Management of locally advanced anal canal carcinoma with intensity-modulated radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy

Med Oncol. 2018 Aug 20;35(10):134. doi: 10.1007/s12032-018-1197-1.


The best curative option for locally advanced (stages II-III) squamous-cell carcinomas of the anal canal (SCCAC) is concurrent chemo-radiotherapy delivering 36-45 Gy to the prophylactic planning target volume with an additional boost of 14-20 Gy to the gross tumor volume with or without a gap-period between these two sequences. Although 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy led to suboptimal tumor coverage because of field junctions, this modality remains a standard of care. Recently, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques improved tumor coverage while decreasing doses delivered to organs at risk. Sparing healthy tissues results in fewer severe acute toxicities. Consequently, IMRT could potentially avoid a gap-period that may increase the risk of local failure. Furthermore, these modalities reduce severe late toxicities of the gastrointestinal tract as well as better functional conservation of anorectal sphincter. This report aims to critically review contemporary trends in the management of locally advanced SCCAC using IMRT and concurrent chemotherapy.

Keywords: Anal canal, Cancer; Chemo-radiotherapy; Helical tomotherapy; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Squamous-cell carcinoma; Volumetric modulated arc therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anus Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Anus Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • Anal Canal Carcinoma