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Modulated radiotherapy can cut treatment time for cancer of the rectum without increasing toxicity
Date:6/16/2008

s, more limited and smaller. We have now also begun to apply it to tumours of the rectum given that the conventional treatment, combining chemotherapy and radiotherapy, may cause high levels of toxicity", explained Doctor Aristu.

The main goal in administering modulated radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer of the rectum, lies in excluding the greatest possible proportion of healthy tissue from the field of radiation, mainly the intestines, bladder and the healthy section of the rectum. We have shown that treatment using conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy simultaneously causes about a 30% enteritis rate (inflammation of the intestine). However, in the study, we observed that the application of modulated radiotherapy reduces the rate of enteritis practically to the minimum in the patient who is being treated for bowel cancer. Moreover, on limiting the radiation to the tumoral mass and thus affecting healthy tissue less, it was possible to increase the daily dosage and cut the overall treatment time by approximately 30%, while the total dose administered is equivalent to two conventional treatments.

Study in phase I-II

This research, initially undertaken with 20 patients with cancer of the rectum, is in study phase I-II, the main purpose of which is to find the highest dose that can be applied using modulated radiotherapy in combination with chemotherapy. According to Doctor Aristu, the research showed for the first time that a radiation dose equivalent to that administered using conventional techniques can be applied using IMRT in less time and with very promising rates of pathological response.


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