Measurement tools for gastrointestinal symptoms in radiation oncology

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Purpose of review

To review the use of measurement tools for reporting gastrointestinal toxicity in radiation oncology to highlight recent findings of potential interest to those involved in the treatment of tumors in the pelvis, assessment of survivorship issues or management of bowel effects.

Recent findings

Multiple measurement tools are being used in radiation oncology studies involving both clinician and patient-reported outcomes. The increasing availability of accurate data on radiation doses and dose–volumes to normal tissues is enabling identification of critical areas where dose should be reduced to minimize organ damage.


Measurement tools for gastrointestinal symptoms are important to highlight therapeutic benefit for the expanding investigations of treatment intensification approaches and methods for toxicity reduction. The increasing use of the CTCAEv3 scales is a step forward, but further research is required to refine the system and improve its ease of use within routine clinical practice.

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