Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 1088–1092 | Cite as

Whole abdominal radiotherapy and concomitant 5-fluorouracil as adjuvant therapy in advanced colon cancer

  • Edgar Ben-Josef
  • Wayne S. Court
Original Contributions


PURPOSE: This analysis was undertaken to assess whole abdomen radiation therapy and concurrent 5-fluorouracil for toxicity and patterns of failure in high-risk colon cancer patients after curative surgical resection. METHODS: Eighteen patients were treated adjuvantly after curative resection. Four patients (22 percent) had Stage B and 14 (78 percent) had Stage C disease. Histology was poorly differentiated in 4 (22 percent) and moderately differentiated in 14 (78 percent) patients. Four patients received whole abdominal radiation only, 30 Gy at 1 Gy/day. Fourteen patients had an additional locoregional boost of 9.6 to 16 Gy at 1.6 Gy/day. The liver received 19.8 Gy at 0.67 Gy/day. 5-Fluorouracil was given as a continuous infusion during therapy. RESULTS: With a median follow-up of three years, 6 of 18 (33 percent) patients have relapsed. Failure occurred locally in 3 of 18 (17 percent) and distantly in 4 of 18 patients (22 percent). Four of six (67 percent) failures occurred in the liver. The five-year actuarial survival and disease-free survival were 78 percent and 66 percent, respectively. Median elapsed time on radiotherapy was 73 days, with 5 of 18 patients (28 percent) requiring two or more weeks of unplanned treatment breaks. Acute Grade 3 to 4 toxicity (diarrhea, leukopenia) occurred in 3 of 18 patients (17 percent), with late complications (bowel obstruction) occurring in 2 of 18 patients (11 percent). CONCLUSIONS: Whole abdominal radiotherapy with concomitant 5-fluorouracil appears to improve local control but not to prevent liver metastases. Significant toxicity resulted in frequent interruption of therapy and protracted its course. Whether this adjuvant regimen impacts on survival or offers an advantage over locoregional irradiation remains to be studied.

Key words

Whole abdomen radiotherapy Colon cancer Adjuvant therapy Combined modality 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar Ben-Josef
    • 1
  • Wayne S. Court
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyWayne State UniversityDetroit

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