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Necessity of external iliac lymph nodes and inguinal nodes radiation in rectal cancer with anal canal involvement

BMC Cancer. 2022 Jun 14;22(1):657. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-09724-9.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We aimed to explore the necessity of the external iliac lymph nodes (EIN) along with inguinal nodes (IN) region in clinical target volume (CTV) for rectal carcinomas covering the anal canal region.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This research premise enrolled 399 patients who had primary low rectal cancer detected below the peritoneal reflection via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and were treated with neoadjuvant radiotherapy (NRT), without elective EIN along with IN irradiation. We stratified the patients into two groups based on whether the lower edge of the rectal tumor extended to the anal canal (P group, n = 109) or not (Rb group, n = 290). Comparison of overall survival (OS), locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), disease-free survival (DFS), as well as distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) were performed via inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) along with multivariable analyses. We compared the EIN and IN failure rates between the two groups via the Fisher and Gray’s test.

RESULTS: P group showed a similar adjusted proportion along with five-year cumulative rate of EIN failure compared with the Rb group. The adjusted proportion and five-year cumulative rate of IN failure in the P group was higher in comparison to the Rb group. There were no remarkable differences in the adjusted five-year OS, DFS, DMFS or LRFS between the two groups. Anal canal involvement (ACI) exhibited no effect on OS, LRFS, DFS, or DMFS.

CONCLUSIONS: During NRT for rectal cancer with ACI, it may be possible to exclude the EIN and IN from the CTV.

PMID:35701738 | DOI:10.1186/s12885-022-09724-9

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