Background. Comparing initial 45 Gy of pelvic intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and non-IMRT in terms of the late toxicities associated with advanced cervical cancer that has also been treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy and high-dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDRICB).
Patients and methods. This retrospective study included 320 stage IB2-IIIB cervical cancer patients treated with CCRT (83 IMRT and 237 non-IMRT). The two groups had similar stage and HDRICB ratings. Following 45 Gy to the pelvis, HDRICB of 24 Gy in four courses was prescribed. Late toxicities, including rectal complications (RC), bladder complications (BC) and non-rectal intestinal injury (NRRII), were scored by the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. A logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of the complications.
Results. With a median follow-up duration of 33 and 77 months for IMRT and non-IMRT, 33 patients had Grade 2 or higher late RC (7.2% IMRT, 11.4% non-IMRT), whereas that for BC was 40 (9.6% IMRT, 13.5% non-IMRT) and for NRRII was 48 (12.0% IMRT, 16.0% non-IMRT). The cumulative rate for total grade 3 or higher gastrointestinal or genitourinary toxicities was 8.4% and 11.8% (p = 0.33). IMRT did not reduce the OR for all endpoints; however, the ORs for rectum and bladder reference doses to Point A were associated with RC and BC.
Conclusions. Locally advanced cervical cancer patients treated with initial 45Gy of pelvic IMRT and HDRICB have similar treatment-related late toxicities as those treated with non-IMRT. Optimization of the brachytherapy scheme is essential to minimize late toxicities.