Role of Palliative Radiotherapy in Advanced Tumors; A Single Institutional Experience
Background: In the low resource countries like Pakistan, the majority of cancer patients are seen in advanced stages due to lack of awareness and resources. Different studies have discussed palliative radiotherapy for the treatment of the advanced and metastatic cancer. Objective: The aim of this study is to observe the role of palliative radiotherapy for patients with advanced cancer to give them symptomatic control and improvement in quality of life. Study Design: Retrospective observational study. Settings: Department of Radiotherapy, Allied Hospital / Faisalabad Medical University Faisalabad, Pakistan. Duration: January to December 2018. Methodology: A total of 148 patients with metastatic cancer were selected for this study. All patients received palliative radiotherapy in different short course radiation protocols like 30 Gray (Gy) in 10 fractions, 20 Gy in 5 fractions and single fraction of 8 to 10 Gy. Then the patients were assessed after treatment to 6 weeks for relief of their symptoms. Results: The under study patients were suffering from advanced cancer of different types including breast (42), brain (25), prostate (21), face and neck (20), carcinoma of unknown primary origin (9), hepatocellular carcinoma (7), sarcoma (6), lymphoma (5), renal cell carcinoma (5), gynaecological (5), transitional cell carcinoma (2), colon (1). Out of a total of 148 patients 118 patients (79.72%) got complete symptomatic relief, 23 patients (15.54 %) got partial relief, and 7 patients (4.72 %) had no relief who received palliative radiotherapy. Conclusion: It was concluded that majority of the patients with metastatic disease got benefit and became symptom free, thus short course radiotherapy is very good tool for palliation to relieve the symptoms in metastatic cancer patients.