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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-45

The importance of hemoglobin levels before and during chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced carcinoma cervix

Department of Radiation Oncology, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sharaschandra Shankar
Department of Radiation Oncology, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrcr.jrcr_66_20

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Purpose: Carcinoma cervix forms a major burden among malignancies in women in India. Anemia is very common among Indian women and a high proportion of carcinoma cervix patients present with anemia. Previous studies show that hemoglobin level may be considered as a prognostic factor in carcinoma cervix. It has been observed that anemia is associated with diminished radiocurability in patients with carcinoma of the cervix. However, the therapeutic benefit of the measures to correct anemia remains debatable. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of hemoglobin concentrations and its correction by blood transfusions before and during treatment and the response to chemoradiation. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients with histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (Stage II to IV) from December 2018 to May 2020 were taken up for this study. Patients received definitive chemoradiation of 50 Gy in 25 fractions, 2 Gy/fraction, 5 fractions per week, along with-weekly injection cisplatin/carboplatin, followed by brachytherapy. All patients had their pretreatment hemoglobin levels measured at the first consultation. The effects of hemoglobin concentrations at presentation and during therapy on the clinical response to radiotherapy were studied. Blood transfusions and the time point when transfusions were given were recorded. Results: Eighteen patients received packed red blood cell transfusion before the start of radiation therapy and 9 patients received packed cell transfusion during radiation therapy. Out of the 18 patients who received transfusion before RT, 3 patients had complete response. Out of the 9 patients who received transfusion during radiation, 4 had complete response. The presence of anemia had a significant impact on the response rate. Pretreatment anemia was associated with poor response and local control among patients who underwent chemoradiotherapy for cervical cancer. Conclusion: Pretreatment hemoglobin and hemoglobin levels during radiation therapy were prognostic factors for local control, in addition to stage and histology, which might have independently predicted the outcome.

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