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Late gastrointestinal toxicity after radiotherapy for rectal cancer: a systematic review

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

Late gastrointestinal toxicity after radiotherapy for rectal cancer: a systematic review

10$

Agne Sipaviciute, Ernestas Sileika, Arvydas Burneckis & Audrius Dulskas 

Abstract

Purpose

Although the multimodal cancer treatment techniques have greatly improved over the years, irradiation-induced late gastrointestinal toxicity remains a great concern as it may highly affect the quality of life of a patient. The aim of this study was to define the prevalence of late gastrointestinal toxicities.

Methods

Electronic databases of Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, CENTRAL and PubMed were searched until September 2019. We used the following keywords: radiotherapy, radiation therapy, irradiation, rectal cancer, gastrointestinal toxicity, adverse effects, late effects, pelvic radiation and pelvic radiation disease.

Results

Nine studies were included into this review out of 4785 that were preidentified as potentially relevant. Overall prevalence of severe (Grade 3 or higher) late irradiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicities was up to 19%. Most frequent toxicities of any grade were reported to be diarrhoea (up to 35%), faecal incontinence (22%), incontinence to gas (71%), rectal bleeding (9%), rectal pain (13%) and obstruction (7.4%). Preoperative treatment approaches and more advance radiotherapy techniques such as intensity-modulated and image-guided radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) turn out to result in lower late gastrointestinal toxicity rates.

Conclusion

After great improvements in rectal cancer treatment, late gastrointestinal toxicity after radiotherapy is experienced less frequent and less severe; however, it remains a great concern associated with worse quality of life.

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Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s00384-020-03595-x