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Orthovoltage Intraoperative Radiotherapy for Locally Advanced and Recurrent Colorectal Cancer

Daly, Megan E. M.D1; Kapp, Daniel S. M.D., Ph.D.2; Maxim, Peter G. Ph.D.2; Welton, Mark L. M.D.3; Tran, Phuoc T. M.D., Ph.D.4; Koong, Albert C. M.D., Ph.D.2; Chang, Daniel T. M.D.2

Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 695–702
doi: 10.1097/DCR.0b013e31824d464c
Original Contribution

BACKGROUND: Locally advanced and recurrent colorectal cancers pose a significant therapeutic challenge. Orthovoltage intraoperative radiotherapy provides one potential means of improving disease control at the time of surgery.

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to analyze outcomes and identify prognostic factors of patients treated with orthovoltage intraoperative radiotherapy for locally advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer.

DESIGN AND SETTING: This study is a retrospective chart review conducted at a tertiary medical center.

PATIENTS: Between January 1990 and July 2009, 55 patients underwent intraoperative radiotherapy to a total of 61 sites for locally advanced (n = 14) or recurrent (n = 41) cancers of colon (n = 18) or rectum/rectosigmoid junction (n = 37).

INTERVENTIONS: Median dose was 12 Gy (range, 7.5–20 Gy). Among locally advanced rectal/rectosigmoid cases, surgery included abdominoperineal resection (n = 3) or low anterior resection (n = 9). Seven treated sites had gross residual (R2) disease, 28 had pathologic or clinical microscopic residual disease (R1), and 15 were complete resections (R0). Treated sites included sacrum (n = 22), anterior pelvis/pelvic sidewall (19), sacrum and sidewall (n = 1), aortic bifurcation (n = 2), vaginal cuff (n = 2), psoas (n = 3), perivesicular region (n = 2), and other (n = 10).

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Outcomes measures included in-field local control, locoregional control, overall survival, and grade ≥3 toxicity.

RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 27 months (range, 4–237) among living patients, 2-year Kaplan-Meier estimates of in-field local control, locoregional control, and overall survival were 69%, 51%, and 59%. Margin status predicted for improved locoregional control (p = 0.01) and overall survival (p = 0.01). Seventeen patients (31%) developed a grade 3 to 5 toxicity following surgery with intraoperative radiotherapy.

LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by its retrospective nature and relatively small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: Local control with intraoperative radiotherapy for locally advanced and recurrent colorectal cancers is good despite the high risk of residual disease. Among carefully selected patients, multimodality regimens including intraoperative radiotherapy may permit long-term survival.

1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

3Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

4Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Financial Disclosures: None reported.

Correspondence: Megan E. Daly, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, Davis, 4501 X Street, G140, Sacramento, CA 95817. E-mail:

© The ASCRS 2012