Background. Preoperative radiochemotherapy is a cornerstone in patients with non- resectable locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). To improve outcome (number of R0 resections and survival) high-dose radiotherapy (RT) was combined with oral UFT/l-leucovorin to allow tumour regression before radical intended surgery. Methods. Pelvic RT was delivered with megavoltage photons using a 5 field technique. RT was CT-based, given 5 days a week through one posterior field and two lateral fields (48.6 Gy/27 fractions) to encompass the primary tumour and the regional lymph nodes. In addition, the tumour bed received a concurrent boost (5.4 Gy/27 fractions) and a final boost (6 Gy/3 fractions); thus GTV received 60 Gy/30 fractions. Concurrent with RT patients received a daily dose of oral UFT 300 mg/m(2) plus l-leucovorin 22.5 mg 5/7days (divided in three doses). Results. From September 2000 to November 2004, 52 patients (median age 60 years (32-83); median PS 0 (0-2)) with LARC (36 primary, 16 recurrent) were included in this phase II study. All but three patients received the planned 60 Gy, median duration of RT was 42 days (25-49). Toxicity was very modest; only four patients had a dose reduction of UFT. No hematological toxicity of clinical significance was seen. Non-hematological toxicity grade 1 (GI-toxicity, fatigue and/or dysuria) was frequently observed but only four patients experienced grade 3 toxicity (diarrhoea and/or nausea/vomiting). Forty patients (77%) were operated (30 R0, 5 R1, 5 R2) median 55 days (27-112) after completion of RT. Seven (13%) patients had a pathological complete response (pCR). Thirty-one patients (60%) died after median 25.4 months (1.6-45.2 months). Twenty-one patients (40%) are still alive June 2007. Conclusions. Preoperative high-dose RT and concomitant UFT produces major regression in most patients with non-resectable LARC and thus a good chance of cure.
Vestermark, L. W., Jakobsen, A., Qvortrup, C., Hansen, F., Bisgaard, C., Baatrup, G., Rasmussen, P., & Pfeiffer, P. (2008). Long-term results of a phase II trial of high-dose radiotherapy (60 Gy) and UFT/l-leucovorin in patients with non-resectable locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Acta Oncologica, 47(3), 428-433. https://doi.org/10.1080/02841860701798866