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Cancer Radiother. 2000 Mar-Apr;4(2):147-58.

[Complications of treatments of invasive cancers of the uterine cervix with intact uterus: results and prevention].

[Article in French]

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Département de radiothérapie, Centre Georges-François-Leclerc, Dijon, France.


The prospective record of acute and late toxicity after treatment of cervix carcinomas is a part of the description of treatment outcome as well as local control and survival. Due to the large number of scales and glossaries used, the comparison of the results from one study to another is often difficult. The French-Italian syllabus seems to be the most reliable scale, providing implementation of quality of life assessments. The main predictive factor of complications, which is not related to the treatment type, is the previous history of abdominal or pelvic surgery. The incidence and severity of complications occurring after surgery are related to the surgical procedure and to the amount of peri-uterine tissues removed. The increase in dose and volume of external irradiation and brachytherapy and the increase in dose rate of the low-dose rate brachytherapy are responsible for the radiotherapeutic morbidity. The significant decrease of severe complication rates during the last 15 years was obtained by the implementation of individual adjustments in treatment planning. The treatment strategies of early bulky and advanced carcinomas are changing. Concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy is becoming a standard, but its late toxicity needs to be documented by a longer follow-up. The optimisation of radiation therapy should remain a reference to evaluate the outcome and morbidity of the new combined strategies: the addition of chemotherapy will never compensate for less than optimal radiotherapy/brachytherapy planning.

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