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Severe late complications, particularly radiation enterocolitis and leg edema, remain major problems in patients with uterine cancer, who have undergone hysterectomy and postoperative external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). We carried out this retrospective analysis to identify the incidence of risk factors for such complications. The records of 228 patients, who underwent radical hysterectomy and postoperative EBRT (uterine cervix: 149 patients; uterine corpus: 79 patients) were reviewed retrospectively. The majority of the patients (90.8%) were treated with 50 to 50.4 Gy EBRT in conventional fractionations with anteroposterior fields. Intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT) was administered to 9 patients (3.9%), and 35 patients (15.2%) received chemotherapy. The median follow-up for all 228 patients was 81.7 months (range, 1-273 months). Nineteen patients (8.3%) developed severe radiation enterocolitis with a median latency of 12.6 months, and the ileum was the most frequently affected site. On multivariate analysis, smoking was an independent predictor of severe radiation enterocolitis. Nineteen patients (8.3%) developed severe leg edema with a median latency of 32.7 months. The degree of leg edema did not improve in any of the 19 patients despite intensive treatment. On multivariate analysis, addition of ICBT was an independent predictor of severe leg edema. Severe radiation enterocolitis and severe leg edema were each observed in approximately 8% of patients with uterine cancer, who underwent postoperative radiotherapy. Severe radiation enterocolitis correlated strongly with smoking, and severe leg edema correlated strongly with addition of ICBT. These factors should be considered before administering postoperative radiotherapy to uterine cancer patients.


Goro Kasuya, Kazuhiko Ogawa, Shiro Iraha, Yutaka Nagai, Masayuki Shiraishi, Makoto Hirakawa, Hironori Samura, Takafumi Toita, Yasumasa Kakinohana, Wataru Kudaka, Morihiko Inamine, Takuro Ariga, Tadashi Nishimaki, Yoichi Aoki, Sadayuki Murayama. Severe late complications in patients with uterine cancer treated with postoperative radiotherapy. Anticancer research. 2011 Oct;31(10):3527-33

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PMID: 21965774

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