Extended-Field Chemoradiation Therapy for Definitive Treatment of Anal Canal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Involving the Para-Aortic Lymph Nodes

Emma B. Holliday, Scott C. Lester, W. Scott Harmsen, Cathy Eng, Michael Haddock, Sunil Krishnan, Prajnan Das, Christopher Hallemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report cancer control rates and adverse events (AEs) of curative-intent, extended-field chemoradiation therapy administered to patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the anal canal presenting with distant metastasis limited to the para-aortic (PA) lymph nodes. Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients with SCC of the anal canal metastatic to the PA lymph nodes at initial diagnosis who were treated with curative-intent, extended-field chemoradiation therapy between September 2002 and February 2016 at two tertiary care centers. Outcomes assessed included treatment-related AEs (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0), disease control (cumulative incidence estimates), and survival (Kaplan-Meier estimates). Results: Thirty patients were included. Involved and elective PA nodes were treated to median doses of 51 Gy (range 45-57.6) and 45 Gy (range 30.6-50.4) in 29 fractions (range 17-32). All patients received one of these concomitant regimens: 6 weekly cycles of cisplatin with 5-fluoruracil/capecitabine (5-FU) (n = 22), 2 cycles of mitomycin-C with 5-FU (n = 7), or daily capecitabine (n = 1). After a median follow-up period of 3.1 years, 18 patients (60%) remained alive and 17 patients were without evidence of anal cancer after definite and salvage treatments. Overall and disease-free survival at 3 years was 67% (95% CI 49%-89%) and 42% (95% CI 25%-69%). Fifteen (50%) patients experienced a recurrence at a median of 0.9 year (range 0.5-3.5 years). The predominant site of recurrence was distant metastases, with a 3-year cumulative incidence of 50% (95% CI 20%-68%). There was no acute grade 5 AE. Grade 3 to 4 gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and hematologic AEs occurred in 30%, 27%, and 20% of patients respectively. Conclusions: Extended-field chemoradiation therapy is a potentially curative treatment option for patients presenting with SCC of the anal canal with metastases limited to the PA lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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