Carcinoma of the cervix: analysis of bladder and rectal radiation dose and complications.
From April 1969 through December 1980, 527 patients with epidermoid carcinoma of the cervix received radical radiation therapy at North Carolina Memorial Hospital (NCMH). The treatment was designed to deliver a combined dose (external beam plus intracavitary) of 7000-8000 cGy to Point A and 5000-6500 cGy to the pelvic lymph nodes depending upon the stage of the disease. The maximum dose to the bladder and to the rectum were calculated from the orthogonal intracavitary placement films with contrast material in these organs. Thirty-three cases of cystitis and fifty-eight cases of proctitis were recorded. The mean bladder dose for the group of patients with cystitis was higher, 6661 +/- 1309 cGy, than that for the patients without cystitis, 6298 +/- 1305 cGy, p = .19. The risk of cystitis increased as a function of bladder dose ranging from 3% for patients receiving less than or equal to 5000 cGy to the bladder to 12% for patients receiving greater than or equal to 8001 cGy to the bladder. A similar correlation was also found for rectal dose and proctitis. The mean rectal dose for the group of patients with proctitis was higher, 6907 +/- 981 cGy, than that for the patients without proctitis, 6381 +/- 1290 cGy, p = .003. The risk of proctitis increased as a function of rectal dose ranging from 2% for patients receiving less than or equal to 5000 cGy to the rectum to 18% for patients receiving greater than or equal to 8001 cGy to the rectum. A study of the severity of the cystitis as a function of bladder dose revealed a relationship between bladder dose and the severity of the complication (Grade I cystitis = 6600 +/- 1318 cGy vs Grade III cystitis = 6856 +/- 853 cGy). A dose-response relationship was found between the rectal dose and the severity of the complication (Grade I proctitis = 6810 +/- 906 cGy vs Grade III proctitis = 6997 +/- 1137 cGy). This relationship was statistically significant, p = .003. While there was no difference in the frequency of cystitis as a function of dose to the whole pelvis, the risk of proctitis did increase with increasing doses of external beam to the whole pelvis. It ranged from 3% for patients who received 2000 cGy or less to the whole pelvis to 14% for patients who received greater than 4000 cGy to the whole pelvis, p = .02.
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