Vol 84, No 3 (2013)

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Radiation therapy complications in patients with primary invasive vaginal carcinoma

Paweł Blecharz, Marian Reinfuss, Jerzy Jakubowicz, Piotr Skotnicki, Elżbieta Łuczyńska, Maciej Bodzek, Krzysztof Urbański
DOI: 10.17772/gp/1564
Ginekol Pol 2013;84(3).


Objectives: The aim of the study was to estimate acute and late complications of radiation therapy in primary invasive vaginal carcinoma (PIVC) patients. Material and methods: The analysis was performed for the group of 152 PIVC patients given radical radiotherapy in the Krakow Branch of Centre of Oncology during the 1967–2005 period. Twenty five (16.5%) patients in I stage with primary tumour of the thickness not larger than 0.5 cm were treated with intracavitary brachytherapy alone; for 120 (78.9%) patients (stages I – IVA) intracavitary brachytherapy was combined with external radiation therapy; and 7 (4.6%) patients in stage IVA were given only external radiotherapy. In total, 145 (95.4%) patients were treated with intracavitary LDR brachyterapy by means of Ra-226 or afterloaded Cs-137 sources, and 127 (83.5%) received external radiation therapy using Co-60 and linac 10MV or 6MV photon beams. Results: Early radiotherapy tolerance was good in the investigated group; 146 (96.1%) patients completed full planned radiation therapy treatment. Late complications of radiation therapy were observed in 21 (13.8%) patients: 3 (2%) patients reported mild complications, 12 (7.9%) moderate complications, and 6 (3.9%) severe complications. Severe complications of radiation therapy in the investigated group included: recto-vaginal fistula (5 patients) and vesico-vaginal fistula (1 patient). None of the patients in the group died of radiation therapy complications. Conclusions: Early tolerance of radiotherapy in PIVC patients is generally good. Late radiation therapy complications, particularly the severe, are rare and can be efficiently managed with conservative therapy or surgical treatment.

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