ECOG-ACRIN Guideline for Contouring and Treatment of Early Stage Anal Cancer Using IMRT/IGRT

Pract Radiat Oncol. 2022 Jul-Aug;12(4):335-347. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2022.01.015.


Purpose: Previous anal cancer guidelines delineate target volumes similarly for all patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal and/or perianal skin (SCCA), regardless of disease stage. The purpose of this guideline is to provide customized radiation treatment recommendations for early stage (T1-2 N0 M0) anal cancer treated with intensity modulated and image guided radiation therapy (RT).

Methods and materials: A contouring atlas and radiation treatment recommendations for the ongoing, randomized phase II trial of deintensified chemoradiation for early stage SCCA (EA2182) was created by an expert panel of radiation oncologists. A literature search was conducted to update and expand these recommendations into a guideline for routine clinical use.

Results: For the majority of cases, we recommend treatment in the supine, frog leg position with the use of a customized immobilization device and daily image guided RT to ensure optimal bone and soft tissue alignment. Vaginal dilators can be used daily during RT to maximize genitalia sparing. We recommend use of a 10-mm margin on the gross tumor plus including the anal complex to create the primary clinical target volume. To define the elective lymph node clinical target volume, we recommend starting with a 7-mm expansion on blood vessels, but then further refining these volumes based on the anatomic location. A 5- to 10-mm planning target volume (PTV) margin is suggested based on institutional setup and patient-specific factors. When using a simultaneous integrated boost technique, a dose of 50.4 Gy to primary PTV and 42 Gy to lymph node PTV, both delivered over 28 fractions, with chemotherapy is appropriate for early stage anal cancer.

Conclusions: This guideline provides anatomic, clinical, and technical instructions to guide radiation oncologists in the planning and delivery of intensity modulated and image guided RT for early stage SCCA.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Anus Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic