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Gynecol Oncol. 1989 May;33(2):185-8.

Pelvic radiation therapy for gynecologic malignancy in geriatric patients.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology, Victoria General Hospital, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Thirty-one patients, aged 75 years or older, who received pelvic radiation therapy as part of primary treatment for a gynecologic malignancy, were reviewed. Ten patients (32%) failed to complete their treatment and 4 patients (13%) died of treatment-related complications. The treatment-related complications were independent of increasing age, but did correlate closely with the patients' pretreatment ECOG performance status. Ten patients with performance levels of 2 or higher had a mortality rate of 30%, while 70% failed to complete treatment. Treatment fractions of greater than 220 cGy per day also resulted in unacceptably high complication rates. Alternative treatment formats should be considered in geriatric patients with poor initial performance levels.

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