Prophylactic Extended-Field Irradiation of Para-aortic Lymph Nodes in Stages IIB and Bulky IB and IIA Cervical Carcinomas: Ten-Year Treatment Results of RTOG 79-20

Marvin Rotman, Kwang Choi, Thomas F. Pajak, Michelle Clery, Victor Marcial, Perry W. Grigsby, Jay Cooper, Madhu John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

321 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate whether irradiation to the standard pelvic field only improves the response rate and survival in comparison with pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation in patients with high-risk cervical carcinoma, and to investigate patterns of failure and treatment-related toxicity. Randomized controlled trial from November 1979 to October 1986, with stratification by histology, para-aortic nodal status, and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) multicenter clinical trial. A total of 367 patients with FIGO stage IB or IIA primary cervical cancers measuring 4 cm or greater in lateral diameter or with FIGO stage IIB cervical cancers were randomized to RTOG protocol 79-20 to receive either standard pelvic only irradiation or pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation. Pelvic only irradiation consisted of a midplane pelvic dose of 40 to 50 Gy in 4.5 to 6.5 weeks with daily fractions of 1.6 to 1.8 Gy for 5 d/wk. Pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation delivered 44 to 45 Gy in 4.5 to 6.5 weeks with daily fractions of 1.6 to 1.8 Gy for 5 d/wk. A total dose of 4000 to 5000 mg/h of radium equivalent or 30 to 40 Gy was provided by intracavitary brachytherapy to point A. Response rate, overall and disease-free survival, patterns of failure, and treatment-related toxicities. Ten-year overall survival was 44% for the pelvic only irradiation arm and 55% for the pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation arm (P=.02). Cumulative incidence of death due to cervical cancer was estimated as significantly higher in the pelvic only arm at 10 years (P=.01). Disease-free survival was similar in both arms; 40% for the pelvic only arm and 42% for the pelvic plus para-aortic arm. Locoregional failures were similar at 10 years for both arms (pelvic only, 35%; pelvic plus para-aortic, 31%; P=.44). In complete responders, the patterns of locoregional failures were the same for both arms, but there was a lower cumulative incidence for first distant failure in the pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation arm (P=.053). Survival following first failure was significantly higher in the pelvic plus para-aortic arm (P=.007). A higher percentage of local failures were salvaged long-term on the pelvic plus para-aortic arm compared with the pelvic only arm (25% vs 8%). The cumulative incidence of grade 4 and 5 toxicities at 10 years in the pelvic plus para-aortic arm was 8%, compared with 4% in the pelvic only arm (P=.06). The death rate due to radiotherapy complications was higher in the pelvic plus para-aortic arm (four [2%] of 170) compared with the pelvic only arm (one [1%] of 167) (P=.38). The proportion of deaths due to radiotherapy complications in the pelvic plus para-aortic arm was higher than in the pelvic only arm (four [6%] of 67 vs one [1%] of 85; P=.24). If the patient had abdominal surgery prior to para-aortic irradiation, the estimated cumulative incidence of grade 4 and 5 complications was 11%, compared with 2% in the pelvic only arm. The statistically significant difference in overall survival at 10 years for the pelvic plus para-aortic irradiation arm, without a difference in disease-free survival, can be explained by the following two factors: (1) a lower incidence of distant failure in complete responders and (2) a better salvage in the complete responders who later failed locally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume274
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 1995

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prophylactic Extended-Field Irradiation of Para-aortic Lymph Nodes in Stages IIB and Bulky IB and IIA Cervical Carcinomas: Ten-Year Treatment Results of RTOG 79-20'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this