectively, were evaluable for the primary end point, 1-month overall response regarding motor function defined as improvement or no further progression of motor deficits. Other study end points included ambulatory status, local progression-free survival, and overall survival. End points were evaluated immediately after RT and at 1, 3, and 6 months thereafter.
RESULTS: At 1 month, overall response rates regarding motor function were 87.2% after 4 Gy × 5 and 89.6% after 3 Gy × 10 (P = .73). Improvement rates were 38.5% and 44.2%, respectively, no further progression rates 48.7% and 45.5%, respectively, and deterioration rates 12.8% and 10.4%, respectively (P = .44). Ambulatory rates at 1 month were 71.8% and 74.0%, respectively (P = .86). At other times after RT, the results were also not significantly different. Six-month local progression-free survival was 75.2% after 4 Gy × 5 and 81.8% after 3 Gy × 10 (P = .51); 6-month overall survival was 42.3% and 37.8% (P = .68).
CONCLUSION: Short-course RT with 4 Gy × 5 was not significantly inferior to 3 Gy × 10 in patients with MESCC and poor to intermediate expected survival.

Ahlawat S, Haffty BG, Goyal S, et al.
Short-Course Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy With Boost in Women With Stages 0 to IIIa Breast Cancer: A Phase 2 Trial.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 94(1):118-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Conventionally fractionated whole-breast irradiation (WBI) with a boost takes approximately 6 to 7 weeks. We evaluated a short course of hypofractionated (HF), accelerated WBI in which therapy was completed in 3 weeks inclusive of a sequential boost.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: We delivered a whole-breast dose of 36.63 Gy in 11 fractions of 3.33 Gy over 11 days, followed by a lumpectomy bed boost in 4 fractions of 3.33 Gy delivered once daily for a total of 15 treatment days. Acute toxicities were scored using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4. Late toxicities were scored using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer scale. Cosmesis was scored using the Harvard Cosmesis Scale. Our primary endpoint was freedom from locoregional failure; we incorporated early stopping criteria based on predefined toxicity thresholds. Cosmesis was examined as a secondary endpoint.
RESULTS: We enrolled 83 women with stages 0 to IIIa breast cancer. After a median follow-up of 40 months, 2 cases of isolated ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence occurred (2 of 83; crude rate, 2.4%). Three-year estimated local recurrence-free survival was 95.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 87.8%-98.7%). The 3-year estimated distant recurrence-free survival was 97.3% (95% CI: 89.8%-99.3%). Three-year secondary malignancy-free survival was 94.3% (95% CI: 85.3%-97.8%). Twenty-nine patients (34%) had grade 2 acute toxicity, and 1 patient had a late grade 2 toxicity (fibrosis). One patient had acute grade 3 dermatitis, whereas 2 patients experienced grade 3 late skin toxicity. Ninety-four percent of evaluable patients had good or excellent cosmesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our phase 2 institutional study offers one of the shortest courses of HF therapy, delivered in 15 fractions inclusive of a sequential boost. We demonstrated expected low toxicity and high local control rates with good to excellent cosmetic outcomes. This fractionation scheme is feasible and well tolerated and offers women WBI in a highly convenient schedule.

Hong TS, Wo JY, Yeap BY, et al.
Multi-Institutional Phase II Study of High-Dose Hypofractionated Proton Beam Therapy in Patients With Localized, Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(5):460-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of high-dose, hypofractionated proton beam therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this single-arm, phase II, multi-institutional study, 92 patients with biopsy-confirmed HCC or ICC, determined to be unresectable by multidisciplinary review, with a Child-Turcotte-Pugh score (CTP) of A or B, ECOG performance status of 0 to 2, no extrahepatic disease, and no prior radiation received 15 fractions of proton therapy to a maximum total dose of 67.5 Gy equivalent. Sample size was calculated to demonstrate > 80% local control (LC) defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.0 criteria at 2 years for HCC patients, with the parallel goal of obtaining acceptable precision for estimating outcomes for ICC.
RESULTS: Eighty-three patients were evaluable: 44 with HCC, 37 with ICC, and two with mixed HCC/ICC. The CTP score was A for 79.5% of patients and B for 15.7%; 4.8% of patients had no cirrhosis. Prior treatment had been given to 31.8% of HCC patients and 61.5% of ICC patients. The median maximum dimension was 5.0 cm (range, 1.9 to 12.0 cm) for HCC patients and 6.0 cm (range, 2.2 to 10.9 cm) for ICC patients. Multiple tumors were present in 27.3% of HCC patients and in 12.8% of ICC patients. Tumor vascular thrombosis was present in 29.5% of HCC patients and in 28.2% of ICC patients. The median dose delivered to both HCC and ICC patients was 58.0 Gy. With a median follow-up among survivors of 19.5 months, the LC rate at 2 years was 94.8% for HCC and 94.1% for ICC. The overall survival rate at 2 years was 63.2% for HCC and 46.5% ICC.
CONCLUSION: High-dose hypofractionated proton therapy demonstrated high LC rates for HCC and ICC safely, supporting ongoing phase III trials of radiation in HCC and ICC.

Zhao H, Zhu W, Jia L, et al.
Phase I study of topical epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant radiotherapy.
Br J Radiol. 2016; 89(1058):20150665 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety, tolerability and preliminary effectiveness of topical epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) for radiation dermatitis in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant radiotherapy.
METHODS: Patients with breast cancer who received radiotherapy to the chest wall after mastectomy were enrolled. EGCG solution was sprayed to the radiation field from the initiation of Grade 1 radiation dermatitis until 2 weeks after completion of radiotherapy. EGCG concentration escalated from 40 to 660 μmol l(-1) in 7 levels with 3-6 patients in each level. EGCG toxicity was graded using the NCI (National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) v. 3.0. Any adverse event >Grade 1 attributed to EGCG was considered dose-limiting toxicity. The maximum tolerated dose was defined as the dose level that induced dose-limiting toxicity in more than one-third of patients at a given cohort. Radiation dermatitis was recorded weekly by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group scoring and patient-reported symptoms.
RESULTS: From March 2012 to August 2013, 24 patients were enrolled. Acute skin redness was observed in 1 patient and considered to be associated with the EGCG treatment at 140 μmol l(-1) level. Three more patients were enrolled at this level and did not experience toxicity to EGCG. The dose escalation stopped at 660 μmol l(-1). No other reported acute toxicity was associated with EGCG. Grade 2 radiation dermatitis was observed in eight patients during or after radiotherapy, but all decreased to Grade 1 after EGCG treatments. Patient-reported symptom scores were significantly decreased at 2 weeks after the end of radiotherapy in pain, burning, itching and tenderness, p < 0.05.
CONCLUSION: The topical administration of EGCG was well tolerated and the maximum tolerated dose was not found. EGCG may be effective in treating radiation dermatitis with preliminary investigation.
ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: EGCG solution seemed to be feasible for treating radiation dermatitis in patients with breast cancer after mastectomy. It should be tested as a way to reduce radiation-induced normal tissue toxicity and complications in future years.

Kelsey CR, Das S, Gu L, et al.
Phase 1 Dose Escalation Study of Accelerated Radiation Therapy With Concurrent Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Lung Cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(5):997-1004 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the maximum tolerated dose of radiation therapy (RT) given in an accelerated fashion with concurrent chemotherapy using intensity modulated RT.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with locally advanced lung cancer (non-small cell and small cell) with good performance status and minimal weight loss received concurrent cisplatin and etoposide with RT. Intensity modulated RT with daily image guidance was used to facilitate esophageal avoidance and delivered using 6 fractions per week (twice daily on Fridays with a 6-hour interval). The dose was escalated from 58 Gy to a planned maximum dose of 74 Gy in 4 Gy increments in a standard 3 + 3 trial design. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as acute grade 3-5 nonhematologic toxicity attributed to RT.
RESULTS: A total of 24 patients were enrolled, filling all dose cohorts, all completing RT and chemotherapy as prescribed. Dose-limiting toxicity occurred in 1 patient at 58 Gy (grade 3 esophagitis) and 1 patient at 70 Gy (grade 3 esophageal fistula). Both patients with DLTs had large tumors (12 cm and 10 cm, respectively) adjacent to the esophagus. Three additional patients were enrolled at both dose cohorts without further DLT. In the final 74-Gy cohort, no DLTs were observed (0 of 6).
CONCLUSIONS: Dose escalation and acceleration to 74 Gy with intensity modulated RT and concurrent chemotherapy was tolerable, with a low rate of grade ≥3 acute esophageal reactions.

Blanchard P, Faivre L, Lesaunier F, et al.
Outcome According to Elective Pelvic Radiation Therapy in Patients With High-Risk Localized Prostate Cancer: A Secondary Analysis of the GETUG 12 Phase 3 Randomized Trial.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 94(1):85-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The role of pelvic elective nodal irradiation (ENI) in the management of prostate cancer is controversial. This study analyzed the role of pelvic radiation therapy (RT) on the outcome in high-risk localized prostate cancer patients included in the Groupe d'Etude des Tumeurs Uro-Genitales (GETUG) 12 trial.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with a nonpretreated high-risk localized prostate cancer and a staging lymphadenectomy were randomly assigned to receive either goserelin every 3 months for 3 years and 4 cycles of docetaxel plus estramustine or goserelin alone. Local therapy was administered 3 months after the start of systemic treatment. Performance of pelvic ENI was left to the treating physician. Only patients treated with primary RT were included in this analysis. The primary endpoint was biochemical progression-free survival (bPFS).
RESULTS: A total of 413 patients treated from 2002 to 2006 were included, of whom 358 were treated using primary RT. A total of 208 patients received pelvic RT and 150 prostate-only RT. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration, Gleason score, or T stage did not differ according to performance of pelvic RT; pN+ patients more frequently received pelvic RT than pN0 patients (P<.0001). Median follow-up was 8.8 years. In multivariate analysis, bPFS was negatively impacted by pN stage (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.52 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.78-3.54], P<.0001), Gleason score 8 or higher (HR: 1.41 [95% CI: 1.03-1.93], P=.033) and PSA higher than 20 ng/mL (HR: 1.41 [95% CI: 1.02-1.96], P=.038), and positively impacted by the use of chemotherapy (HR: 0.66 [95% CI: 0.48-0.9], P=.009). There was no association between bPFS and use of pelvic ENI in multivariate analysis (HR: 1.10 [95% CI: 0.78-1.55], P=.60), even when analysis was restricted to pN0 patients (HR: 0.88 [95% CI: 0.59-1.31], P=.53). Pelvic ENI was not associated with increased acute or late patient reported toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: This unplanned analysis of a randomized trial failed to demonstrate a benefit of pelvic ENI on bPFS in high-risk localized prostate cancer patients.

Maarouf M, El Majdoub F, Fuetsch M, et al.
Stereotactic intracavitary brachytherapy with P-32 for cystic craniopharyngiomas in children.
Strahlenther Onkol. 2016; 192(3):157-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although microsurgery remains the first-line treatment, gross total resection of cystic craniopharyngeomas (CP) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and the addition of external irradiation to subtotal resection proves to achieve similar tumor control. However, concern regarding long-term morbidity associated with external irradiation in children still remains. With this retrospective analysis, the authors emphasize intracavitary brachytherapy using phosphorus-32 (P-32) as a treatment option for children with cystic CP.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1992 and 2009, 17 children (median age 15.4 years; range 7-18 years) with cystic CP underwent intracavitary brachytherapy using P-32. Eleven patients were treated for recurrent tumor cysts; 6 patients were treated primarily. MR imaging revealed solitary cysts in 7 patients; 10 patients had mixed solid-cystic lesions (median tumor volume 11.1 ml; range 0.5-78.9 ml). The median follow-up time was 61.9 months (range 16.9-196.6 months).
RESULTS: Local cyst control could be achieved in 14 patients (82 %). Three patients showed progression of the treated cystic formation (in-field progression) after a median time of 8.3 months (range 5.3-10.3 months), which led to subsequent interventions. The development of new, defined cysts and progression of solid tumor parts (out-of-field progression) occurred in 5 patients and led to additional interventions in 4 cases. There was neither surgery-related permanent morbidity nor mortality in this study. The overall progression-free survival was 75, 63, and 52 % after 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Intracavitary brachytherapy using P-32 represents a safe and effective treatment option for children harboring cystic CP, even as primary treatment. However, P-32 does not clearly affect growth of solid tumor parts or the development of new cystic formations.

Ghadjar P, Hayoz S, Bernhard J, et al.
Acute Toxicity and Quality of Life After Dose-Intensified Salvage Radiation Therapy for Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer After Prostatectomy: First Results of the Randomized Trial SAKK 09/10.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(35):4158-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Patients with biochemical failure (BF) after radical prostatectomy may benefit from dose-intensified salvage radiation therapy (SRT) of the prostate bed. We performed a randomized phase III trial assessing dose intensification.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with BF but without evidence of macroscopic disease were randomly assigned to either 64 or 70 Gy. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy or intensity-modulated radiation therapy/rotational techniques were used. The primary end point was freedom from BF. Secondary end points were acute toxicity according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0) and quality of life (QoL) according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires C30 and PR25.
RESULTS: Three hundred fifty patients were enrolled between February 2011 and April 2014. Three patients withdrew informed consent, and three patients were not eligible, resulting in 344 patients age 48 to 75 years in the safety population. Thirty patients (8.7%) had grade 2 and two patients (0.6%) had grade 3 genitourinary (GU) baseline symptoms. Acute grade 2 and 3 GU toxicity was observed in 22 patients (13.0%) and one patient (0.6%), respectively, with 64 Gy and in 29 patients (16.6%) and three patients (1.7%), respectively, with 70 Gy (P = .2). Baseline grade 2 GI toxicity was observed in one patient (0.6%). Acute grade 2 and 3 GI toxicity was observed in 27 patients (16.0%) and one patient (0.6%), respectively, with 64 Gy, and in 27 patients (15.4%) and four patients (2.3%), respectively, with 70 Gy (P = .8). Changes in early QoL were minor. Patients receiving 70 Gy reported a more pronounced and clinically relevant worsening in urinary symptoms (mean difference in change score between arms, 3.6; P = .02).
CONCLUSION: Dose-intensified SRT was associated with low rates of acute grade 2 and 3 GU and GI toxicity. The impact of dose-intensified SRT on QoL was minor, except for a significantly greater worsening in urinary symptoms.

Wilkins A, Mossop H, Syndikus I, et al.
Hypofractionated radiotherapy versus conventionally fractionated radiotherapy for patients with intermediate-risk localised prostate cancer: 2-year patient-reported outcomes of the randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 CHHiP trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(16):1605-16 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) might detect more toxic effects of radiotherapy than do clinician-reported outcomes. We did a quality of life (QoL) substudy to assess PROs up to 24 months after conventionally fractionated or hypofractionated radiotherapy in the Conventional or Hypofractionated High Dose Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy in Prostate Cancer (CHHiP) trial.
METHODS: The CHHiP trial is a randomised, non-inferiority phase 3 trial done in 71 centres, of which 57 UK hospitals took part in the QoL substudy. Men with localised prostate cancer who were undergoing radiotherapy were eligible for trial entry if they had histologically confirmed T1b-T3aN0M0 prostate cancer, an estimated risk of seminal vesicle involvement less than 30%, prostate-specific antigen concentration less than 30 ng/mL, and a WHO performance status of 0 or 1. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive a standard fractionation schedule of 74 Gy in 37 fractions or one of two hypofractionated schedules: 60 Gy in 20 fractions or 57 Gy in 19 fractions. Randomisation was done with computer-generated permuted block sizes of six and nine, stratified by centre and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) risk group. Treatment allocation was not masked. UCLA Prostate Cancer Index (UCLA-PCI), including Short Form (SF)-36 and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate (FACT-P), or Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) and SF-12 quality-of-life questionnaires were completed at baseline, pre-radiotherapy, 10 weeks post-radiotherapy, and 6, 12, 18, and 24 months post-radiotherapy. The CHHiP trial completed accrual on June 16, 2011, and the QoL substudy was closed to further recruitment on Nov 1, 2009. Analysis was on an intention-to-treat basis. The primary endpoint of the QoL substudy was overall bowel bother and comparisons between fractionation groups were done at 24 months post-radiotherapy. The CHHiP trial is registered with ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN97182923.
FINDINGS: 2100 participants in the CHHiP trial consented to be included in the QoL substudy: 696 assigned to the 74 Gy schedule, 698 assigned to the 60 Gy schedule, and 706 assigned to the 57 Gy schedule. Of these individuals, 1659 (79%) provided data pre-radiotherapy and 1444 (69%) provided data at 24 months after radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 50·0 months (IQR 38·4-64·2) on April 9, 2014, which was the most recent follow-up measurement of all data collected before the QoL data were analysed in September, 2014. Comparison of 74 Gy in 37 fractions, 60 Gy in 20 fractions, and 57 Gy in 19 fractions groups at 2 years showed no overall bowel bother in 269 (66%), 266 (65%), and 282 (65%) men; very small bother in 92 (22%), 91 (22%), and 93 (21%) men; small bother in 26 (6%), 28 (7%), and 38 (9%) men; moderate bother in 19 (5%), 23 (6%), and 21 (5%) men, and severe bother in four (<1%), three (<1%) and three (<1%) men respectively (74 Gy vs 60 Gy, ptrend=0.64, 74 Gy vs 57 Gy, ptrend=0·59). We saw no differences between treatment groups in change of bowel bother score from baseline or pre-radiotherapy to 24 months.
INTERPRETATION: The incidence of patient-reported bowel symptoms was low and similar between patients in the 74 Gy control group and the hypofractionated groups up to 24 months after radiotherapy. If efficacy outcomes from CHHiP show non-inferiority for hypofractionated treatments, these findings will add to the growing evidence for moderately hypofractionated radiotherapy schedules becoming the standard treatment for localised prostate cancer.
FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, Department of Health, and the National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network.

Weigel BJ, Lyden E, Anderson JR, et al.
Intensive Multiagent Therapy, Including Dose-Compressed Cycles of Ifosfamide/Etoposide and Vincristine/Doxorubicin/Cyclophosphamide, Irinotecan, and Radiation, in Patients With High-Risk Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(2):117-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Patients with metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), except those younger than 10 years with embryonal RMS, have an estimated long-term event-free survival (EFS) of less than 20%. The main goal of this study was to improve outcome of patients with metastatic RMS by dose intensification with interval compression, use of the most active agents determined in phase II window studies, and use of irinotecan as a radiation sensitizer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with metastatic RMS received 54 weeks of therapy: blocks of therapy with vincristine/irinotecan (weeks 1 to 6, 20 to 25, and 47 to 52), interval compression with vincristine/doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide alternating with etoposide/ifosfamide (weeks 7 to 19 and 26 to 34), and vincristine/dactinomycin/cyclophosphamide (weeks 38 to 46). Radiation therapy occurred at weeks 20 to 25 (primary) but was also permitted at weeks 1 to 6 (for intracranial or paraspinal extension) and weeks 47 to 52 (for extensive metastatic sites).
RESULTS: One hundred nine eligible patients were enrolled, with a median follow-up of surviving patients of 3.8 years (3-year EFS for all patients, 38% [95% CI, 29% to 48%]; survival, 56% [95% CI, 46% to 66%]). Patients with one or no Oberlin risk factor (age > 10 years or < 1 year, unfavorable primary site of disease, ≥ three metastatic sites, and bone or bone marrow involvement) had a 3-year EFS of 69% (95% CI, 52% to 82%); high-risk patients with two or more risk factors had a 3-year EFS of 20% (95% CI, 11% to 30%). Toxicity was similar to that on prior RMS studies.
CONCLUSION: Patients with metastatic RMS with one or no Oberlin risk factor had an improved 3-year EFS of 69% on ARST0431 compared with an historical cohort from pooled European and US studies; those with two or more risk factors have a dismal prognosis, and new approaches are needed for this very-high-risk group.

Strnad V, Ott OJ, Hildebrandt G, et al.
5-year results of accelerated partial breast irradiation using sole interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy versus whole-breast irradiation with boost after breast-conserving surgery for low-risk invasive and in-situ carcinoma of the female breast: a randomised, phase 3, non-inferiority trial.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10015):229-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a phase 3, randomised, non-inferiority trial, accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for patients with stage 0, I, and IIA breast cancer who underwent breast-conserving treatment was compared with whole-breast irradiation. Here, we present 5-year follow-up results.
METHODS: We did a phase 3, randomised, non-inferiority trial at 16 hospitals and medical centres in seven European countries. 1184 patients with low-risk invasive and ductal carcinoma in situ treated with breast-conserving surgery were centrally randomised to either whole-breast irradiation or APBI using multicatheter brachytherapy. The primary endpoint was local recurrence. Analysis was done according to treatment received. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00402519.
FINDINGS: Between April 20, 2004, and July 30, 2009, 551 patients had whole-breast irradiation with tumour-bed boost and 633 patients received APBI using interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy. At 5-year follow-up, nine patients treated with APBI and five patients receiving whole-breast irradiation had a local recurrence; the cumulative incidence of local recurrence was 1.44% (95% CI 0.51-2.38) with APBI and 0.92% (0.12-1.73) with whole-breast irradiation (difference 0.52%, 95% CI -0.72 to 1.75; p=0.42). No grade 4 late side-effects were reported. The 5-year risk of grade 2-3 late side-effects to the skin was 3.2% with APBI versus 5.7% with whole-breast irradiation (p=0.08), and 5-year risk of grade 2-3 subcutaneous tissue late side-effects was 7.6% versus 6.3% (p=0.53). The risk of severe (grade 3) fibrosis at 5 years was 0.2% with whole-breast irradiation and 0% with APBI (p=0.46).
INTERPRETATION: The difference between treatments was below the relevance margin of 3 percentage points. Therefore, adjuvant APBI using multicatheter brachytherapy after breast-conserving surgery in patients with early breast cancer is not inferior to adjuvant whole-breast irradiation with respect to 5-year local control, disease-free survival, and overall survival.
FUNDING: German Cancer Aid.

Tsang Y, Ciurlionis L, Kirby AM, et al.
Clinical impact of IMPORT HIGH trial (CRUK/06/003) on breast radiotherapy practices in the United Kingdom.
Br J Radiol. 2015; 88(1056):20150453 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: IMPORT HIGH is a multicentre randomized UK trial testing dose-escalated intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) after tumour excision in females with early breast cancer and higher than average local recurrence risk. A survey was carried out to investigate the impact of this trial on the adoption of advanced breast radiotherapy (RT) techniques in the UK.
METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all 26 IMPORT HIGH recruiting RT centres to determine whether the trial has influenced non-trial breast RT techniques in terms of volume delineation, dosimetry, treatment delivery and verification. In order to compare the clinical practice of breast RT between IMPORT HIGH and non-IMPORT HIGH centres, parts of the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) breast RT audit result were used in this study.
RESULTS: 26/26 participating centres completed the questionnaire. After joining the trial, the number of centres routinely using tumour bed clips to guide whole-breast RT rose from 5 (19%) to 21 (81%). 20/26 (77%) centres now contour target volumes and organs at risk (OARs) in some or all patients compared with 14 (54%) before the trial. 14/26 (54%) centres offer inverse-planned IMRT for selected non-trial patients with breast cancer, and 10/14 (71%) have adopted the IMPORT HIGH trial protocol for target volume and OARs dose constraints. Only 2/26 (8%) centres used clip information routinely for breast treatment verification prior to IMPORT HIGH, a minority that has since risen to 7/26 (27%). Data on 1386 patients was included from the RCR audit. This suggested that more cases from IMPORT HIGH centres had surgical clips implanted (83 vs 67%), were treated using CT guided planning with full three-dimensional dose compensation (100 vs 75%), and were treated with photon boost RT (30 vs 8%).
CONCLUSION: The study suggests that participation in the IMPORT HIGH trial has played an important part in providing the guidance and support networks needed for the safe integration of advanced RT techniques, where appropriate, as a standard of care for breast cancer patients treated at participating cancer centres.
ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: We investigated the impact of the IMPORT HIGH trial on the adoption of advanced breast RT techniques in the UK and the trial has influenced non-trial breast RT techniques in terms of volume delineation, dosimetry, treatment delivery and verification.

Sekiguchi K, Ogita M, Akahane K, et al.
Randomized, prospective assessment of moisturizer efficacy for the treatment of radiation dermatitis following radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2015; 45(12):1146-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The effect of heparinoid moisturizer use after acute skin damage for patients receiving whole-breast radiotherapy after lumpectomy is understudied.
METHODS: A total of 30 patients were randomly assigned to receive heparinoid moisturizer (Group M), and 32 patients comprised the control group (Group C). Patients in Group M were instructed to apply heparinoid moisturizer from 2 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy, and to continue to use the moisturizer until 3 months after completion of whole-breast radiotherapy. Group C patients were instructed to not apply any topical moisturizer during the study period. The relative ratio of skin water content ratio (RWCR(t) = (It /Nt)/(I0/N0)) between irradiated and non-irradiated field was calculated. Signs and symptoms were also assessed. The primary endpoint was the difference in relative ratio of skin water content ratio between 2 and 4 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy.
RESULTS: In Group C, relative ratio of skin water content ratio dropped to 0.80 ± 0.15 at 2 weeks and maintained the low level at 4 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy. Similarly, in Group M, relative ratio of skin water content ratio dropped to 0.81 ± 0.19 at 2 weeks (prior to application), however, it returned to baseline level (1.05 ± 0.23) at 4 weeks (2 weeks after application). The arithmetic difference of relative ratio of skin water content ratio in Group M was 0.24 ± 0.23 and was significantly larger than in Group C (0.06 ± 0.15; P < 0.01). Skin dryness and desquamation were less severe in Group M.
CONCLUSIONS: The application of heparinoid moisturizer for 2 weeks following whole-breast radiotherapy significantly increased water content and helped improve skin dryness and desquamation compared with no use of moisturizer.

Trada Y, Kneebone A, Paneghel A, et al.
Optimizing Radiation Therapy Quality Assurance in Clinical Trials: A TROG 08.03 RAVES Substudy.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(5):1045-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To explore site- and clinician-level factors associated with protocol violations requiring real-time-review (RTR) resubmission in a multicenter clinical trial to help tailor future quality assurance (QA) protocols.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: RAVES (Radiation Therapy-Adjuvant vs Early Salvage) (Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group 08.03) is a randomized trial comparing adjuvant with early salvage radiation therapy in men with positive surgical margins or pT3 disease after prostatectomy. Quality assurance in RAVES required each clinician and site to submit a credentialing dummy run (DR) and for each patient's radiation therapy plan to undergo external RTR before treatment. Prospectively defined major violations from trial protocol required remedy and resubmission. Site and clinician factors associated with RTR resubmission were examined using hierarchical modeling.
RESULTS: Data were collected from 171 consecutive patients, treated by 46 clinicians at 32 hospitals. There were 47 RTR resubmissions (27%) due to 65 major violations. The relative rate of resubmission decreased by 29% per year as the study progressed (odds ratio OR. 0.71, P=.02). The majority of resubmissions were due to contouring violations (39 of 65) and dosimetric violations (22 of 65). For each additional patient accrued, significant decreases in RTR resubmission were seen at both clinician level (OR 0.75, P=.02) and site level (OR 0.72, P=.01). The rate of resubmission due to dosimetric violations was only 1.6% after the first 5 patients. Use of IMRT was associated with lower rates of resubmission compared with 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (OR 0.38, P=.05).
CONCLUSION: Several low- and high-risk factors that may assist with tailoring future clinical trial QA were identified. Because the real-time resubmission rate was largely independent of the credentialing exercise, some form of RTR QA is recommended. The greatest benefit from QA was derived early in trial activation and clinician experience.

Pignol JP, Caudrelier JM, Crook J, et al.
Report on the Clinical Outcomes of Permanent Breast Seed Implant for Early-Stage Breast Cancers.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(3):614-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Permanent breast seed implant is an accelerated partial breast irradiation technique realizing the insertion of (103)Pd seeds in the seroma after lumpectomy. We report the 5-year efficacy and tolerance for a cohort, pooling patients from 3 clinical trials.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The trials accrued postmenopausal patients with infiltrating ductal carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ ≤3 cm and clear surgical margins, who were node negative, and had a planning target volume <120 cm(3). The outcomes included overall and disease-free survival and local and contralateral recurrence at 5 years. The true local recurrence rate was compared using 2-tailed paired t tests for estimates calculated using the Tufts University ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence and Memorial Sloan Kettering ductal carcinoma in situ nomograms.
RESULTS: The cohort included 134 patients, and the observed local recurrence rate at a median follow-up period of 63 months was 1.2% ± 1.2%, similar to the estimate for whole breast irradiation (P=.23), significantly better than for surgery alone (relative risk 0.27; P<.001), and significantly lower than contralateral recurrence (relative risk 0.33; P<.001). The 5-year overall survival rate was 97.4% ± 1.9%, and the disease-free survival rate was 96.4% ± 2.1%. At 2 months, 42% of the patients had erythema, 20% induration, and 16% moist desquamation. The rate of mainly grade 1 telangiectasia was 22.4% at 2 years and 24% at 5 years. The rate of asymptomatic induration was 23% at 2 years and 40% at 5 years.
CONCLUSIONS: The 5-year data suggest that permanent breast seed implantation is a safe accelerated partial breast irradiation option after lumpectomy for early-stage breast cancer with a tolerance profile similar to that of whole breast irradiation.

Scartoni D, Desideri I, Giacomelli I, et al.
Nutritional Supplement Based on Zinc, Prebiotics, Probiotics and Vitamins to Prevent Radiation-related Gastrointestinal Disorders.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(10):5687-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The present phase II study aimed to evaluate the tolerance and safety of Dixentil, a nutritional supplement based on zinc with the addition of prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides), tyndalized probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. casei) and vitamins B1, B2 and B6, and nicotinamide), given as prophylaxis to patients undergoing pelvic radiotherapy and its efficacy in the prevention and reduction of radiation-related gastrointestinal disorders.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty consecutive patients who were candidates for pelvic radiotherapy received Dixentil before starting and during radiotherapy. The primary end-point was to evaluate the safety and tolerance of Dixentil. Secondary end-points were incidence and severity of radiation-induced diarrhea and number of patients who discontinued radiotherapy because of diarrhea.
RESULTS: Radiation-induced enteritis occurred in 17 patients, grade I and grade II diarrhea was documented in 14 and 3 patients respectively; no grade III or IV diarrhea was observed. Radiotherapy was discontinued due to treatment-induced enteritis only in two patients for 6 days.
CONCLUSION: Use of Dixentil is an easy, safe, and feasible approach to protect patients against the risk of radiation-induced diarrhea.

Ishikawa H, Katoh H, Kaminuma T, et al.
Carbon-ion Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer: Analysis of Morbidities and Change in Health-related Quality of Life.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(10):5559-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To prospectively evaluate the feasibility of carbon-ion radiotherapy (C-ion RT) for prostate cancer using a new compact-sized accelerator.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-six patients underwent C-ion RT at our center using a recommended dose fractionation of 57.6 GyE in 16 fractions established at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences. Health-related Quality of Life (HRQOL) assessment was also performed using the Medical Outcome Study 8-items Short Form Health Survey (SF-8) questionnaire.
RESULTS: The median follow-up time was 51 months (range=8-58 months). Grade 2 gastrointestinal and genitourinary complications developed in 1 (1.3%) and 5 (6.6%) patients, respectively. Recurrences occurred in 4 patients, and the 4-year biochemical relapse-free rate was 94.6%. The HRQOL scores after C-ion RT were objectively well-maintained.
CONCLUSION: Irrespective of the small number of patients of the study, C-ion RT for prostate cancer using the first commercial-based accelerator reproduced the toxicity outcomes at the NIRS.

Supiot S, Rio E, Pacteau V, et al.
OLIGOPELVIS - GETUG P07: a multicentre phase II trial of combined salvage radiotherapy and hormone therapy in oligometastatic pelvic node relapses of prostate cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:646 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metastatic prostate cancer remains a common cause of death in Europe, and improvements in management of the disease are urgently needed. The advent of positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging enhanced with fluorocholine has led to the identification of a new sub-group of metastatic prostate cancer patients: those with so-called oligometastatic disease. Presenting with a low burden of metastatic disease (≤5 lesions), this new sub-group lies between true metastatic prostate cancer patients for whom androgen- deprivation therapy (ADT) is the mainstay of treatment, and patients with a rising PSA, but no visible lesion on conventional imaging, in whom intermittent ADT has been shown to be no less effective than continuous ADT. One might conclude that intermittent ADT would also be the standard of care for oligometastatic prostate cancer patients, but radical strategies such as extensive lymphadenectomy or high-dose radiotherapy have been suggested as another means to delay the need for ADT, and increase its effectiveness once initiated. This study will explore the role of salvage pelvic image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) combined with ADT administered for 6 months in pelvic oligometastatic patients in prolonging the failure-free interval between two consecutive ADT courses, or even to cure selected patients with limited metastatic burden.
METHODS/DESIGN: We plan to assess the two year outcome in oligometastatic prostate cancer patients (1-5 pelvic oligometastases) treated concomitantly with high-dose IMRT (54 Gy, 30 fractions to the pelvis and 66 Gy, 30 fractions to the lymph nodes) and ADT for six months.
DISCUSSION: This multicenter prospective phase II study will yield new data regarding the safety and efficacy of high-dose radiotherapy combined with ADT and will provide a basis for a larger phase III study to examine the role of radiotherapy in this population currently treated only with hormone therapy.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02274779 , date of registration: 23/10/14.

Huang H, Lu H, Feng G, et al.
Determining appropriate timing of adaptive radiation therapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma during intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
Radiat Oncol. 2015; 10:192 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To determine appropriate timing of an adaptive radiation therapy (ART) replan by evaluating anatomic and dosimetric changes of target volumes and organs at risk (OARs) during intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
METHODS: Nineteen NPC patients were recruited. Each patient had repeat computed tomography (CT) scans after each five fractions and at treatment completion. Automatic re-contouring the targets and OARs by using deformable registration algorithm was conducted through CT-CT fusion. Anatomic changes were assessed by comparing the initial CT and repeated CT. Hybrid plans with re-contouring were generated and the dose-volume histograms (DVH) of the hybrid plan and the original plan were compared.
RESULTS: Progressive volume reductions in gross target volume for primary disease (GTVnx), gross target volume for involved lymph nodes (GTVnd), and parotids were observed over time. Comparing with the original plan, each hybrid plan had no significant difference in homogeneity index (HI) for all the targets. Some parameters for planning target volumes for primary disease and high-risk clinical target volume (PTVnx and PTV1, respectively) improved significantly, notably starting from the 10th fraction. These parameters included mean dose (Dmean), dose to 95% of the volume (D95), percentage of the volume receiving 95% of the prescription dose (V95), and conformity index (CI) for PTVnx, and Dmean, D95, and CI for PTV1. The dosimetric parameters for PTVnd remained the same in general except for D95 and V95 which had significant improvement at specific time points; whereas for PTV2, similar trend of dosimetric changes was also observed. Dose to some OARs increased significantly at some time points.
CONCLUSIONS: There were significant anatomic and dosimetric changes in the targets and OARs. The target dose coverage in the hybrid plans did not get worse, but overdose occurred in some critical structures. Significant dosimetric changes should be considered as a trigger point at which ART replanning is indicated. D95/V95/CI for PTV2, Dmax for the brain stem, spinal cord, right eyeball and left lens, and Dmean/V30 for the parotids and glottis were taken into account for predicting the need for ART. Two replans at the 5th and 15th fractions were suggested.

Palassini E, Ferrari S, Verderio P, et al.
Feasibility of Preoperative Chemotherapy With or Without Radiation Therapy in Localized Soft Tissue Sarcomas of Limbs and Superficial Trunk in the Italian Sarcoma Group/Grupo Español de Investigación en Sarcomas Randomized Clinical Trial: Three Versus Five Cycles of Full-Dose Epirubicin Plus Ifosfamide.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(31):3628-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We report on feasibility of preoperative chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy (RT) in the context of a phase III randomized clinical trial involving localized, high-risk, soft tissue sarcomas.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Of 321 eligible patients, 161 were randomly assigned to three preoperative cycles of epirubicin 120 mg/m(2) plus ifosfamide 9 g/m(2), and 160 were randomly assigned to three preoperative plus two postoperative cycles. Among them, 303 patients were included in this analysis; 169 were male and 134 were female, with a median age of 48 years (range, 15 to 79 years). One hundred fifty-two patients received concurrent RT preoperatively at a total dose of 44 to 50 Gy. Preoperative chemotherapy-related hematologic toxicity and early postoperative complications were reported. The influence of RT, age, and sex on hematologic grade 3 or 4 toxicities and wound complications was analyzed. Chemotherapeutic dose intensity (DI) was analyzed.
RESULTS: Among the patients, 61.4%, 22.4%, and 23.8% experienced, grade 4 leucopenia, grade 3 or 4 anemia, and grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia, respectively. Respective rates were 66.4%, 24.3%, and 31.6% when RT was added preoperatively, and 56.3%, 20.5%, and 15.9% when preoperative chemotherapy was administered alone. Patient age affected grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia. Grade 4 leucopenia and grade 3 or 4 anemia presented 2.5 times more frequently in female patients than in male patients. Wound complications were observed in 13.5% of patients: 17% with preoperative RT and 10% without. Chemotherapeutic DI was greater than 90%, even in patients receiving preoperative RT and in patients age 65 years or older.
CONCLUSION: This preoperative chemotherapy is feasible and can also be proposed for selected elderly patients. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity was common, but DI was excellent. Concurrent preoperative RT is safe, although an increased rate of grade 4 thrombocytopenia and limited increase in wound complications may be observed.

Sheng Y, Li T, Zhang Y, et al.
Atlas-guided prostate intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning.
Phys Med Biol. 2015; 60(18):7277-91 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2016 Related Publications
An atlas-based IMRT planning technique for prostate cancer was developed and evaluated. A multi-dose atlas was built based on the anatomy patterns of the patients, more specifically, the percent distance to the prostate and the concaveness angle formed by the seminal vesicles relative to the anterior-posterior axis. A 70-case dataset was classified using a k-medoids clustering analysis to recognize anatomy pattern variations in the dataset. The best classification, defined by the number of classes or medoids, was determined by the largest value of the average silhouette width. Reference plans from each class formed a multi-dose atlas. The atlas-guided planning (AGP) technique started with matching the new case anatomy pattern to one of the reference cases in the atlas; then a deformable registration between the atlas and new case anatomies transferred the dose from the atlas to the new case to guide inverse planning with full automation. 20 additional clinical cases were re-planned to evaluate the AGP technique. Dosimetric properties between AGP and clinical plans were evaluated. The classification analysis determined that the 5-case atlas would best represent anatomy patterns for the patient cohort. AGP took approximately 1 min on average (corresponding to 70 iterations of optimization) for all cases. When dosimetric parameters were compared, the differences between AGP and clinical plans were less than 3.5%, albeit some statistical significances observed: homogeneity index (p  >  0.05), conformity index (p  <  0.01), bladder gEUD (p  <  0.01), and rectum gEUD (p  =  0.02). Atlas-guided treatment planning is feasible and efficient. Atlas predicted dose can effectively guide the optimizer to achieve plan quality comparable to that of clinical plans.

Chen SB, Weng HR, Wang G, et al.
The impact of adjuvant radiotherapy on radically resected T3 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(1):277-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The role of adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains controversial. This retrospective study was designed to analyze the impact of adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with T3 stage ESCC after radical resection.
METHODS: Data of a single-center cohort of 692 patients with T3 stage ESCC who underwent radical resection, with or without adjuvant radiotherapy, were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare overall survival (OS) and locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS).
RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-six patients received adjuvant radiotherapy (S + R group), and 446 patients underwent surgery alone (S group). The median survival time and 5-year OS rate were 40.0 months and 40.9 % for the entire population, 50.0 months and 45.6 % for the S + R group and 38.0 months and 38.3 % for the S group (P = 0.114 for S + R group vs. S group). The 5-year LRFS rate for the S + R group was significantly higher than that for S group (50.8 vs. 35.9 %, P < 0.001). In subgroup analyses, adjuvant radiotherapy was found to improve the 5-year OS in the subgroups of tumor length >5 cm, pN0 and pN1 categories, pTNM stage IIa, IIb and IIIa (P < 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant radiotherapy is effective in local control of radically resected T3 stage ESCC and may improve the overall survival in certain subgroups, such as the patients with tumor length >5 cm, pN0 and pN1 categories, pTNM stage IIa, IIb and IIIa. Further studies are required to confirm our results.

Grønborg C, Vestergaard A, Høyer M, et al.
Intra-fractional bladder motion and margins in adaptive radiotherapy for urinary bladder cancer.
Acta Oncol. 2015; 54(9):1461-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The bladder is a tumour site well suited for adaptive radiotherapy (ART) due to large inter-fractional changes, but it also displays considerable intra-fractional motion. The aim of this study was to assess target coverage with a clinically applied method for plan selection ART and to estimate population-based and patient-specific intra-fractional margins, also relevant for a future re-optimisation strategy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Nine patients treated in a clinical phase II ART trial of daily plan selection for bladder cancer were included. In the library plans, 5 mm isotropic margins were added to account for intra-fractional changes. Pre-treatment and weekly repeat magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) series were acquired in which a full three-dimensional (3D) volume was scanned every second min for 10 min (a total of 366 scans in 61 series). Initially, the bladder clinical target volume (CTV) was delineated in all scans. The t = 0 min scan was then rigidly registered to the planning computed tomography (CT) and plan selections were simulated using the CTV_0 (at t = 0 min). To assess intra-fractional motion, coverage of the CTV_10 (at t = 10 min) was quantified using the applied PTV. Population-based margins were calculated using the van Herk margin recipe while patient-specific margins were calculated using a linear model.
RESULTS: For 49% of the cases, the CTV_10 extended more than 5 mm outside the CTV_0. However, in 58 of the 61 cases (97%) CTV_10 was covered by the selected PTV. Population-based margins of 14 mm Sup/Ant, 9 mm Post and 5 mm Inf/Lat were sufficient to cover the bladder. Using patient-specific margins, the overlap between PTV and bowel-cavity was reduced from 137 cm(3) with the plan selection strategy to 24 cm(3).
CONCLUSION: In this phase II ART trial, 5 mm isotropic margin for intra-fractional motion was sufficient even though considerable intra-fractional motion was observed. In online re-optimised ART, population-based margin can be applied although patient-specific margins are preferable.

Olorunsola OG, Kohi MP, Behr SC, et al.
Imaging Predictors of Elevated Lung Shunt Fraction in Patients Being Considered for Yttrium-90 Radioembolization.
J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2015; 26(10):1472-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify imaging findings associated with elevated lung shunt fraction (LSF) in patients being considered for yttrium-90 ((90)Y) radioembolization.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the period 2009-2014, 152 consecutive patients underwent planning hepatic arteriography with technetium-99m ((99m)Tc) macroaggregated albumin (MAA) injection. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging performed before the procedure for each patient was assessed for hepatic vein (HV) tumor thrombus or occlusion from external compression by tumor. When imaging was a multiphase CT scan (117 patients), the arterial phase was evaluated for evidence of early HV opacification (relative to unaffected HVs), indicating hepatic venous shunting. These factors were correlated with LSF determined by (99m)Tc-MAA imaging.
RESULTS: Median LSF was 6.7% (range, < 0.1%-71%), significantly higher for HCC (8.0% vs 6.3% for other tumors, P = .048). Larger tumor size was associated with higher LSF in univariate analysis (P = .001). There was high interobserver agreement for determining hepatic venous shunting (97%, κ = 0.847), which was associated with higher LSF (P < .001; 78% sensitivity, 93% specificity). Of 5 cases of HV tumor thrombus, all had high (> 20%) LSF (P < .001). HV occlusion was also associated with higher LSF (P = .039). Multivariate analysis confirmed that early HV opacification and either HV tumor thrombus or occlusion were associated with higher LSF.
CONCLUSIONS: Early HV opacification and HV tumor thrombus or occlusion on cross-sectional imaging performed before radioembolization are associated with elevated LSF, which may contraindicate or limit the dose delivered in (90)Y radioembolization. This information could be helpful during patient counseling for anticipating the most appropriate mode of liver-directed therapy.

Westover KD, Loo BW, Gerber DE, et al.
Precision Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy in Poor Performing Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Phase 1 Dose Escalation Trial.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(1):72-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Treatment regimens for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) give suboptimal clinical outcomes. Technological advancements such as radiation therapy, the backbone of most treatment regimens, may enable more potent and effective therapies. The objective of this study was to escalate radiation therapy to a tumoricidal hypofractionated dose without exceeding the maximally tolerated dose (MTD) in patients with locally advanced NSCLC.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with stage II to IV or recurrent NSCLC and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or greater and not candidates for surgical resection, stereotactic radiation, or concurrent chemoradiation were eligible. Highly conformal radiation therapy was given to treat intrathoracic disease in 15 fractions to a total of 50, 55, or 60 Gy.
RESULTS: Fifty-five patients were enrolled: 15 at the 50-Gy, 21 at the 55-Gy, and 19 at the 60-Gy dose levels. A 90-day follow-up was completed in each group without exceeding the MTD. With a median follow-up of 12.5 months, there were 93 grade ≥ 3 adverse events (AEs), including 39 deaths, although most AEs were considered related to factors other than radiation therapy. One patient from the 55- and 60-Gy dose groups developed grade ≥ 3 esophagitis, and 5, 4, and 4 patients in the respective dose groups experienced grade ≥ 3 dyspnea, but only 2 of these AEs were considered likely related to therapy. There was no association between fraction size and toxicity (P = .24). The median overall survival was 6 months with no significant differences between dose levels (P = .59).
CONCLUSIONS: Precision hypofractionated radiation therapy consisting of 60 Gy in 15 fractions for locally advanced NSCLC is generally well tolerated. This treatment regimen could provide patients with poor performance status a potent alternative to chemoradiation. This study has implications for the cost effectiveness of lung cancer therapy. Additional studies of long-term safety and efficacy of this therapy are warranted.

Jensen AD, Nikoghosyan AV, Lossner K, et al.
COSMIC: A Regimen of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Plus Dose-Escalated, Raster-Scanned Carbon Ion Boost for Malignant Salivary Gland Tumors: Results of the Prospective Phase 2 Trial.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(1):37-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and dose-escalated carbon ion (C12) therapy in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and other malignant salivary gland tumors (MSGTs) of the head and neck.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: COSMIC (combined treatment of malignant salivary gland tumors with intensity modulated radiation therapy and carbon ions) is a prospective phase 2 trial of 24 Gy(RBE) C12 followed by 50 Gy IMRT in patients with pathologically confirmed MSGT. The primary endpoint is mucositis Common Terminology Criteria grade 3; the secondary endpoints are locoregional control (LC), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. Toxicity was scored according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3; treatment response was scored according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1.1.
RESULTS: Between July 2010 and August 2011, 54 patients were accrued, and 53 were available for evaluation. The median follow-up time was 42 months; patients with microscopically incomplete resections (R1, n = 20), gross residual disease (R2, n = 17), and inoperable disease (n = 16) were included. Eighty-nine percent of patients had ACC, and 57% had T4 tumors. The most common primary sites were paranasal sinus (34%), submandibular gland, and palate. At the completion of radiation therapy, 26% of patients experienced grade 3 mucositis, and 20 patients reported adverse events of the ear (38%). The most common observed late effects were grade 1 xerostomia (49%), hearing impairment (25%, 2% ipsilateral hearing loss), and adverse events of the eye (20%), but no visual impairment or loss of vision. Grade 1 central nervous system necrosis occurred in 6%, and 1 grade 4 ICA hemorrhage without neurologic sequelae. The best response was 54% (complete response/partial remission). At 3 years, the LC, PFS, and OS were 81.9%, 57.9%, and 78.4%, respectively. No difference was found regarding resection status. The most common site of failure was distant (55%). Local relapse was predominantly in field (79%).
CONCLUSION: Treatment was tolerated, with moderate acute and late toxicity. The LC at 3 years was promising. No significant difference could be shown regarding resection status; hence, extensive and mutilating surgical procedures should be rediscussed. Further dose escalation may be limited in view of potential vascular adverse events.

Songthong AP, Kannarunimit D, Chakkabat C, Lertbutsayanukul C
A randomized phase II/III study of adverse events between sequential (SEQ) versus simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma; preliminary result on acute adverse events.
Radiat Oncol. 2015; 10:166 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To investigate acute and late toxicities comparing sequential (SEQ-IMRT) versus simultaneous integrated boost intensity modulated radiotherapy (SIB-IMRT) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients.
METHODS: Newly diagnosed stage I-IVB NPC patients were randomized to receive SEQ-IMRT or SIB-IMRT, with or without chemotherapy. SEQ-IMRT consisted of two sequential radiation treatment plans: 2 Gy x 25 fractions to low-risk planning target volume (PTV-LR) followed by 2 Gy x 10 fractions to high-risk planning target volume (PTV-HR). In contrast, SIB-IMRT consisted of only one treatment plan: 2.12 Gy and 1.7 Gy x 33 fractions to PTV-HR and PTV-LR, respectively. Toxicities were evaluated according to CTCAE version 4.0.
RESULTS: Between October 2010 and November 2013, 122 eligible patients were randomized between SEQ-IMRT (54 patients) and SIB-IMRT (68 patients). With median follow-up time of 16.8 months, there was no significant difference in toxicities between the two IMRT techniques. During chemoradiation, the most common grade 3-5 acute toxicities were mucositis (15.4% vs 13.6%, SEQ vs SIB, p = 0.788) followed by dysphagia (9.6% vs 9.1%, p = 1.000) and xerostomia (9.6% vs 7.6%, p = 0.748). During the adjuvant chemotherapy period, 25.6% and 32.7% experienced grade 3 weight loss in SEQ-IMRT and SIB-IMRT (p = 0.459). One-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 95.8% and 95.5% in SEQ-IMRT and 98% and 90.2% in SIB-IMRT, respectively (p = 0.472 for OS and 0.069 for PFS).
CONCLUSION: This randomized, phase II/III trial comparing SIB-IMRT versus SEQ-IMRT in NPC showed no statistically significant difference between both IMRT techniques in terms of acute adverse events. Short-term tumor control and survival outcome were promising.

Shaitelman SF, Schlembach PJ, Arzu I, et al.
Acute and Short-term Toxic Effects of Conventionally Fractionated vs Hypofractionated Whole-Breast Irradiation: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA Oncol. 2015; 1(7):931-41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2016 Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: The most appropriate dose fractionation for whole-breast irradiation (WBI) remains uncertain.
OBJECTIVE: To assess acute and 6-month toxic effects and quality of life (QOL) with conventionally fractionated WBI (CF-WBI) vs hypofractionated WBI (HF-WBI).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Unblinded randomized trial of CF-WBI (n = 149; 50.00 Gy/25 fractions + boost [10.00-14.00 Gy/5-7 fractions]) vs HF-WBI (n = 138; 42.56 Gy/16 fractions + boost [10.00-12.50 Gy/4-5 fractions]) following breast-conserving surgery administered in community-based and academic cancer centers to 287 women 40 years or older with stage 0 to II breast cancer for whom WBI without addition of a third field was recommended; 76% of study participants (n = 217) were overweight or obese. Patients were enrolled from February 2011 through February 2014 and observed for a minimum of 6 months.
INTERVENTIONS: Administration of CF-WBI or HF-WBI.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Physician-reported acute and 6-month toxic effects using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria, and patient-reported QOL using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy for Patients with Breast Cancer (FACT-B). All analyses were intention to treat, with outcomes compared using the χ2 test, Cochran-Armitage test, and ordinal logistic regression.
RESULTS: Of 287 participants, 149 were randomized to CF-WBI and 138 to HF-WBI. Treatment arms were well matched for baseline characteristics, including FACT-B total score (HF-WBI, 120.1 vs CF-WBI, 118.8; P = .46) and individual QOL items such as somewhat or more lack of energy (HF-WBI, 38% vs CF-WBI, 39%; P = .86) and somewhat or more trouble meeting family needs (HF-WBI, 10% vs CF-WBI, 14%; P = .54). Maximum physician-reported acute dermatitis (36% vs 69%; P < .001), pruritus (54% vs 81%; P < .001), breast pain (55% vs 74%; P = .001), hyperpigmentation (9% vs 20%; P = .002), and fatigue (9% vs 17%; P = .02) during irradiation were lower in patients randomized to HF-WBI. The rate of overall grade 2 or higher acute toxic effects was less with HF-WBI than with CF-WBI (47% vs 78%; P < .001). Six months after irradiation, physicians reported less fatigue in patients randomized to HF-WBI (0% vs 6%; P = .01), and patients randomized to HF-WBI reported less lack of energy (23% vs 39%; P < .001) and less trouble meeting family needs (3% vs 9%; P = .01). Multivariable regression confirmed the superiority of HF-WBI in terms of patient-reported lack of energy (odds ratio [OR], 0.39; 95% CI, 0.24-0.63) and trouble meeting family needs (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.16-0.75).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Treatment with HF-WBI appears to yield lower rates of acute toxic effects than CF-WBI as well as less fatigue and less trouble meeting family needs 6 months after completing radiation therapy. These findings should be communicated to patients as part of shared decision making.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01266642.

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