The frequent use of radiotherapy for abdominal and pelvic malignancies results in an increased risk of radiation enteritis. An increased understanding of the tissue response and the clinical features of radiation enteritis has led to advances in the prevention and management of this condition. Importantly, improvements in the delivery of radiotherapy, including techniques to reduce the amount of exposed small intestine in the radiation field, represent a critical strategy for prevention. Data indicate that radioprotectant agents have the potential to reduce intestinal mucosal injury and may be beneficial in reducing both acute and chronic side effects of radiotherapy.
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