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Radiother Oncol. 1988 Feb;11(2):101-12.

Is prophylactic para-aortic irradiation worthwhile in the treatment of advanced cervical carcinoma? Results of a controlled clinical trial of the EORTC radiotherapy group.

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Department of Radiotherapy, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.


From November 1977 to July 1981, 441 patients with cervical carcinoma were randomized between pelvic irradiation and pelvic and para-aortic irradiation. Included were patients with stage I and IIB with proximal vaginal and/or parametrial involvement with positive pelvic lymph nodes either on lymphangiogram or at surgery, and stage IIB with distal vaginal and/or parametrial involvement and III regardless of pelvic node status on lymphangiogram. Patients with clinically or surgically involved para-aortic nodes were not included. The external beam dose to the para-aortic area was fixed at 45 Gy. There was no statistically significant difference between the two treatment arms in terms of local control, overall distant metastases and survival with no evidence of disease (NED), although the incidence of para-aortic metastases and distant metastases without tumor at pelvic sites was significantly higher in patients receiving pelvic irradiation alone (pelvic group). The 4-year NED survival rate was 51%. The incidence of severe digestive complications was significantly higher in patients receiving para-aortic irradiation (para-aortic group). Routine para-aortic irradiation for all high risk patients with cervical carcinoma is of limited value, but patients with a high probability of local control can benefit from extended field irradiation, despite an increase in severe digestive complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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