A systematic review of the role of carbon ion radiation therapy in recurrent rectal cancer

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Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)


Background: Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-associated death in the world. The 5-year local recurrence rates in patients undergoing multimodality therapy are approximately 5-10%. The standard approach to treat locally recurrent rectal is re-irradiation followed by surgical resection. Recent reports have suggested that the treatment outcomes with carbon ion radiation therapy (CIRT) in recurrent rectal cancer are promising and have superior results compared to photon therapy. Hence, we performed a systematic review to evaluate the patterns of care and treatment outcomes of recurrent rectal cancer patients treated with CIRT.Methodology: We performed a systematic search to identify the articles that reported on CIRT use in recurrent rectal cancer.Results: Systematic search of PubMed and Cochrane Central resulted in 98 abstracts. Eight studies fulfilled the predefined inclusion criteria. Among eight studies, one study is a prospective phase I/II study done in Japan; three prospective studies are ongoing (PANDORA-01 trial, HIMAT1351trial, and a phase II study of reirradiation for prior CIRT), and five studies are institutional reports on role of CIRT. These studies were predominantly reported from Japan and Germany. All reports except one were performed in patients who have not received prior radiation. The most commonly utilized treatment prescription was 73.4 Gy (RBE) in 16 fractions over 4 weeks in patients without any prior history of radiation and 36 Gy in 12 fractions over 3 weeks at 3 Gy per fraction in patients with prior photon radiation to the pelvis. There is one ongoing trial assessing the role of carbon ion re-irradiation in patients who had prior CIRT for rectal cancer.Conclusion: CIRT holds immense promise in improving outcomes in locally recurrent rectal cancer. There is a need for more multi-institutional prospective clinical trials to assess the role of CIRT.

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ePub ahead of print

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