Our purpose was to evaluate a pharmacological and dietary protocol of prophylaxis and treatment of acute actinic esophagitis during mediastinal radiotherapy. This phase II study was conducted on 29 patients affected by cancer not directly involving the esophagus. The irradiated volume included at least 10 cm of esophagus with a median dose of 46 Gy and the incidence of clinical acute esophagitis was scored with RTOG-EORTC tables. During the entire course of radiation therapy all patients were subjected to prophylaxis pharmacological therapy in addition to dietetic rules commonly used. All patients were evaluable, 9 (31%) had no acute esophageal toxicity, 20 (69%) had toxicity of degree 1, and no patient showed a toxicity of degree 2, 3, or 4, there were no toxicity-related related interruptions of the radiotherapy course. In conclusion, this low cost protocol seems to reduce the incidence and degree of acute radiation esophagitis (without added morbidity), compared with literature reports.
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