Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is associated with fewer gastrointestinal and genitourinary adverse events and improved quality of life among women with cervical or endometrial cancer, according to findings presented at the 58th American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) annual meeting.1

Although many women with cervical or endometrial cancer receive adjuvant radiation therapy following tumor resection, the form of pelvic radiotherapy that can most effectively eliminate the tumor while minimizing toxicities remains unclear. Researchers evaluated patient-reported acute gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicities following IMRT compared with conventional radiotherapy.

Investigators enrolled 278 patients with cervical or endometrial cancer from the United States, Canada, Japan, and South Korea who underwent pelvic IMRT or standard 4-field radiation therapy.

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Patients who were treated with IMRT reported significantly fewer bowel-related toxicities than those who received standard radiotherapy. IMRT-treated patients experienced less severe declines in bowel function, though there was no difference in bowel bother.

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Patients who received IMRT reported a lower frequency of high grade diarrhea and fecal incontinence (P =.01), as well as fewer urinary adverse events at 5 weeks from the start of radiation treatment (P = .03).

IMRT was associated with less substantial declines in quality of life compared with conventional radiotherapy.


  1. Cervical and endometrial cancer patients report fewer side effects and better quality of life with IMRT. American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) website. Updated September 26, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2016.