Volume 53, Number 2, April-June 2018
|Page(s)||101 - 105|
|Published online||04 May 2018|
Second cancers after radiotherapy: update and recommandations
Centre de cancérologie − GIE Charlebourg, Groupe Amethyst,
La Garenne-Colombes, France
2 Amethyst Radiotherapy Centre, Rydygier Hospital, Krakow, Poland
3 Institut Gustave-Roussy, 94600 Villejuif, France
4 École du Val-de-Grâce, French Military Health Academy, 75005 Paris, France
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 11 April 2018
While radio-induced cancers are well known since the first years of the xxth century, they did not represent a major concern for radiation oncologists for many decades. With better and better results of modern radiotherapy and prolonged follow-up of patients, secondary radio-induced cancers should now be systematically taken into account when irradiating patients. The analysis of the available literature allows to stress a few main points; (1) cancer patients are at a higher risk for developing secondary cancers than the general population, radiotherapy being only responsible for a (small) proportion of those second malignancies; (2) the clinical data emphasize the role of age, with children being much more susceptible to the carcinogenic effect of ionizing radiation than adults; (3) most radio-induced cancers occur in or close to the high-dose treatment volume; (4) the relative risk of radio-induced cancer appears to be different for different organs; (5) the relative risks of radio-induced cancers tend to be lower in the medical cohort studies than in the Japanese A-Bomb survivor studies; (6) several cofactors (genetic, lifestyle…) account for the risk of secondary and radiation-induced cancer. The exact shape of the dose/effect (carcinogenesis) curve is still debated, particularly for the high doses of radiotherapy, with a direct impact on risk calculations, which can be very different if using different radiobiological models. In spite of some uncertainties, a few main recommendations could be proposed to reduce as much as possible the risk of radio-induced cancer after radiotherapy: (1) adapting the irradiation technique; (2) reducing the target volumes; (3) adapting to patient’s age; (4) adapting to specific organs; (5) and optimizing the imaging dose. In conclusion, even if radio-induced cancers are rare, they must be kept in mind each time a radiotherapy is proposed in 2018.
Key words: radio-induced cancer / radiotherapy / carcinogenesis / radiosensivity
© EDP Sciences 2018
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