High-dose-rate brachytherapy in uterine cervical carcinoma.

High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy is in wide use for curative treatment of cervical cancer. The American Brachytherapy Society has recommended that the individual fraction size be <7.5 Gy and the range of fractions should be four to eight; however, many fractionation schedules, varying from institution to institution, are in use. We use 9 Gy/fraction of HDR in two to five fractions in patients with carcinoma of the uterine cervix. We found that our results and toxicity were comparable to those reported in the literature and hereby present our experience with this fractionation schedule.
A total of 121 patients with Stage I-III carcinoma of the uterine cervix were treated with HDR brachytherapy between 1996 and 2000. The total number of patients analyzed was 113. The median patient age was 53 years, and the histopathologic type was squamous cell carcinoma in 93% of patients. The patients were subdivided into Groups 1 and 2. In Group 1, 18 patients with Stage Ib-IIb disease, tumor size <4 cm, and preserved cervical anatomy underwent simultaneous external beam radiotherapy to the pelvis to a dose of 40 Gy in 20 fractions within 4 weeks with central shielding and HDR brachytherapy of 9 Gy/fraction, given weekly, and interdigitated with external beam radiotherapy. The 95 patients in Group 2, who had Stage IIb-IIIb disease underwent external beam radiotherapy to the pelvis to a dose of 46 Gy in 23 fractions within 4.5 weeks followed by two sessions of HDR intracavitary brachytherapy of 9 Gy each given 1 week apart. The follow-up range was 3-7 years (median, 36.4 months). Late toxicity was graded according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group criteria.
The 5-year actuarial local control and disease-free survival rate was 74.5% and 62.0%, respectively. The actuarial local control rate at 5 years was 100% for Stage I, 80% for Stage II, and 67.2% for Stage III patients. The 5-year actuarial disease-free survival rate was 88.8% for Stage I, 76.52% for Stage II, and 50.4% for Stage III patients. Local failure occurred in 2 (11.1%) of the 18 Group 1 patients and in 20 (21.0%) of the 95 Group 2 patients. Distant failure occurred in none of the Group 1 patients and in 8 (8.4%) of the 95 Group 2 patients. None of the patients developed Grade 3 rectal toxicity. Grade 3 bladder toxicity was observed in 2 patients. The actuarial risk of Grade 3 or worse late toxicity was 3.31%.
The results of our study indicate that HDR brachytherapy at 9 Gy/fraction is both safe and effective in the management of carcinoma of the cervix, with good local control and a minimum of normal tissue toxicity.
AuthorsFiruza D Patel, Bhavana Rai, Indranil Mallick, Suresh C Sharma
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys) Vol. 62 Issue 1 Pg. 125-30 (May 1 2005) ISSN: 0360-3016 [Print] United States
PMID15850912 (Publication Type: Evaluation Studies, Journal Article)
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy (adverse effects, methods)
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell (pathology, radiotherapy)
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms (pathology, radiotherapy)

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