Intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) allows delivery of radiotherapy doses in excess of those typically deliverable with conventional external beam radiotherapy. IORT has potential utility in clinical situations, such as treatment of esophageal and gastric malignancies, in which the radiation tolerance of normal organs limits the dose that can be given with conventional radiotherapy techniques. We reviewed the records of 50 patients who received IORT for locally advanced primary or recurrent gastric or esophageal adenocarcinomas deemed unresectable for cure. IORT was given as a single fraction of electron beam radiotherapy (10-25.Gy) after maximal tumor resection: R0 in 42%, R1 in 46%, and R2 in 12%. Forty-eight patients also received external beam radiotherapy (8-55.Gy), 46 received radiosensitizing chemotherapy, and nine received systemic chemotherapy after radiotherapy. Outcomes were estimated with Kaplan-Meier analysis. Median survival was 1.6 years. Overall survival at 1, 2, and 3 years was 70%, 40%, and 27%. Of 42 patients who died, 37 died from cancer progression and three from multifactorial treatment toxicity. Median survival for patients with recurrent disease versus primary disease was 3.0 years versus 1.3.years (P < 0.05), with a delay of metastatic failure in patients with recurrent tumors (P = 0.06). At 3 years, distant metastatic failure was 79%, local failure was 10%, and regional failure was 15%. IORT for locally advanced primary or recurrent gastric malignancies effectively decreases the risk of local failure. For patients with isolated local recurrences, IORT may be effective salvage therapy. However, more effective systemic therapy is needed as a component of treatment.
- Intraoperative radiotherapy
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