Endocavitaryradiotherapy of rectal cancer

Steven E. Schild, James A. Martenson, Leonard L. Gunderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: This analysis was performed to evaluate the results of endocavitary radiotherapy (RT) administered for early rectal cancer at our institution. Methods and Materials: Patient charts were retrospectively reviewed to determine the results of endocavitary RT regarding survival, local control, and complications. Between 1987 and 1994, 25 patients were treated with endocavitary RT for early rectal cancer. Twenty had early, low grade tumors and met the criteria for treatment with curative intent. Five had more advanced, high grade, or multiple recurrent tumors and were treated with palliative intent The tumors were treated to between 20 and 155 Gy in one to four fractions with 50 KV x-rays given through a specialized proctoscope. Patients were followed for 5 to 84 months (median = 55 months) after therapy. Local control and survival were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Local control was achieved in 18 of the 20 patients treated with curative intent and 4 of 5 treated with palliative intent. For those patients treated with curative intent, the 5-year local control rate was 89% and the 5-year survival rate was 76%. The most significant toxicity was ulceration that occurred in 5 of the 25 patients. The ulcers were asymptomatic in three cases and associated with bleeding in one case. The fifth patient had pain. One ulcer was biopsied, resulting in perforation that was treated with an abdominal perineal resection (APR). There was no tumor found upon pathologic evaluation. Conclusions: Endocavitary RT can be used to treat patients with early, low-grade rectal cancers and will yield a high level of disease control and a low risk of serious complications. Major advantages of this treatment technique are that it requires neither general anesthesia nor hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-682
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996


  • Endocavitary radiotherapy
  • Rectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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