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Folia Medica  2010 

Clinical Tolerance in Large Field Radiotherapy - The Knowledge Gained Over the Last Ten Years

DOI: 10.2478/v10153-010-0042-x

Keywords: large field radiotherapy (LFR), total body irradiation (TBI), half body irradiation (HBI), whole abdominal irradiation (WAI), total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and partial lymphoid irradiation (PLI), clinical tolerance (CT)

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Malignant disorders are still far from being successfully managed in spite of the apparent progress achieved by surgical treatment, high energy radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (CHT). They keep being the second most frequent cause of lethal outcomes both in Bulgaria and in most countries of the world. One of the promising approaches to increasing the efficaciousness of treatment is development and use of methods that are in full accord with the modern requirements of a complex therapy. Over the last fifty years, large field radiation techniques, applied as systemic therapy in oncology, have been investigated and established. These techniques show the transition in oncology to using actively various variants of large field radiotherapy (LFR), the "heavy artillery" of oncoradiologic practice, as an alternative or adjunct therapy to chemotherapy (CHT). In the present paper we review the current knowledge in the field and present the clinical experience accumulated over the last ten years with respect to clinical tolerance in the major large-field radiotherapy techniques - total body irradiation, half body irradiation, whole abdominal irradiation, total and partial lymphoid irradiation. Described in detail are the contemporary knowledge about clinical and hematologic tolerance in total body irradiation as part of the myelo- and nonmyeloablative conditioning regimens as well as in half body irradiation as a systemic therapy in oncology. We also present the amassed experience in clinical tolerance in partial body irradiation in the form of whole abdominal and total or partial lymphoid irradiation. Another point worth noting based again on the experience gained over the last ten years is that for LFR we need to develop a radiotherapy technique that is designed carefully to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect that should include the disease control, good clinical tolerance and reduction of post-radiotherapy sequelae.


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