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Intercapillary distance measurement as an indicator of hypoxia in carcinoma of the cervix uteri

Intercapillary distance measurement as an indicator of hypoxia in carcinoma of the cervix uteri

International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 12(8): 1329-1333

The mean tumor intercapillary distance (ICD) was measured in 44 patients in Stages IIB and III carcinoma of the cervix uteri using a histo-chemical procedure for staining capillary endothelial cells. A mean ICD of 304 +/- 30 microns was obtained, which was independent of the clinical stage and histological grade of differentiation. For each tumor, the proportion of ICD's greater than an arbitrarily chosen value of 300 microns (approximately twice the maximum oxygen diffusion range) was calculated using the normal frequency distribution statistics. The mean ICD and this proportion decreased progressively during the course of external beam pelvic irradiation up to a dose of 4000 cGy. The mean ICD was greater in patients who suffered local recurrence within two years than in patients whose tumors remained controlled. This applied to pre-treatment values and measurements performed after the delivery of 2000 and 4000 cGy. The proportion of ICD's greater than 300 microns showed a similar trend. No significant correlation was found between the hemoglobin concentration at time of presentation and either the mean ICD, or the probability of local control. It is proposed that ICD measurement may be a useful tool to identify subgroups of tumors where hypoxia can interfere with the effectiveness of radiotherapy.

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Accession: 028560970

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PMID: 3759554

DOI: 10.1016/0360-3016(86)90165-3

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