Multiple fraction per day radiation therapy for inoperable esophageal cancer

Antonino De Paoli, Gianni Boz, Mauro G. Trovó, Gianni Franchin, Mario Roncadin, Renato Talamini, Carlo Gobitti, Roberto Bortolus, Emilio Minatel, Mauro Arcicasa, Eligio Grigoletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experience with a multiple fractions per day radiation therapy program for inoperable esophageal cancer is reported. The treatment program consisted of 3 daily fractions of 1.6 Gy, with a 4 hr interval between fractions, for 5 consecutive days (24 Gy). After a rest period of 2 weeks, a second course of radiation was given with the same dose and fractionation for a total dose of 48 Gy in an overall treatment time of 4 weeks. Thirty-four patients were treated between February 1981 and July 1983. Acute reactions consisted of mild esophagitis noted in 30% of patients. No treatment related complications were reported. Median survival was 7 months and the 2- and 5-year survival rates were 12 and 9%, respectively. Tumor size and Karnofsky performance status were found to be the most important prognostic indicators for prolonged survival. Prompt palliation of symptoms was noted. Thirty-three per cent of patients had complete resolution and 41% had partial improvement of symptoms after completion of treatment. Four patients (12%) obtained complete tumor regression with negative biopsy at endoscopic examination and 2 of them are free of disease at 58 and 64 months. A partial response was reported in 12 patients (35%) for a median duration of 5 months (3-26). Treatment with multiple fractions per day was feasible in patients with esophageal cancer and could be preferred to more conventional fractionations for promptness of palliation and the shorter treatment time. The expected therapeutic gain is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-860
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988


  • Esophageal cancer
  • Multiple fractions per day
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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