Does postoperative irradiation play a role in the adjuvant therapy of stage T4 colon cancer?
PURPOSE: This study analyzes the long-term outcome of patients with stage T4 colon cancer who receive postoperative irradiation. The purpose of the study is to define the potential role of this modality with current systemic therapies. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed of 152 patients undergoing resection of T4 colon cancer followed by moderate- to high-dose postoperative tumor bed irradiation with and without 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. Of the 152 patients, 110 patients (T4N0 or T4N+) were treated adjuvantly, whereas 42 patients received irradiation for the control of gross or microscopic residual local tumor. RESULTS: For 79 adjuvantly treated patients with stage T4N0 or T4N+ cancer with one lymph node metastasis, the 10-year actuarial rates of local control and recurrence-free survival were 88% and 58%, respectively. Results were less satisfactory for patients with more extensive nodal involvement. The 10-year actuarial rates of local control and recurrence-free survival of 39 patients with T4 tumors complicated by perforation or fistulas were 81% and 53%, respectively. For 42 patients with incompletely resected tumors, the 10-year actuarial recurrence-free survival was 19%. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with historical controls, postoperative tumor bed irradiation improves local control for some subsets of patients. In addition to standard 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, adjuvant tumor bed irradiation should be considered when colon cancers invade adjoining structures, when they are complicated by perforation or fistulas, or when they are incompletely excised at the primary site.
Willett, CG; Goldberg, S; Shellito, PC; Grossbard, M; Clark, J; Fung, C; Proulx, G; Daly, M; Kaufman, DS
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