The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and risk factors of pelvic fractures as a result of radiation therapy in women with gynecological cancer. We retrospectively reviewed 3530 female patients treated at our institute between 1980 and 1998 with megavoltage radiation with or without brachytherapy for cancer in the pelvic area. Eligible were patients with vulvar, vaginal, cervical, endometrial, and fallopian tube cancer. Median follow-up was 88 months (range 0–240). Emphasis was put on treatment-related and patient-related risk factors. Of the eligible 3155 patients, 15 developed symptomatic bone fracture caused by osteoradionecrosis, which makes an overall incidence of 0.44% The diagnosis was based on anamnesis, clinical course, and X-ray or computed tomography images. Median time of onset was 44 months (range 6–197). All patients had pain as the first symptom. The only independent predictive factor for developing osteoradionecrosis seemed to be preexistent osteoporosis. Other risk factors that are related to osteoporosis include higher age, postmenopausal status, or steroid treatment. We did not find any significant treatment-related predictive factor for pelvic osteoradionecrosis. Patients with osteoporosis are probably at the highest risk for developing osteoradionecrotic fractures after pelvic radiotherapy. More studies are needed to find out other endogenous predictive factors.
- gynecological cancer
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