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Half-body irradiation: a safe and acceptable treatment

Leszek Miszczyk, Aleksandra Gaborek, Andrzej Tukiendorf, Bozena Jochymek, Jerzy Wydmanski

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(6): CR319-324

ID: 869682

Background: The aim of this study was an evaluation of the acute toxicity of single-fraction half-body irradiation (HBI).
Material and Method: The material comprised 92 patients. Upper, lower, and middle HBI (UHBI, LHBI, MHBI) were performed in 34, 49, and 9 cases, respectively, with 6 Gy delivered for UHBI, 8 Gy for LHBI, and 6 or 8 Gy for MHBI. The patients' weights were measured on the HBI day. Two weeks later their weights and blood parameters were checked and diarrhea, skin toxicity (scale: 0-4), and nausea and vomiting intensity (scale: 0-3) were evaluated using WHO Toxicity Criteria. Items of all the evaluated symptoms were summarized and the means of the sums were calculated.
Results: Mean weight loss after HBI was 0.7 kg. One patient had grade 4 toxicity (thrombopenia). Grade 3 toxicity appeared in 9 cases (nausea and vomiting in 5, leukopenia in 1, and thrombopenia in 3). None had radiation pneumonitis. The means of the summarized items were 1.9 for UHBI than 1.4 for LHBI. The means of the summarized items were 1.6 for 8 Gy and 1.8 for 6 Gy. UHBI provoked a higher incidence and intensity of nausea and vomiting and LHBI caused a higher incidence and intensity of diarrhea. The remaining evaluated symptoms of toxicity were similar for irradiations of both halves of the body.
Conclusions: From these results one can conclude that single-dose (6-8 Gy) HBI is a safe treatment, causing a low percentage of low-level, patient-acceptable adverse radiation sequels.

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