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The comparison between two different methods of radiotherapy in palliation and survival of patients with esophageal cancer

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Author(s): Keshvary M | Sajjadi M | Haddad P

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 59;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 77;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: Dysphagia

ABSTRACT
Esophageal cancer is one of the most common malignancies in our country. Patients often seek medical advice in advanced and inoperable stages or with cervical esophageal cancer, in which operation is accompanied by sever morbidity. In this conditions many of them cannot tolerate chemo-radiation, or refuse it. Therefore radiotherapy is applied as a single modality in palliation of many patients with esophageal cancer. One of the palliative radio therapeutic methods is application of 5000 CGY in 20 fractions (Long Course); but considering the great number of our patients and limited capacity of radiotherapy centers, as well as emphasis of literature on palliation with 4000 CGY in 13 fractions (short course), we decided to compare these two methods (which are both used in our departments). In this retrospective analytic study, the files of 283 patients with esophageal cancer referred to cancer institute of Imam Khomeini Hospital from 1989-1999 were studied. Patients were between 27-97 years old (mean age=58.3) and most of them were male (53.7 percent). The mean length of lesion was 8.5 cm. The most common site of lesion was middle third at esophagus (48.1 percent) and the most common pathology was squamous cell carcinoma (99.6 percent). Fifty-four percent of patients were hot tea drinkers habitually. From the mentioned variables, only length of lesion had significant relationship with overall survival (P=0.04). Thirty-eight of 283 patients were excluded from analytic study because of incomplete follow-up. The number of patients had been treated by long course (5000 CGY in 20 fractions) was 137 and the remainder (108 patients) by short course (4000 CGY in 13 fractions). No significant difference was seen statistically between these two groups in overall and dysphagia-free survival (Kaplan-Meyer test). Also total dosage of spinal cord is lower in the short course. Thus regarding to less required time in short course and comparable palliation and survival between two methods, the short course policy is more preferable in esophageal cancer patients.
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