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Abstract: Matched-control retrospective study of the acute and late complications in patients with collagen vascular diseases treated with radiation therapy

Cancer J. 2003 Nov-Dec; 9(6): 461-6.

Phan C, Mindrum M, Silverman C, Paris K, Spanos W.

James Graham Brown Cancer Center/Radiation Oncology Department, University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. chris.phan@louisville.edu

BACKGROUND: Controversy surrounds the potential complication rate of patients with collagen vascular diseases (CVD) after radiation. We assess the acute and late complications (based on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group criteria) by a matched-control retrospective study.

PATIENTS/METHODS: The charts of 12,000 patients treated with radiation therapy at the University of Louisville from 1982 to 2001 were reviewed for CVD. A total of 38 patients with documented CVD were compared with a matched-control group of 38 patients without CVD. Median follow-up for patients with CVD was 35 months. The patients were matched on the basis of site treated, age, dose, date of treatment, sex, treatment goal, follow-up, tumor site and histology, therapeutic technique, and general treatment method. The patients with CVD included 21 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (55%), two with scleroderma (5%), four with Raynaud’s phenomena (11%), three with fibromyalgia (8%), three with polymyalgia rheumatica (8%), three with Sjogren’s syndrome (8%), and two with polymyositis-dermatomyositis (5%). Twenty-nine patients received curative doses, and nine patients received palliative doses.

RESULTS: No difference was observed in the incidence of acute or late complications between the two groups. For CVD and matched-control patients receiving curative doses, the incidence of acute reaction for grade II was 49% versus 58% and for grade III was 7% versus 7%, respectively. The incidence of late reactions for patients with CVD and the matched control patients for grade I was 3% versus 7%, for grade II was 7% versus 3%, and for grade III was 7% versus 7%, respectively. The patients treated with palliation had a similar incidence of acute reaction in the CVD and the matched-control groups. No patients in the CVD or matched-control group had fatal complications. Only patients with scleroderma had a slight increase in acute and late complications.

CONCLUSION: This is the largest matched-control study thus far in the literature. In the comparison between the patients with CVD and the matched-control patients, there was no significant difference in the incidence of acute or late complication. However, there was a higher incidence of radiation complications in patients with scleroderma. Importantly, no fatal complication was noted in any of the patients with CVD.

PMID: 14740974 [PubMed – in process]