Digestive toxicities after palliative three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) for cervico-thoracic spinal metastases
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The palliative treatment for cervico-thoracic spinal metastases is based on a three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT). Digestive toxicities are common and cause a clinical impact frequently underestimated in patients. We performed a retrospective study of digestive side effects occurring after palliative 3D-CRT for cervico-thoracic spinal metastases.
Patients and methods
All patients receiving palliative 3D-CRT at Jean Bernard Center from January 2013 to December 2014 for spinal metastases between the 5th cervical vertebra (C5) and the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12) were eligible. Three-dimensional conformal RT was delivered by a linear accelerator (CLINAC, Varian). Premedication to prevent digestive toxicities was not used. Adverse events (“esophagitis” and “nausea and/or vomiting”) were evaluated according to the NCI-CTCae (version 4).
From January 2013 to December 2014, 128 patients met the study criteria. The median age was 68.6 years [31.8; 88.6]. Most patients (84.4%) received 30 Gy in 10 fractions. The median overall time of treatment was 13 days [3–33]. Forty patients (31.3%) suffered from grade ≥ 2 of “esophagitis” (35 grade 2 (27.4%) and 5 grade 3 (3.9%)). Eight patients (6.3%) suffered from grade ≥ 2 of “nausea and/or vomiting” (6 grade 2 (4.7%), 1 grade 3 (0.8%), and 1 grade 4 (0.8%)).
The high incidence of moderate to severe digestive toxicities after palliative 3D-CRT for cervico-thoracic spinal metastases led to consider static or dynamic intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to reduce the dose to organ at risk (the esophagus and stomach). Dosimetric studies and implementation in the clinic should be the next steps.
KeywordsRadio-induced esophagitis Esophageal toxicities Digestive toxicities Intensity-modulated radiation therapy Spinal metastases
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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