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Volume 17, Number 6, 2012

Incidence of radiation toxicity in cervical cancer and endometrial cancer patients treated with radiotherapy alone versus adjuvant radiotherapy

Andrzej Roszak, Żaneta Wareńczak-Florczak, Krystyna Bratos, Piotr Milecki



The study was made to evaluate early and late toxicity in a diversified group of patients receiving definitive or adjuvant radiotherapy in terms of clinical diagnosis and treatment methods.


Radiotherapy is a standard way of treatment in cervical and endometrial cancer patients, both as definitive and adjuvant therapy. But every radiation treatment may be involved with toxicity.

Materials and methods

A detailed analysis was performed of 263 patients with gynaecological cancer treated with definitive (90 patients with cervical cancer received radiochemotherapy or radiotherapy exclusively) and adjuvant radiotherapy (38 with cervical and 135 with endometrial cancer).


Acute reactions were found in 51.3% and late reactions were found in 14.8% of patients. It was stated that early (p < 0.007) and late (p < 0.003) post radiation reaction appear more frequently in women treated with definitive than adjuvant radiotherapy. The analysis of the whole group revealed higher rate of toxicity, both early and late, in the gastrointestinal tract than in the urinary system (p < 0.004). Comparing the subgroups, it was found that intestinal reactions occurred more frequently in the definitive radiotherapy group than in the adjuvant one.

The occurrence of side effects was associated with the prolongation of total irradiation time due to necessary interruptions of radiotherapy. The comparison of the subgroups showed that interruptions occurred more frequently in patients receiving definitive rather than adjuvant radiotherapy (17.7–2.9%).


Definitive radiotherapy compared with adjuvant treatment may by associated with higher percentage of side effects caused by dose of therapy and correlation with chemotherapy.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2012; 17(6) : 332-338

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