Genital marginal failures after intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in squamous cell anal cancer: no higher risk with IMRT when compared to 3DCRT

V. Dell’Acqua, J. Kobiela, F. Kraja, M. C. Leonardi, A. Surgo, M. A. Zerella, S. Arculeo, C. Fodor, R. Ricotti, M. G. Zampino, S. Ravenda, G. Spinoglio, R. Biffi, A. Bazani, R. Luraschi, S. Vigorito, P. Spychalski, R. Orecchia, R. Glynne-Jones, B. A. Jereczek-Fossa

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Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is considered the preferred option in squamous cell canal cancer (SCAC), delivering high doses to tumor volumes while minimizing dose to surrounding normal tissues. IMRT has steep dose gradients, but the technique is more demanding as deep understanding of target structures is required. To evaluate genital marginal failure in a cohort of patients with non-metastatic SCAC treated either with IMRT or 3DCRT and concurrent chemotherapy, 117 patients with SCAC were evaluated: 64 and 53 patients were treated with IMRT and 3DCRT techniques, respectively. All patients underwent clinical and radiological examination during their follow-up. Tumor response was evaluated with response evaluation criteria in solid tumors v1.1 guideline on regular basis. All patients’ data were analyzed, and patients with marginal failure were identified. Concomitant chemotherapy was administered in 97 and 77.4% of patients in the IMRT and 3DCRT groups, respectively. In the IMRT group, the median follow-up was 25 months (range 6–78). Progressive disease was registered in 15.6% of patients; infield recurrence, distant recurrence and both infield recurrence and distant recurrence were identified in 5, 4 and 1 patient, respectively. Two out of 64 patients (3.1%) had marginal failures, localized at vagina/recto-vaginal septum and left perineal region. In the 3DCRT group, the median follow-up was 71.3 months (range 6–194 months). Two out of 53 patients (3.8%) had marginal failures, localized at recto-vaginal septum and perigenital structures. The rate of marginal failures was comparable in IMRT and 3DCRT groups (χ2 test p = 0.85). In this series, the use of IMRT for the treatment of SCAC did not increase the rate of marginal failures offering improved dose conformity to the target. Dose constraints should be applied with caution—particularly in females with involvement of the vagina or the vaginal septum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


  • Anal cancer
  • Anal carcinoma
  • Genital marginal failures
  • IMRT
  • Radiotherapy
  • Squamous cell anal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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