Radiotherapy does not increase secondary cancer risk in pelvic cancer patients

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Radiotherapy does not increase secondary cancer risk in pelvic cancer patients
Radiotherapy does not increase secondary cancer risk in pelvic cancer patients

(HealthDay News) -- For patients with pelvic cancers, the risk of developing a second cancer is not increased with radiotherapy (RT), according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Lisette M. Wiltink, from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the long-term probability of developing a second cancer among patients included in the TME, PORTEC-1, and PORTEC-2 trials. In the TME trial, 1,530 patients with rectal cancer were randomized to preoperative external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or no RT; in PORTEC-1, 714 patients with endometrial cancer were randomized to postoperative EBRT versus no RT; and in PORTEC-2, 427 patients with endometrial cancer were randomized to EBRT versus vaginal brachytherapy (VBT).

The researchers observed no significant difference in the probability of second cancers for patients who were treated without RT (10- and 15-year rates, 15.8 and 26.5 percent, respectively) and those treated with EBRT (10- and 15-year rates, 15.4 and 25.6 percent, respectively) or VBT (10-year rate, 14.9 percent). No significant differences were found between treatment arms in the individual trials. The risk of developing a second cancer was higher for all cancer survivors versus an age- and sex-matched general population, with a standardized incidence ratio of 2.98 for any second cancer.

"Those who underwent EBRT or VBT had no higher probability of developing a second cancer than patients who were treated with surgery alone," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

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