The effects of liver directed radiotherapy and chemotherapy on liver function tests and hematological parameters in patients with surgically resected colon cancer: findings from the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group.
The effects on liver function tests of liver-directed radiation (RT) and systemic chemotherapy (CT) were examined at 6 months after initiation of treatment on two Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group protocols. Data from patients on protocol GI 6175 (adjuvant CT or no adjuvant therapy) were used to evaluate the effect of CT alone, and data from patients on protocol GI 6179 (adjuvant CT plus liver directed RT or no adjuvant therapy) were used to evaluate the combined effects of CT and RT. Finally, data from patients on GI 6179 who received less than protocol specified RT doses were used to determine whether minor differences in dose are detectable via liver function tests. In 40 patients receiving CT, the serum level of alkaline phosphatase was not significantly increased (p = 0.14) compared to that of control patients whereas the level of serum glutamate oxoloacetate transaminase was significantly elevated (p = 0.03). In 31 patients receiving both CT and RT, both alkaline phosphatase and SGOT were significantly elevated (both p = 0.03). In addition, in 19 patients who received less than full RT doses, the changes in dose were not detectable from those patients who received full dose (all p greater than 0.10). In summary, CT alone may elevate hepatocellular enzymes, whereas a combination of CT and liver-directed RT is associated with a significant increase in both SGOT and alkaline phosphatase. Small alterations in the dose of volume of RT are not detectable by liver function test variations.