Anal canal carcinoma: early-stage tumors < or =10 mm (T1 or Tis): therapeutic options and original pattern of local failure after radiotherapy

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Jun 1;62(2):479-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2004.09.060.


Purpose: To investigate the clinical history, management, and pattern of recurrence of very early-stage anal canal cancer in a French retrospective survey.

Methods: The study group consisted of 69 patients with Stage Tis and T1 anal canal carcinoma < or =1 cm treated between 1990 and 2000 (12 were in situ, 57 invasive, 66 Stage N0, and 3 Stage N1). The median patient age was 67 years (range, 27-83 years). Of the 69 patients, 66 received radiotherapy (RT) and 3 with in situ disease were treated by local excision alone without RT. Twenty-six patients underwent local excision before RT (12 with negative and 14 with positive surgical margins). Of the 66 patients who underwent RT, 8 underwent brachytherapy alone (median dose, 55 Gy), 38 underwent external beam RT (median dose, 45 Gy) plus a brachytherapy boost (median boost dose, 20 Gy), and 20 underwent external beam RT alone (median dose, 55 Gy).

Results: Of the 69 patients, 68 had initial local control. Of the 66 patients treated by RT, 6 developed local recurrence at a median interval of 50 months (range, 13-78 months). Four patients developed local failure outside the initial tumor bed. Of the 3 patients with Tis treated by excision alone, 1 developed local recurrence. No relation was found among prior excision, dose, and local failure. The 5-year overall survival, colostomy-free survival, and disease-free survival rate was 94%, 85%, and 89%, respectively. The rate of late complications (Grade 1-3) was 28% and was 14% for those who received doses <60 Gy and 37% for those who received doses of > or =60 Gy (p = 0.04).

Conclusion: Most recurrences occurred after a long disease-free interval after treatment and often outside the initial tumor site. These small anal cancers could be treated by RT using a small volume and moderate dose (40-50 Gy for subclinical lesions and 50-60 Gy for T1).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anal Canal / physiology
  • Anus Neoplasms / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Anus Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Carcinoma in Situ / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma in Situ / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / surgery
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage