PURPOSE: 1. To determine the effect of Superior Vena Cava (SVC) syndrome dose radiotherapy on dyspnea among patients with SVC syndrome. 2. To determine if the addition of steroids have a significant effect on dyspnea in patients with SVC syndrome.
METHODS: This is a prospective observational study. Twenty three patients aged 19 years old and above who were admitted at UP-PGH from August 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006. Exclusion from the study includes SVC syndrome with prior or concurrent chemotherapy, prior surgery of the thorax, and those who cannot tolerate radiotherapy. After an informed consent was obtained, participants received SVC dose radiotherapy ( total of 300cGy or 400 cGy in 3 or 4 days respectively). A modified Borg scale score was obtained prior to, on the 3rd day of radiotherapy and on the 7th day after SVC dose was given.
RESULTS: There is a significant reduction in the modified Borg scale score on the 3rd day of radiotherapy and on the 7th day after SVC dose radiotherapy was given to the patients. The adjunctive use of steroids had no significant effect on dyspnea compared to radiotherapy alone.
CONCLUSION: SVC dose radiotherapy is an effective palliative treatment in patients with SVC syndrome. Concurrent use of steroids does not offer additional benefit in patients enrolled in the study.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: SVC syndrome dose radiotherapy is well tolerated and significantly reduced the severity of dyspnea, which can be translated to better quality of life. Thus, it is an effective palliative strategy in patients with SVC syndrome.
DISCLOSURE: Judith Sanico-Soliano, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information