A Randomized Controlled Trial of Novel Treatment for Hemorrhagic Radiation Proctitis
Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP. 2020;21(10):2927-2934
BACKGROUND Various methods have been used for treatment of hemorrhagic radiation proctitis (HRP) with variable results. Currently, the preferred treatment is formalin application or endoscopic therapy with argon plasma coagulation. Recently, a novel therapy with colonic water irrigation and oral antibiotics showed promising results and more effective compared to 4% formalin application for HRP. The study objective is to compare the effect of water irrigation and oral antibiotics versus 4% formalin application in improving per rectal bleeding due to HRP and related symptoms such as diarrhoea, tenesmus, stool frequency, stool urgency and endoscopic findings. METHODS We conducted a study on 34 patients with HRP and randomly assigned the patients to two treatment arm groups (n=17). The formalin group underwent 4% formalin dab and another session 4 weeks later. The irrigation group self-administered daily rectal irrigation at home for 8 weeks and consumed oral metronidazole and ciprofloxacin during the first one week. We measured the patients' symptoms and endoscopic findings before and after total of 8 weeks of treatment in both groups. RESULTS Our study showed that HRP patients had reduced per rectal bleeding (p = 0.003) in formalin group, whereas irrigation group showed reduced diarrhoea (p=0.018) and tenesmus (p=0.024) symptoms. The comparison between the two treatment arms showed that irrigation technique was better than formalin technique for tenesmus (p=0.043) symptom only. CONCLUSION This novel treatment showed benefit in treating HRP. It could be a new treatment option which is safe and conveniently self-administered at home or used as a combination with other therapies to improve the treatment outcome for HRP.