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Background: This study investigated the local effect and acute toxicity of irinotecan and capecitabine with concurrent intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for the treatment of recurrent rectal cancer without prior pelvic irradiation. Methods: Seventy-one patients diagnosed with recurrent rectal cancer who did not previously receive pelvic irradiation were treated in our hospital from October 2009 to July 2012. Radiotherapy was delivered to the pelvis, and IMRT of 45Gy (1.8Gy per fraction), followed by a boost of 10Gy to 16Gy (2Gy per fraction), was delivered to the recurrent sites. The concurrent chemotherapy regimen was 50mg/m2 irinotecan weekly and 625mg/m2 capecitabine twice daily (Mon-Fri). Radical surgery was recommended for medically fit patients without extra-pelvic metastases. The patients were followed up every 3months. Tumor response was evaluated using CT/MRIs according to the RECIST criteria or postoperative pathological findings. NCI-CTC 3.0 was used to score the toxicities. Results: Forty-eight patients (67.6%) had confirmed recurrent rectal cancer without extra pelvic metastases, and 23 patients (32.4%) had extra pelvic metastases. Fourteen patients (19.7%) underwent radical resections (R0) post-chemoradiation. A pathologic complete response was observed in 7 of 14 patients. A clinical complete response was observed in 4 patients (5.6%), and a partial response was observed in 22 patients (31.0%). Only 5 patients (7.0%) showed progressive disease during or shortly after treatment. Of 53 symptomatic patients, clinical complete and partial symptom relief with chemoradiation was achieved in 56.6% and 32.1% of patients, respectively. Only 2 patients (2.8%) experienced grade 4 leukopenia. The most common grade 3 toxicity was diarrhea (16 [22.5%] patients). The median follow-up was 31months. The cumulative local progression-free survival rate was 74.2% and 33.9% at 1 and 3years after chemoradiation, respectively. The cumulative total survival rate was 80.1% and 36.5% at 1 and 3years after chemoradiation, respectively. Conclusions: This study revealed that concurrent irinotecan and capecitabine with IMRT significantly relieves local symptoms and exhibits promising efficacy with manageable toxicities in recurrent rectal cancer without prior pelvic irradiation. Improving the rate of R0 resections will be investigated in a future study.
Cai, G., Zhu, J., Palmer, J. D., Xu, Y., Hu, W., Gu, W., … Zhang, Z. (2015). CAPIRI-IMRT: A phase II study of concurrent capecitabine and irinotecan with intensity-modulated radiation therapy for the treatment of recurrent rectal cancer. Radiation Oncology, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13014-015-0360-5