Treatment Outcomes of Patients with Superior Vena Cava Syndrome who Received High Dose Radiotherapy at UP – PGH from 2009 – 2011

Maria Teresa U. Benedicto, Jubert P. Benedicto, Marbe Joy A. Depayso and
Elaine Johana C. Limkin

Section of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiology, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila


Background. 85% of cases of Superior Vena Cava Obstruction (SVCO) are caused by malignancy. Radiation therapy (RT) is an effective therapeutic modality for SVCO localized in the thorax, especially for obstructive causes.

Objective. To determine the clinical profile and outcomes of patients who received radiation treatment at UP-PGH from January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2001.

Methods. Records of patients with SVCO were reviewed. The patient's demographic profiles were collected. Outcomes were labaled as recovered, improved, not improved and died based on standard definitions.

Study Design. Retrospective, descriptive study.

Study Setting. Philippine General Hospital

Study Population. UP-PGH patients with SVCO from 2009-2011.

Results. The majority of the referrals were from general medicine (50%) and the most common symptom was dyspnea (73%); however, it took the patients 2-4 weeks from the onset of symptoms to seek consult. 36% of patients had lung adenocarcinoma with disseminated disease at diagnosis. The majority (73%) showed symptomatic response after receiving the SVC dose.

Conclusion. The importance of multidisciplinary approach to patient care cannot be overemphasized. Improvement in signs and symptoms, particularly with that of dyspnea, was noted in 72.5% of patients after receiving radiation therapy. Of the 8 patients who followed up for completion therapy, 5/8 of them reported significant improvement.

Key Words: SVC Syndrome, obstruction, outcome, radiotherapy