Maria Tessa

Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, Piedmont, Italy

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Publications (3)1.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aims and background: To report the survey about the main aspects on the use of radiotherapy for the treatment of rectal cancer in Piedmont and Liguria. Methods and study design: Sixteen centers (11 from Piedmont and 5 from Liguria) received and answered by email a questionnaire data base about clinical and technical aspects of the treatment of rectal cancer. All data were incorporated in a single data base and analyzed. Results: Data regarding 593 patients who received radiotherapy for rectal cancer during the year 2009 were collected and analyzed. Staging consisted in colonoscopy, thoracic and abdominal CT, pelvic MRI and endoscopic ultrasound. PET/CT was employed to complete staging and in the treatment planning in 12/16 centers (75%). Neoadjuvant radiotherapy was employed more frequently than adjuvant radiotherapy (50% vs 36.4%), using typically a total dose of 45 Gy with 1.8 Gy/fraction. Concurrent chemoradiation with 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine was mainly employed in neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings, whereas oxaliplatin alone or in combination with 5-FU or capecitabine and leucovorin was commonly employed as the adjuvant agent. The median interval from neoadjuvant treatment to surgery was 7 weeks after long-course radiotherapy and 8 days after short-course radiotherapy. The pelvic total dose of 45 Gy in the adjuvant setting was the same in all the centers. Doses higher than 45 Gy were employed with a radical intent or in case of positive surgical margins. Hypofractionated regimens (2.5, 3 Gy to a total dose of 35-30 Gy) were used in the palliative setting. No relevant differences were observed in target volume definition and patient setup. Twenty-six patients (4.4%) developed grade 3 acute toxicity. Follow-up was scheduled in a similar way in all the centers. Conclusions: No relevant differences were found among the centers involved in the survey. The approach can help clinicians to address important clinical questions and to improve consistency and homogeneity of treatments.
    04/2013; 99(1):61-7. DOI:10.1700/1248.13790
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    ABSTRACT: Although guidelines recommend minimalist follow-up, there is wide variability in gynecological oncology practice. The aims of this study were to describe between-center differences in the follow-up of endometrial, ovarian, and uterine cervical cancer; to identify the determinants of test prescription; to estimate the related costs; and to assess the weight of center habits and patient characteristics as sources of unexplained variability. The medical records of patients treated between August 2004 and July 2005 for gynecological malignancies and followed up for the detection of recurrent disease were retrospectively collected from 29 centers of the Piedmont Oncology Network. Multivariate multilevel analyses were performed to study the determinants of test prescription and costs. Analyses were performed on 351 patients (median follow-up: 578 days). The unexplained variability in computed tomography prescriptions (26%), ultrasound prescriptions (17%), and total cost of follow-up (15%) can be attributed to center habits, independenty of the clinical characteristics of the patients. Much of the unexplained variability in the follow-up for gynecological malignancies is attributable to different habits of centers belonging to a cancer network. These results prompted us to design a multicenter randomized controlled trial to compare minimalist versus intensive follow-up programs in endometrial cancer.
    09/2011; 97(5):551-8. DOI:10.1700/989.10710
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    ABSTRACT: In October 1995, the Piedmont AIRO (Italian Society of Radiation Oncology) Group started a multi-institutional study of radiochemotherapy on locally advanced esophageal cancer, characterized by external radiotherapy followed by an intraluminal high dose-rate brachytherapy boost. Most patients were re-evaluated for surgery at the end of the program. The primary aim of the study was to assess efficacy of curative radiochemotherapy regarding overall survival and local control rates. The secondary aim was to evaluate the ability of radiochemotherapy to make resectable lesions previously considered inoperable. Between January 1996 and March 2000, 75 patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer were enrolled. All were treated with definitive radiotherapy; due to age or high expected toxicity, chemotherapy was employed only in 53 of them. Treatment schedule consisted of 60 Gy external radiotherapy (180 cGy/d, 5 days/week for 7 weeks) concomitant with two 5-day cycles of chemotherapy with cisplatin and fluorouracil (weeks 1 and 5). One or two sessions of 5-7 Gy intraluminal high dose-rate brachytherapy were carried out on patients whose restaging showed a major tumor response. Surgery was performed in 14 patients. At the end of radiotherapy, dysphagia disappeared in 46/75 cases (61%), and in 20/75 (27%) a significant symptom reduction was recorded. Complete objective response at restaging after radiotherapy was obtained in 33% of patients and a partial response in 53%. At the end of the multimodal treatment program, including esophagectomy, complete responses were 34 (45%); 4 of 14 (28.5%) cases proved to be disease free (pT0) at pathological examination. No G3-G4 toxicity was recorded. Two- and 5-year overall survival rates of all patients were, respectively, 38% and 28%; 2- and 5-year local control rates were, respectively, 35% and 33%. In a subgroup of 20 nonsurgical patients in complete response after radiochemotherapy, the overall survival rate at 3 and 5 years was 65% and the local control rate at 3 and 5 years was 75%. According to multivariate analysis, prognostic factors for survival were Karnofsky index and esophagectomy. For patients with locally advanced disease, radiochemotherapy showed improved clinical and pathologic tumor response and survival compared to surgery or radiotherapy alone. Intraluminal brachytherapy with a small fraction size allows an increased dose to the tumor without higher toxicity. Esophagectomy following radiochemotherapy could improve survival rates compared to definitive radiochemotherapy, but it is necessary to optimize selection criteria for surgery at the re-evaluation phase.
    Tumori 09/2005; 91(5):406-14. · 1.27 Impact Factor