Anal carcinoma - Survival and recurrence in a large cohort of patients treated according to Nordic guidelines

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Dec;113(3):352-8. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2014.10.002.


Objective: To evaluate treatment outcome in a large population-based cohort of patients with anal cancer treated according to Nordic guidelines.

Material: Clinical data were collected on 1266 patients with anal squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed from 2000 to 2007 in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. 886 of the patients received radiotherapy 54-64Gy with or without chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil plus cisplatin or mitomycin) according to different protocols, stratified by tumor stage.

Results: High age, male gender, large primary tumor, lymph node metastases, distant metastases, poor performance status, and non-inclusion into a protocol were all independent factors associated with worse outcome. Among patients treated according to any of the protocols, the 3-year recurrence-free survival ranged from 63% to 76%, with locoregional recurrences in 17% and distant metastases in 11% of patients. The highest rate of inguinal recurrence (11%) was seen in patients with small primary tumors, treated without inguinal irradiation.

Conclusions: Good treatment efficacy was obtained with Nordic, widely implemented, guidelines for treatment of anal cancer. Inguinal prophylactic irradiation should be recommended also for small primary tumors.

Keywords: Anal cancer; Chemoradiotherapy; Radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Anus Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Anus Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Anus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Mitomycin
  • Cisplatin
  • Fluorouracil