Vol 27, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-02-02

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Helical tomotherapy for asymptomatic chemotherapy-refractory or -unfit multiple (3 or more) metastases

Yuki Yamada12, Yuta Shibamoto13, Kazushi Kishi4, Nozomi Kita14, Takuhito Kondo15, Taro Murai1, Chikao Sugie6
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2022;27(1):125-133.


Background: Despite chemotherapy innovations, prognosis of patients with chemotherapy-refractory or -unfit multiple metastases (CRMM/CUMM) remains poor. In this prospective study, the efficacy and toxicity of helical tomotherapy for CRMM/CUMM were evaluated.

Materials and methods: Between 2014 and 2020, asymptomatic patients with CRMM/CUMM with ≥ 3 lesions and no prior radiotherapy of the targets were enrolled. Patients who had intolerable toxicities to chemotherapy and those who refused chemotherapy were included in the CRMM and CUMM groups, respectively. Prostate cancer patients and patients with metastases mainly localized in the liver, lung, or brain were excluded. By helical tomotherapy, up to 10 lesions per patient were irradiated in order of volume. The standard dose was 50–60 Gy in 25–30 fractions.

Results: Forty-five patients (median age, 63 years; 35 CRMM/10 CUMM) were enrolled. Primary tumors included lung, gynecological, and gastrointestinal cancers. The most frequently treated targets were lymph node metastases, followed by peritoneal/pleural disseminations and bone tumors. The 1-year survival rate was 51% (median, 12.5 months). In the 35 patients with CRMM, the median survival time was 12.5 months, and the median pre-radiation chemotherapy period was 8.8 months (p > 0.05). The 6-month target control rate was 78%. Acute adverse events (grade ≥ 2) occurred in 33 patients: hematologic toxicities in 23, dermatitis in 6, and others in 8. Late grade ≥ 2 toxicities occurred in 6 patients: pneumonitis in 4 and gastric hemorrhage in 2.

Conclusion: Tomotherapy for CRMM/CUMM resulted in median survival times > 1 year. This treatment should be investigated further in larger prospective studies


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