A technique for transperineal high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy and needle biopsy in a standard 1.5 T MRI scanner is demonstrated. In each of eight procedures (in four patients with intermediate to high risk localized prostate cancer), four MRI-guided transperineal prostate biopsies were obtained followed by placement of 14–15 hollow transperineal catheters for HDR brachytherapy. Mean needle-placement accuracy was 2.1 mm, 95% of needle-placement errors were less than 4.0 mm, and the maximum needle-placement error was 4.4 mm. In addition to guiding the placement of biopsy needles and brachytherapy catheters, MR images were also used for brachytherapy treatment planning and optimization. Because 1.5 T MR images are directly acquired during the interventional procedure, dependence on deformable registration is reduced and online image quality is maximized.
MRI; brachytherapy; prostate; prostatic neoplasms; biopsy; interventional MRI
To report early observation of transient PSA elevations on this pilot study of external beam radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost.
Materials and methods
Eleven patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localized prostate cancer received MRI guided HDR brachytherapy (10.5 Gy each fraction) before and after a course of external beam radiotherapy (46 Gy). Two patients continued on hormones during follow-up and were censored for this analysis. Four patients discontinued hormone therapy after RT. Five patients did not receive hormones. PSA bounce is defined as a rise in PSA values with a subsequent fall below the nadir value or to below 20% of the maximum PSA level. Six previously published definitions of biochemical failure to distinguish true failure from were tested: definition 1, rise >0.2 ng/mL; definition 2, rise >0.4 ng/mL; definition 3, rise >35% of previous value; definition 4, ASTRO defined guidelines, definition 5 nadir + 2 ng/ml, and definition 6, nadir + 3 ng/ml.
Median follow-up was 24 months (range 18–36 mo). During follow-up, the incidence of transient PSA elevation was: 55% for definition 1, 44% for definition 2, 55% for definition 3, 33% for definition 4, 11% for definition 5, and 11% for definition 6.
We observed a substantial incidence of transient elevations in PSA following combined external beam radiation and HDR brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Such elevations seem to be self-limited and should not trigger initiation of salvage therapies. No definition of failure was completely predictive.
Radical radiotherapy is one of the options for the management of prostate cancer. In external beam therapy, 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) are the options for delivery of increased radiation dose, as vital organs are very close to the prostate and a higher dose to these structures leads to an increased toxicity. In brachytherapy, low dose rate brachytherapy with permanent implant of radioactive seeds and high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR) with remote after loaders are available. A dosimetric analysis has been made on IMRT and HDR brachytherapy plans. Ten cases from each IMRT and HDR brachytherapy have been taken for the study. The analysis includes comparison of conformity and homogeneity indices, D100, D95, D90, D80, D50, D10 and D5 of the target. For the organs at risk (OAR), namely rectum and bladder, V100, V90 and V50 are compared. In HDR brachytherapy, the doses to 1 cc and 0.1 cc of urethra have also been studied. Since a very high dose surrounds the source, the 300% dose volumes in the target and within the catheters are also studied in two plans, to estimate the actual volume of target receiving dose over 300%. This study shows that the prescribed dose covers 93 and 92% of the target volume in IMRT and HDR brachytherapy respectively. HDR brachytherapy delivers a much lesser dose to OAR, compared to the IMRT. For rectum, the V50 in IMRT is 34.0cc whilst it is 7.5cc in HDR brachytherapy. With the graphic optimization tool in HDR brachytherapy planning, the dose to urethra could be kept within 120% of the target dose. Hence it is concluded that HDR brachytherapy may be the choice of treatment for cancer of prostate in the early stage.
Brachytherapy; conformity; intensity modulated radiotherapy; prostate
High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as monotherapy is a comparatively new brachytherapy procedure for prostate cancer. In addition to the intrinsic advantages of brachytherapy, including radiation dose concentration to the tumor and rapid dose fall-off at the surrounding normal tissue, HDR brachytherapy can yield a more homogeneous and conformal dose distribution through image-based decisions for source dwell positions and by optimization of individual source dwell times. Indication can be extended even to T3a/b or a part of T4 tumors because the applicators can be positioned at the extracapsular lesion, into the seminal vesicles, and/or into the bladder, without any risk of source migration or dropping out. Unlike external beam radiotherapy, with HDR brachytherapy inter-/intra-fraction organ motion is not problematic. However, HDR monotherapy requires patients to stay in bed for 1–4 days during hospitalization, even though the actual overall treatment time is short. Recent findings that the α/β value for prostate cancer is less than that for the surrounding late-responding normal tissue has made hypofractionation attractive, and HDR monotherapy can maximize this advantage of hypofractionation. Research on HDR monotherapy is accelerating, with a growing number of publications reporting excellent preliminary clinical results due to the high ‘biologically effective dose (BED)’ of >200 Gy. Moreover, the findings obtained for HDR monotherapy as an early model of extreme hypofractionation tend to be applied to other radiotherapy techniques such as stereotactic radiotherapy. All these developments point to the emerging role of HDR brachytherapy as monotherapy for prostate cancer.
prostate cancer; high-dose-rate (HDR); brachytherapy; monotherapy; hypofractionation
Prostate brachytherapy can be used as a monotherapy for low- and intermediate-risk patients or in combination with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as a form of dose escalation for selected intermediate- and high-risk patients. Prostate brachytherapy with either permanent implants (low dose rate [LDR]) or temporary implants (high dose rate [HDR]) is emerging as the most effective radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Several large Canadian brachytherapy programs were established in the mid- to late-1990s. Prostate brachytherapy is offered in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. We anticipate the need for brachytherapy services in Canada will significantly increase in the near future. In this review, we summarize brachytherapy programs across Canada, contemporary eligibility criteria for the procedure, toxicity and prostate-specific antigen recurrence free survival (PRFS), as published from Canadian institutions for both LDR and HDR brachytherapy.
Permanent low-dose-rate (LDR-BT) and temporary high-dose-rate (HDR-BT) brachytherapy are competitive techniques for clinically localized prostate radiotherapy. Although a randomized trial will likely never to be conducted comparing these two forms of brachytherapy, a comparative analysis proves useful in understanding some of their intrinsic differences, several of which could be exploited to improve outcomes. The aim of this paper is to look for possible similarities and differences between both brachytherapy modalities. Indications and contraindications for monotherapy and for brachytherapy as a boost to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) are presented. It is suggested that each of these techniques has attributes that advocates for one or the other. First, they represent the extreme ends of the spectrum with respect to dose rate and fractionation, and therefore have inherently different radiobiological properties. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has the great advantage of being practically a one-time procedure, and enjoys a long-term follow-up database supporting its excellent outcomes and low morbidity. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy has been a gold standard for prostate brachytherapy in low risk patients since many years. On the other hand, HDR is a fairly invasive procedure requiring several sessions associated with a brief hospital stay. Although lacking in significant long-term data, it possesses the technical advantage of control over its postimplant dosimetry (by modulating the source dwell time and position), which is absent in LDR brachytherapy. This important difference in dosimetric control allows HDR doses to be escalated safely, a flexibility that does not exist for LDR brachytherapy.
Radiobiological models support the current clinical evidence for equivalent outcomes in localized prostate cancer with either LDR or HDR brachytherapy, using current dose regimens. At present, all available clinical data regarding these two techniques suggests that they are equally effective, stage for stage, in providing high tumor control rates.
brachytherapy; HDR; LDR; prostate cancer; seeds
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy of a single implant with two fractions plus external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for hormone-naïve prostate cancer in comparison with radical prostatectomy. Of 150 patients with localized prostate cancer (T1c–T2c), 59 underwent HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, and 91 received radical prostatectomy. The median follow-up of patients was 62 months for HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, and 64 months for radical prostatectomy. In patient backgrounds between the two cohorts, the frequency of T2b plus T2c was greater in HDR brachytherapy cohort than in prostatectomy cohort (27% versus 12%, p = 0.029). Patients in HDR brachytherapy cohort first underwent 3D conformal RT with four beams to the prostate to an isocentric dose of 50 Gy in 25 fractions and then, a total of 15–18 Gy in two fractions at least 5 hours apart. We prescribed 9 Gy/fraction for target (prostate gland plus 3 mm lateral outside margin and seminal vesicle) using CT image method for radiation planning. The total biochemical failure-free control rates (BF-FCR) at 3 and 5 years for the HDR brachytherapy cohort, and for the prostatectomy cohort were 92% and 85%, and 72% and 72%, respectively (significant difference, p = 0.0012). The 3-and 5-year BF-FCR in the HDR brachytherapy cohort and in the prostatectomy cohort by risk group was 100 and 100%, and 80 and 80%, respectively, for the low-risk group (p = 0.1418); 92 and 92%, 73 and 73%, respectively, for the intermediate-risk group (p = 0.0492); and 94 and 72%, 45 and 45%, respectively, for the high-risk group (p = 0.0073). After HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT, no patient experienced Grade 2 or greater genitourinay toxicity. The rate of late Grade 1 and 2 GI toxicity was 6% (n = 4). No patient experienced Grade 3 GI toxicity. HDR brachytherapy plus EBRT is useful for treating patients with hormone-naïve localized prostate cancer, and has low GU and GI toxicities.
prostate cancer; high dose rate brachytherapy; external beam radiation therapy; radical prostatectomy
It is known that the vast majority of prostate cancers are multifocal. However radical radiotherapy historically treats the whole gland rather than individual cancer foci.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can be used to non-invasively locate individual cancerous tumours in prostate. Thus an intentionally non-uniform dose distribution treating the dominant intraprostatic lesion to different dose levels than the remaining prostate can be delivered ensuring the maximum achievable tumour control probability.
The aim of this study is to evaluate, using radiobiological means, the feasibility of a MRS-guided high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost to the dominant lesion.
Computed tomography and MR/MRS were performed for treatment planning of a high risk localised prostate cancer. Both were done without endorectal coil, which distorts shape of prostate during the exams.
Three treatment plans were compared:
- external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) only
- combination of EBRT and HDR brachytherapy
- combination of EBRT and HDR brachytherapy with a synchronous integrated boost to the dominant lesion
The criteria of plan comparison were: the minimum, maximum and average doses to the targets and organs at risk; dose volume histograms; biologically effective doses for organs at risk and tumour control probability for the target volumes consisting of the dominant lesion as detected by MR/MRS and the remaining prostate volume.
Inclusion of MRS information on the location of dominant lesion allows a safe increase of the dose to the dominant lesion while dose to the remaining target can be even substantially decreased keeping the same, high tumour control probability. At the same time an improved urethra sparing was achieved comparing to the treatment plan using a combination of EBRT and uniform HDR brachytherapy.
MRS-guided HDR brachytherapy boost to dominant lesion has the potential to spare the normal tissue, especially urethra, while keeping the tumour control probability high.
Objectives: Some patients are medically unfit for or averse to undergoing a brachytherapy boost as part of cervical cancer radiotherapy. In order to be able to definitively treat these patients, we assessed whether we could achieve a boost plan that would mimic our brachytherapy plans using external beam radiotherapy.
Methods: High dose rate brachytherapy plans of 20 patients with stage IIB cervical cancer treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy were included in this study. Patients had undergone computer tomography (CT) simulations with tandem and ovoids in place. Point “A” dose was 600–700 cGy. We attempted to replicate the boost dose distribution from brachytherapy plans using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA), volumetric modulated arc therapy (Rapid Arc, Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA), or TomoTherapy (Accuray, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA) with the brachytherapy 100% isodose line as our target. Target coverage, normal tissue dose, and brachytherapy point doses were compared with ANOVA. Two-sided p-values ≤0.05 were considered significant.
Results: External beam plans had excellent planning target volume (PTV) coverage, with no difference in mean PTV V95% among planning techniques (range 98–100%). External beam plans had lower bladder Dmax, small intestine Dmax, and vaginal mucosal point dose than brachytherapy plans, with no difference in bladder point dose, mean bladder dose, mean small intestine dose, or rectal dose. Femoral head dose, parametria point dose, and pelvic sidewall point dose were higher with external beam techniques than brachytherapy.
Conclusions: External beam plans had comparable target coverage and potential for improved sparing of most normal tissues compared to tandem and ovoid brachytherapy.
cervical cancer; brachytherapy; external beam radiotherapy
The aim of this study was to analyse the feasibility and determine the benefits of MRI-based pre-planning with CT/MRI data fusion in patients with cervical cancer treated with radical radiotherapy.
Patients underwent MRI examination prior to external beam radiotherapy and prior to the first and fourth fraction of brachytherapy with applicators in place. Insertion of applicators at the radiology department was performed under paracervical anaesthesia. The benefit of MRI pre-planning was determined by comparing conventional treatment planning with dose specification to “point A” and dose specification to 90% of the high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV D90). Tolerance of MRI evaluation with applicators, coverage of HR-CTV and dose–volume parameters for organs at risk (OAR) has been assessed in 42 brachytherapy procedures.
Insertion of applicators at the radiology department was successful in all patients and there were no complications. The target dose was higher for MRI planning than for conventional planning (5.3 Gy vs 4.5 Gy). Maximum doses in the bladder and rectum were significantly lower (p<0.05) for MRI planning than for the conventional approach (6.49 Gy vs 7.45 Gy for bladder; 4.57 Gy vs 5.06 Gy for rectum). We found no correlation between the International Commission on Radiation Units (ICRU) point dose for OAR and the maximum dose in OAR. Nevertheless, a strong correlation between the maximum dose in OAR and the minimal dose in a volume of 2 cm3 has been observed.
MRI-based pre-planning with consecutive CT/MRI data fusion is feasible and safe, with the advantage of increasing the dose to the tumour and decreasing the dose to the organs at risk.
Brachytherapy results in better dose distribution compared with other treatments because of steep dose reduction in the surrounding normal tissues. Excellent local control rates and acceptable side effects have been demonstrated with brachytherapy as a sole treatment modality, a postoperative method, and a method of reirradiation. Low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy has been employed worldwide for its superior outcome. With the advent of technology, high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has enabled health care providers to avoid radiation exposure. This therapy has been used for treating many types of cancer such as gynecological cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. However, LDR and pulsed-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapies have been mainstays for head and neck cancer. HDR brachytherapy has not become widely used in the radiotherapy community for treating head and neck cancer because of lack of experience and biological concerns. On the other hand, because HDR brachytherapy is less time-consuming, treatment can occasionally be administered on an outpatient basis. For the convenience and safety of patients and medical staff, HDR brachytherapy should be explored. To enhance the role of this therapy in treatment of head and neck lesions, we have reviewed its outcomes with oral cancer, including Phase I/II to Phase III studies, evaluating this technique in terms of safety and efficacy. In particular, our studies have shown that superficial tumors can be treated using a non-invasive mold technique on an outpatient basis without adverse reactions. The next generation of image-guided brachytherapy using HDR has been discussed. In conclusion, although concrete evidence is yet to be produced with a sophisticated study in a reproducible manner, HDR brachytherapy remains an important option for treatment of oral cancer.
brachytherapy; oral cancer; high dose rate
The paper presents a robotic method of performing low dose rate prostate brachytherapy under magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. The design and operation of a fully automated MR compatible seed injector is presented. This is used with the MrBot robot for transperineal percutaneous prostate access. A new image-registration marker and algorithms are also presented. The system is integrated and tested with a 3T MRI scanner. Tests compare three different registration methods, assess the precision of performing automated seed deployment, and use the seeds to assess the accuracy of needle targeting under image guidance. Under the ideal conditions of the in vitro experiments, results show outstanding image-guided needle and seed placement accuracy.
Brachytherapy; IGI; image-guided robot; MR Compatible
To investigate the possibility of localization of intraprostatic lesions (IL) with contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to support the brachytherapy treatment planning of temporary implants.
Material and methods
Two brachytherapy treatment plans were generated for 8 patients treated with external beam radiotherapy and pulsed-dose rate brachytherapy boost for prostate cancer. The first and second brachytherapy treatment plan was without and with knowledge of the localization of the ILs, respectively. Pairwise comparison was performed on prostate, rectum, and urethra dose-volume parameters and total reference air kerma (TRAK)-values.
Coverage of the ILs by the 140% isodose was increased from mean 66.0-67.7% for the standard plan to mean 92.5-95.7% for the adapted plan. The mean D90 of the ILs increased from 1.49-1.57 Gy/pulse to 1.76-1.81 Gy/pulse. Dose-volume parameters for the prostate, rectum, and urethra and the TRAK did not change.
CEUS technique is a promising method for IL localization to aid in brachytherapy treatment planning. Dose coverage on the IL could be improved without any increase of dose in organs at risk.
contrast-media; ultrasonography; image-processing; brachytherapy planning; prostate
Intracavitary brachytherapy is an integral part of radiotherapy for locally advanced gynecologic malignancies. A dosimetric intercomparison of high dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR_BT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy in cervical carcinoma has been made in the present study. CT scan images of 10 patients treated with HDR_BT were used for this study. A sliding-window IMRT (IMRT_SW) and step-and-shoot IMRT plans were generated using 6-MV X-rays. The cumulative dose volume histograms of target, bladder, rectum and normal tissue were analyzed for both techniques and dose distributions were compared. It was seen that the pear-shaped dose distribution characteristic of intracavitary brachytherapy with sharp dose fall-off outside the target could be achieved with IMRT. The integral dose to planning target volume was significantly higher with HDR_BT in comparison with IMRT. Significant differences between the two techniques were seen for doses to 1 cc and 2 cc of rectum, while the differences in 1 cc and 2 cc doses to bladder were not significant. The integral doses to the nontarget critical and normal structures were smaller with HDR_BT and with IMRT. It is concluded that IMRT can be the choice of treatment in case of non-availability of HDR brachytherapy facilities or when noninvasive treatments are preferred
Cervical carcinoma; high dose rate; intensity-modulated radiotherapy; intracavitary brachytherapy
Low-dose rate brachytherapy has become a mainstream treatment option for men diagnosed with prostate cancer because of excellent long-term treatment outcomes in low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients. To a great extend due to patient lead advocacy for minimally invasive treatment options, high-quality prostate implants have become widely available in the US, Europe, and Japan. High-dose-rate (HDR) afterloading brachytherapy in the management of localised prostate cancer has practical, physical, and biological advantages over low-dose-rate seed brachytherapy. There are no free live sources used, no risk of source loss, and since the implant is a temporary procedure following discharge no issues with regard to radioprotection use of existing facilities exist. Patients with localized prostate cancer may benefit from high-dose-rate brachytherapy, which may be used alone in certain circumstances or in combination with external-beam radiotherapy in other settings. The purpose of this paper is to present the essentials of brachytherapies techniques along with the most important studies that support their effectiveness in the treatment of prostate cancer.
In high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, the source dwell times and dwell positions are vital parameters in achieving a desirable implant dose distribution. Inverse treatment planning requires an optimal choice of these parameters to achieve the desired target coverage with the lowest achievable dose to the organs at risk (OAR). This study was designed to evaluate the optimum source step size and maximum source dwell time for prostate brachytherapy implants using an Ir-192 source. In total, one hundred inverse treatment plans were generated for the four patients included in this study. Twenty-five treatment plans were created for each patient by varying the step size and maximum source dwell time during anatomy-based, inverse-planned optimization. Other relevant treatment planning parameters were kept constant, including the dose constraints and source dwell positions. Each plan was evaluated for target coverage, urethral and rectal dose sparing, treatment time, relative target dose homogeneity, and nonuniformity ratio. The plans with 0.5 cm step size were seen to have clinically acceptable tumor coverage, minimal normal structure doses, and minimum treatment time as compared with the other step sizes. The target coverage for this step size is 87% of the prescription dose, while the urethral and maximum rectal doses were 107.3 and 68.7%, respectively. No appreciable difference in plan quality was observed with variation in maximum source dwell time. The step size plays a significant role in plan optimization for prostate implants. Our study supports use of a 0.5 cm step size for prostate implants.
High dose rate brachytherapy; inverse optimization; adoptive volume optimization; step size; dwell time
Brachytherapy plays a significant role in the management of cervical cancer, but the clinical significance of brachytherapy in the management of vaginal cancer remains to be defined. Thus, a single institutional experience in the treatment of primary invasive vaginal carcinoma was reviewed to define the role of brachytherapy. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 36 patients with primary vaginal carcinoma who received definitive radiotherapy between 1992 and 2010. The treatment modalities included high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy alone (HDR-ICBT; two patients), external beam radiation therapy alone (EBRT; 14 patients), a combination of EBRT and HDR-ICBT (10 patients), or high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy (HDR-ISBT; 10 patients). The median follow-up was 35.2 months. The 2-year local control rate (LCR), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were 68.8%, 55.3% and 73.9%, respectively. The 2-year LCR for Stage I, II, III and IV was 100%, 87.5%, 51.5% and 0%, respectively (P = 0.007). In subgroup analysis consisting only of T2–T3 disease, the use of HDR-ISBT showed marginal significance for favorable 5-year LCR (88.9% vs 46.9%, P = 0.064). One patient each developed Grade 2 proctitis, Grade 2 cystitis, and a vaginal ulcer. We conclude that brachytherapy can play a central role in radiation therapy for primary vaginal cancer. Combining EBRT and HDR-ISBT for T2–T3 disease resulted in good local control.
primary vaginal cancer; radiation therapy; high-dose-rate brachytherapy; intracavitary brachytherapy; interstitial brachytherapy
To assess brachytherapy catheter positioning accuracy and to evaluate the effects of prolonged irradiation time on the tolerance dose of normal liver parenchyma following single-fraction irradiation with 192 Ir.
Materials and methods
Fifty patients with 76 malignant liver tumors treated by computed tomography (CT)-guided high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) were included in the study. The prescribed radiation dose was delivered by 1 - 11 catheters with exposure times in the range of 844 - 4432 seconds. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets for assessing irradiation effects on normal liver tissue, edema, and hepatocyte dysfunction, obtained 6 and 12 weeks after HDR-BT, were merged with 3D dosimetry data. The isodose of the treatment plan covering the same volume as the irradiation effect was taken as a surrogate for the liver tissue tolerance dose. Catheter positioning accuracy was assessed by calculating the shift between the 3D center coordinates of the irradiation effect volume and the tolerance dose volume for 38 irradiation effects in 30 patients induced by catheters implanted in nearly parallel arrangement. Effects of prolonged irradiation were assessed in areas where the irradiation effect volume and tolerance dose volume did not overlap (mismatch areas) by using a catheter contribution index. This index was calculated for 48 irradiation effects induced by at least two catheters in 44 patients.
Positioning accuracy of the brachytherapy catheters was 5-6 mm. The orthogonal and axial shifts between the center coordinates of the irradiation effect volume and the tolerance dose volume in relation to the direction vector of catheter implantation were highly correlated and in first approximation identically in the T1-w and T2-w MRI sequences (p = 0.003 and p < 0.001, respectively), as were the shifts between 6 and 12 weeks examinations (p = 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively). There was a significant shift of the irradiation effect towards the catheter entry site compared with the planned dose distribution (p < 0.005). Prolonged treatment time increases the normal tissue tolerance dose. Here, the catheter contribution indices indicated a lower tolerance dose of the liver parenchyma in areas with prolonged irradiation (p < 0.005).
Positioning accuracy of brachytherapy catheters is sufficient for clinical practice. Reduced tolerance dose in areas exposed to prolonged irradiation is contradictory to results published in the current literature. Effects of prolonged dose administration on the liver tolerance dose for treatment times of up to 60 minutes per HDR-BT session are not pronounced compared to effects of positioning accuracy of the brachytherapy catheters and are therefore of minor importance in treatment planning.
To investigate the dosimetric impact of point A definitions on both conventional point A plans and MRI-guided conformal high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy plans.
Material and methods
Fifty-five HDR plans of 36 patients with FIGO stage I to IV cervical cancer were retrospectively studied; these included 30 conventional treatments and 25 conformal plans. Two different point A definitions were explored: the revised Manchester point A and the new point A as recommended by the American Brachytherapy Society. Conventional plans were produced by varying only the point A definition and the normalized isodose lines. Conformal plans were retrospectively generated per GEC-ESTRO recommendations based upon 3.0 Tesla MRI data.
Small yet significant variations were found in point A locations (mean: 0.5 cm, maximum: 2.1 cm, p < 0.001). The use of a new point A caused minimal dose variation for both conventional and conformal plans. Conventional plans normalized to the new point A generated up to 12% (avg. 1-3%) higher overall dose in terms of higher total reference air kerma than plans normalized to other points. Dosimetric changes due to point A definitions were up to 11-12% (avg. less than 2%) on target volumes or organs-at-risk.
For both conventional and conformal plans, the new point A definition leads to smaller variations caused during implant and/or differences in patient anatomy. Using the new point A is expected to produce more consistent brachytherapy plans and improve outcome analysis.
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; high-dose-rate brachytherapy; MRI-guided; point A
Purpose: To evaluated prognostic factors and impact of the quality of planning of high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) for patients with local or locally advanced prostate cancer treated with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and HDR-BT.
Methods and Materials: Between 1997 and 2005, 209 patients with biopsy proven prostate adenocarcinoma were treated with localized EBRT and HDR-BT at the Department of Radiation-Oncology, Hospital A. C. Camargo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Patient's age, Gleason score (GS), clinical stage (CS), initial PSA (iPSA), risk group for biochemical failure (GR), doses of EBRT and HDR-BT, use of three-dimensional planning for HDR-BT (3DHDR) and the Biological Effective Dose (BED) were evaluated as prognostic factors for biochemical control (bC).
Results: Median age and median follow-up time were 68 and 5.3 years, respectively. Median EBRT and HDR-BT doses were 45 Gy and 20 Gy. The crude bC at 3.3 year was 94.2%. For the Low, intermediate and high risk patients the bC rates at 3.3 years were 91.5%, 90.2% and 88.5%, respectively. Overall survival (OS) and disease specific survival rates at 3.3 years were 97.8% and 98.4%, respectively. On univariate analysis the prognostic factors related bC were GR (p= 0.040), GS ≤ 6 (p= 0.002), total dose of HDR-BT ≥ 20 Gy (p< 0.001), 3DHDR (p< 0.001), BED-HDR ≥ 99 Gy1.5 (p<0.001) and BED-TT ≥ 185 (p<0.001). On multivariate analysis the statistical significant predictive factors related to bC were RG (p< 0.001), HDR-BT ≥ 20 Gy (p=0.008) and 3DHDR (p<0.001).
Conclusions: we observed that the bC rates correlates with the generally accepted risk factors described in the literature. Dose escalation, evaluated through the BED, and the quality of planning of HDR-BT are also important predictive factors when treating prostate cancer.
high-dose rate brachytherapy; external beam radiotherapy; prostate cancer; RTOG-ASTRO Phoenix; biochemical failure; biochemical control
To estimate the rate of late grade 3 or greater genitourinary (GU) and gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events (AEs) following treatment with external beam radiation therapy and prostate high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy.
Methods and Materials
Each participating institution submitted CT based HDR brachytherapy dosimetry data electronically for credentialing and for each study patient. Patients with locally confined T1c-T3b prostate cancer were eligible for this study. All patients were treated with 45 Gy in 25 fractions from external beam radiotherapy and one HDR implant delivering 19 Gy in 2 fractions. All AEs were graded according to CTCAEv3.0. Late GU/ GI AEs were defined as those occurring more than nine months from the start of the protocol treatment, in patients with at least 18 months of potential follow-up.
A total of 129 patients from 14 institutions were enrolled in this study. 125 patients were eligible and AE data was available for 112 patients. The pretreatment characteristics of the patients were as follows: T1c-T2c 91%, T3a-T3b 9%, PSA ≤ 10 70%, PSA >10-≤20 30%, GS 2-6 10%, GS 7 72%, and GS 8-10 18%. At a median follow-up time of 29.6 months, 3 acute and 4 late grade 3 GU/GI AEs were reported. The estimated rate of late grade 3-5 GU and GI AE at 18 months was 2.56%.
This is the first prospective, multi-institutional trial of CT based HDR brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy. The technique and doses used in this study resulted in acceptable levels of adverse events.
Prostate cancer; High Dose Rate; Brachytherapy; Prospective multi-institutional clinical trial
High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy is used with increasing frequency for the treatment of prostate cancer. It is a technique which allows delivery of large individual fractions to the prostate without exposing adjacent normal tissues to unacceptable toxicity. This approach is particularly favourable in prostate cancer where tumours are highly sensitive to dose escalation and to increases in radiotherapy fraction size, due to the unique radiobiological behaviour of prostate cancers in contrast with other malignancies. In this paper we discuss the rationale and the increasing body of clinical evidence for the use of this technique in patients with high-risk prostate cancer, where it is combined with external beam radiotherapy. We highlight practical aspects of delivering treatment and discuss toxicity and limitations, with particular reference to current practice in the United Kingdom.
To induce fast relief of dysphagia in patients with oesophageal cancer high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy was applied before external radiotherapy in a prospective study. Seventy-four patients with inoperable oesophageal cancer (36 squamous cell, 38 adenocarcinoma) were treated with a combination of 10 Gy HDR brachytherapy, followed by 40 Gy in 4 weeks external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), starting 2 weeks later. Tumour response, as measured by endoscopy and/or barium swallow, revealed complete remission in 21 and partial response in 38 patients (overall response rate 80%). Improvement of dysphagia was induced by brachytherapy within a few days in 39%, and achieved at the end of treatment in 70% of patients. Further weight loss was prevented in 39 of the 59 patients who presented with weight loss. Pain at presentation improved in 12 out of 25 patients. Median survival was 9 months. No differences in either response rate or survival were found in squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Side-effects were either acute with minimal discomfort in 32 (42%) or late with painful ulceration in five patients (7%), occurring after a median of 4 months. A fistula developed in six patients, all with concurrent tumour. In conclusion, brachytherapy before EBRT was a safe and effective procedure to induce rapid relief of dysphagia, especially when combined with EBRT.
To analyse the overall clinical outcome and benefits by applying protocol based image guided adaptive brachytherapy combined with 3D conformal external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) ± chemotherapy (ChT).
Treatment schedule was EBRT with 45–50.4 Gy ± concomitant cisplatin chemotherapy plus 4 × 7 Gy High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy. Patients were treated in the “protocol period” (2001–2008) with the prospective application of the High Risk CTV concept (D90) and dose volume constraints for organs at risk including biological modelling. Dose volume adaptation was performed with the aim of dose escalation in large tumours (prescribed D90 > 85 Gy), often with inserting additional interstitial needles. Dose volume constraints (D2cc) were 70–75 Gy for rectum and sigmoid and 90 Gy for bladder.
Late morbidity was prospectively scored, using LENT/SOMA Score. Disease outcome and treatment related late morbidity were evaluated and compared using actuarial analysis.
One hundred and fifty-six consecutive patients (median age 58 years) with cervix cancer FIGO stages IB–IVA were treated with definitive radiotherapy in curative intent. Histology was squamous cell cancer in 134 patients (86%), tumour size was >5 cm in 103 patients (66%), lymph node involvement in 75 patients (48%). Median follow-up was 42 months for all patients.
Interstitial techniques were used in addition to intracavitary brachytherapy in 69/156 (44%) patients. Total prescribed mean dose (D90) was 93 ± 13 Gy, D2cc 86 ± 17 Gy for bladder, 65 ± 9 Gy for rectum and 64 ± 9 Gy for sigmoid.
Complete remission was achieved in 151/156 patients (97%). Overall local control at 3 years was 95%; 98% for tumours 2–5 cm, and 92% for tumours >5 cm (p = 0.04), 100% for IB, 96% for IIB, 86% for IIIB. Cancer specific survival at 3 years was overall 74%, 83% for tumours 2–5 cm, 70% for tumours >5 cm, 83% for IB, 84% for IIB, 52% for IIIB. Overall survival at 3 years was in total 68%, 72% for tumours 2–5 cm, 65% for tumours >5 cm, 74% for IB, 78% for IIB, 45% for IIIB.
In regard to late morbidity in total 188 grade 1 + 2 and 11 grade 3 + 4 late events were observed in 143 patients. G1 + 2/G3 + 4 events for bladder were n = 32/3, for rectum n = 14/5, for bowel (including sigmoid) n = 3/0, for vagina n = 128/2, respectively.
3D conformal radiotherapy ± chemotherapy plus image (MRI) guided adaptive intracavitary brachytherapy including needle insertion in advanced disease results in local control rates of 95–100% at 3 years in limited/favourable (IB/IIB) and 85–90% in large/poor response (IIB/III/IV) cervix cancer patients associated with a moderate rate of treatment related morbidity. Compared to the historical Vienna series there is relative reduction in pelvic recurrence by 65–70% and reduction in major morbidity. The local control improvement seems to have impact on CSS and OS. Prospective clinical multi-centre studies are mandatory to evaluate these challenging mono-institutional findings.
Cervical cancer; Image guided adaptive brachytherapy; Clinical outcome; GEC-ESTRO recommendations
External-beam radiation therapy with intracavitary high-dose-rate brachytherapy is the standard treatment modality for advanced cervical cancer; however, late gastrointestinal complications are a major concern after radiotherapy. While radiation proctitis is a well-known side effect and radiation oncologists make an effort to reduce it, the sigmoid colon is often neglected as an organ at risk. Herein, we report two cases of radiation sigmoiditis mimicking sigmoid colon cancer after external-beam radiation therapy with intracavitary high-dose-rate brachytherapy for uterine cervical cancer with dosimetric consideration.
Radiation complication; Radiation therapy; Sigmoiditis; Uterine cervical carcinoma