The literature supporting high-dose rate brachytherapy (HDR) in the treatment of cervical carcinoma derives primarily from retrospective series. However, controversy still persists regarding the efficacy and safety of HDR brachytherapy compared to low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, in particular, due to inadequate tumor coverage for stage III patients. Whether LDR or HDR brachytherapy produces better results for these patients in terms of survival rate, local control rate and the treatment complications remain controversial.
A meta-analysis of RCT was performed comparing LDR to HDR brachytherapy for cervix cancer treated for radiotherapy alone. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases, as well as abstracts published in the annual proceedings were systematically searched. We assessed methodological quality for each outcome by grading the quality of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. We used "recommend" for strong recommendations, and "suggest" for weak recommendations.
Pooled results from five randomized trials (2,065 patients) of HDR brachytherapy in cervix cancer showed no significant increase of mortality (p = 0.52), local recurrence (p = 0.68), or late complications (rectal; p = 0.7, bladder; p = 0.95 or small intestine; p = 0.06) rates as compared to LDR brachytherapy. In the subgroup analysis no difference was observed for overall mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stages I, II and III. The quality of evidence was low for mortality and local recurrence in patients with clinical stage I, and moderate for other clinical stages.
Our meta-analysis shows that there are no differences between HDR and LDR for overall survival, local recurrence and late complications for clinical stages I, II and III. By means of the GRADE system, we recommend the use of HDR for all clinical stages of cervix cancer.
The purpose of this work was the biological comparison between Low Dose Rate (LDR) and Pulsed Dose Rate (PDR) in cervical cancer regarding the discontinuation of the afterloading system used for the LDR treatments at our Institution since December 2009.
Material and methods
In the first phase we studied the influence of the pulse dose and the pulse time in the biological equivalence between LDR and PDR treatments using the Linear Quadratic Model (LQM). In the second phase, the equivalent dose in 2 Gy/fraction (EQD2) for the tumor, rectum and bladder in treatments performed with both techniques was evaluated and statistically compared. All evaluated patients had stage IIB cervical cancer and were treated with External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) plus two Brachytherapy (BT) applications. Data were collected from 48 patients (26 patients treated with LDR and 22 patients with PDR).
In the analyses of the influence of PDR parameters in the biological equivalence between LDR and PDR treatments (Phase 1), it was calculated that if the pulse dose in PDR was kept equal to the LDR dose rate, a small the-rapeutic loss was expected. If the pulse dose was decreased, the therapeutic window became larger, but a correction in the prescribed dose was necessary. In PDR schemes with 1 hour interval between pulses, the pulse time did not influence significantly the equivalent dose. In the comparison between the groups treated with LDR and PDR (Phase 2) we concluded that they were not equivalent, because in the PDR group the total EQD2 for the tumor, rectum and bladder was smaller than in the LDR group; the LQM estimated that a correction in the prescribed dose of 6% to 10% was ne-cessary to avoid therapeutic loss.
A correction in the prescribed dose was necessary; this correction should be achieved by calculating the PDR dose equivalent to the desired LDR total dose.
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; LDR; PDR; EQD2; LQM
This report presents the 2011 update to the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy guidelines for locally advanced cervical cancer.
Members of the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) with expertise in cervical cancer brachytherapy formulated updated guidelines for HDR brachytherapy using tandem and ring, ovoids, cylinder or interstitial applicators for locally advanced cervical cancer were revised based on medical evidence in the literature and input of clinical experts in gynecologic brachytherapy.
The Cervical Cancer Committee for Guideline Development affirms the essential curative role of tandem-based brachytherapy in the management of locally advanced cervical cancer. Proper applicator selection, insertion, and imaging are fundamental aspects of the procedure. Three-dimensional imaging with magnetic resonance or computed tomography or radiographic imaging may be used for treatment planning. Dosimetry must be performed after each insertion prior to treatment delivery. Applicator placement, dose specification and dose fractionation must be documented, quality assurance measures must be performed, and follow-up information must be obtained. A variety of dose/fractionation schedules and methods for integrating brachytherapy with external-beam radiation exist. The recommended tumor dose in 2 Gray (Gy) per fraction radiobiologic equivalence (EQD2) is 80–90 Gy, depending on tumor size at the time of brachytherapy. Dose limits for normal tissues are discussed.
These guidelines update those of 2000 and provide a comprehensive description of HDR cervical cancer brachytherapy in 2011.
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
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
An evaluation of CT plan data, using cylinder applicators, in fractionated HDR treatments of cervical cancers has been investigated in this clinical study. Critical and statistical analysis of the data, for each patient and fraction, for plan dose, doses for bladder and rectum have been enumerated and reported. Plans were done for each patient, following CT scans after insertion of the applicator in the respective cases. This process involved time for CT-scan and re-plan, in each fraction, adding cost of treatments for the poor patients.
Material and methods
This study on HDR brachytherapy for cervical cancer patients has applied the Co-60 BEBIG Multisource Unit. Cylinder applicators have been applied for treatments. A selection of twenty nine patients, out of a few hundred representative female patients, in the age group of 40-70 years, has been analyzed and presented in this paper. Radiation oncologists inserted the applicator and fixed it in more than 600 treatments. This study, therefore, aimed at their insertion technique, CT-planning by radiation oncology physicists and the delivery of the treatments. Details of set up and technique has been explained, where bladder and rectum doses has been assessed within the tolerance limit .
Statistical analysis of data from the treatment plans, substantiates the conclusion of the argument that there is no need to do CT-plans for each subsequently prescribed number of fractions as the doses in plan, bladder and rectum are restricted within the limits of tolerance. Data in Table 1 are analyzed in various graphs. This utilized the Empirical Null Distribution of Group Differences. A graphic study of dose distribution is reported to assure the expected variation of dose from the central tandem. This analysis proves to substantiate a protocol that no re-plan for fractionated delivery is essential following the approval of the first plan.
The goal of this study was to critically evaluate the outcome of fractionated cylinder treatments of cervical cancers. This resulted in the set up technique for insertion of applicators and treatment plan, following a CT-scan and the assertion of the argument that re-plans are not necessary for multiple HDR cylinder treatments for the same patient [2, 3].
HDR; cervical cancer; cylinder plan; null distribution
A report of preliminary results and toxicity profiles using image-guided brachytherapy (IGBT) combined with whole pelvic intensity-modulated radiation therapy (WP-IMRT) for locally advanced cervical cancer.
Material and methods
Fifteen patients with locally advanced cervical cancer were enrolled into the study. WP-IMRT was used to treat the Clinical Target Volume (CTV) with a dose of 45 Gy in 25 fractions. Concurrent cisplatin (40 mg/m2) was prescribed during radiotherapy (RT) on weekly basis. IGBT using computed tomography was performed at the dose of 7 Gy × 4 fractions to the High-Risk Clinical Target Volume (HR-CTV).
The mean cumulative doses – in terms of equivalent dose of 2 Gy (EQD2) – of IGBT plus WP-IMRT to HR-CTV, bladder, rectum, and sigmoid colon were 88.3, 85.0, 68.2 and 73.6 Gy, respectively. In comparison with standard (point A prescription) dose-volume histograms, volume-based image-guided brachytherapy improved the cumulative doses for bladder of 67%, rectum of 47% and sigmoid of 46%. At the median follow-up time of 14 months, the local control, metastasis-free survival and overall survival rates were 93%, 100% and 93%, respectively. No grade 3-4 acute and late toxicities were observed.
The combination of image-guided brachytherapy and intensity-modulated radiotherapy improved the dose distribution to tumor volumes and avoided overdose in OARs which could be converted in excellent local control and toxicity profiles.
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; IGBT; IMRT
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
To compare the efficacy and safety of high dose rate (HDR) and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy in treating early-stage oral cancer.
A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases, restricted to English language up to June 1, 2012, was performed to identify potentially relevant studies.
Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) and controlled trials that compared HDR to LDR brachytherapy in treatment of early-stage oral cancer (stages I, II and III) were of interest.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
Two investigators independently extracted data from retrieved studies and controversies were solved by discussion. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.1. One RCT and five controlled trials (607 patients: 447 for LDR and 160 for HDR) met the inclusion criteria. The odds ratio showed no statistically significant difference between LDR group and HDR group in terms of local recurrence (OR = 1.12, CI 95% 0.62–2.01), overall mortality (OR = 1.01, CI 95% 0.61–1.66) and Grade 3/4 complications (OR = 0.86, CI 95% 0.52–1.42).
This meta-analysis indicated that HDR brachytherapy was a comparable alternative to LDR brachytherapy in treatment of oral cancer. HDR brachytherapy might become a routine choice for early-stage oral cancer in the future.
Treatment of cervical cancer includes combination of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy (BRT). Traditionally, coronal images displaying dose distribution from a ring and tandem (R&T) implant aid in construction of parametrial boost fields. This research aimed to evaluate a method of shaping parametrial fields utilizing contours created from the high-dose-rate (HDR) BRT dose distribution.
Eleven patients receiving HDR-BRT via R&T were identified. The BRT and EBRT CT scans were sent to FocalSim (v4.62)® and fused based on bony anatomy. The contour of the HDR isodose line was transferred to the EBRT scan. The EBRT scan was sent to CMS-XIO (v4.62)® for planning. This process provides an automated, potentially more accurate method of matching the medial parametrial border to the HDR dose distribution. This allows for a 3D-view of dose from HDR-BRT for clinical decision-making, utilizes a paperless process and saves time over the traditional technique.
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; combined modality
Point doses, as defined by the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU), are classically used to evaluate doses to the rectum and bladder in high dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR-ICBT) in cervical cancer. Several studies have shown good correlation between the ICRU point doses and the volumetric doses to these organs. In the present study we attempted to evaluate whether this correlation could be used to predict the volumetric doses to these organs.
A total of 150 HDR-ICBT insertions performed between December 2006 and June 2008 were randomly divided into two groups. Group A (n=50) was used to derive the correlation between the point and volumetric doses using regression analysis. This was tested in Group B (n=100) insertions using studentised residuals and Bland–Altman plots.
Significant correlations were obtained for all volumetric doses and ICRU point doses for rectum and bladder in Group A insertions. The strongest correlation was found for the dose to 2 cc volumes (D2cc). The correlation coefficients for bladder and rectal D2cc versus the respective ICRU point doses were 0.82 and 0.77, respectively (p<0.001). Statistical validation of equations generated in Group B showed mean studentised residual values of 0.001 and 0.000 for the bladder and rectum. However, Bland–Altman analysis showed that the error range for these equations for bladder and rectum were ±64% and ±41% of the point A dose, respectively, which makes these equations unreliable for clinical use.
Volumetric imaging is essential to obtain proper information about volumetric doses.
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
Distension and shape of urinary bladder may vary during intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT) for cervical cancer, significantly affecting doses to bladder, rectum, sigmoid colon and small intestine and consequently late radiation toxicities. This study is to evaluate the effects of different fixed volume bladder distention on dosimetry, assessed by three dimensional image based planning, in different organs at risk during the treatment of cervical cancer with ICBT.
Material and methods
Forty seven cervical cancer patients (stage IB to IVA) were qualified for ICBT following external beam radiotherapy. Urinary bladder was distended with different volumes of normal saline instilled by a Foley's catheter. Planning CT scans were performed after insertion of applicators and three dimensional treatment planning was done on Brachyvision® treatment planning system (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA). Dose volume histograms were analyzed. Bladder, rectum, sigmoid colon and small intestine doses were collected for individual plans and compared, based on the amount of bladder filling.
Mean dose to the bladder significantly decreased with increased bladder filling. However, doses to the small volumes (0.1 cc, 1 cc, 2 cc) which are relevant for brachytherapy, did not change significantly with bladder filling for bladder, rectum or sigmoid colon. Nevertheless, all dose values of small intestine are decreased significantly with bladder filling.
Bladder distension has no significant effect on doses received during brachytherapy by relevant volumes of bladder, rectum and sigmoid colon except intestine where values are decreased with bladder distension. A larger study with clinical correlation of late toxicities is essential for proper evaluation of this strategy.
bladder distension; cervical cancer; dosimetric comparison; intracavitary brachytherapy
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
This observational study set out to evaluate the effectiveness of conscious sedation anesthesia for pain control during high-dose-rate (hdr) brachytherapy using a ring-and-tandem applicator system for patients with cervical cancer.
At the time of initiation of the hdr cervical cancer brachytherapy program at our institution, patients received a detailed symptom assessment during the procedures. Brachytherapy was carried out using a Smit sleeve, together with a ring-and-tandem applicator. Midazolam and an opioid—hydromorphone, morphine, or fentanyl—were the main agents used to achieve conscious sedation.
From January 2009 to October 2010, 20 patients (median age: 45 years) underwent 57 procedures. All patients received chemoradiation with curative intent. The median duration of the procedures was 1.4 hours, and no significant cardiovascular events were noted. The total dose of intravenous midazolam used ranged from 0.5 mg to 8.5 mg (median: 2.5 mg). The total dose of intravenous morphine equivalent used ranged from 2.5 mg to 60 mg (median: 8 mg). The mean and median pain scores during the procedures were 1.4 and 1.1 respectively. Brief moments of moderate to severe incidental pain were noted at the time of certain events during the procedure—specifically during insertion of the ring-and-tandem applicator. The maximal pain score during the entire procedure ranged from 0 to 10 (median: 4.7). The period of recovery from conscious sedation was relatively brief (median discharge time: 1 hour).
We were able to demonstrate that patients undergoing hdr brachytherapy for cervical cancer can achieve good pain control with conscious sedation.
Cervical cancer; carcinoma of the cervix; conscious sedation; high-dose-rate brachytherapy; pain and symptom assessment; incidental pain; recovery time
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.
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 compare the HDR point B to pelvic lymph node dose using 3D-planned brachytherapy for cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods
Patients with FIGO Stage IB-IIIB cervical cancer received 70 tandem HDR applications using CT-based treatment planning. The obturator, external and internal iliac lymph nodes (LN) were contoured. Per fraction (PF) and combined fraction (CF) right (R), left (L), and bilateral (Bil) nodal doses were analyzed. Point B dose was compared with LN dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters by a paired t-test and Pearson correlation coefficients.
The mean PF and CF doses to point B were R 1.40 Gy ±0.14 (CF: 7 Gy), L 1.43 ±0.15 (CF: 7.15 Gy), and Bil 1.41 ±0.15 (CF: 7.05 Gy). The correlation coefficients between point B and the D100, D90, D50, D2cc, D1cc, and D0.1cc LN were all less than 0.7. Only the D2cc to the obturator and the D0.1cc to the external iliac nodes were not significantly different from the point B dose. Significant differences between R and L nodal DVHs were seen, likely related to tandem deviation from irregular tumor anatomy.
With HDR brachytherapy for cervical cancer, the per fraction nodal dose approximates a dose equivalent to teletherapy. Point B is a poor surrogate for dose to specific nodal groups. 3D-defined nodal contours during brachytherapy provide a more accurate reflection of delivered dose, and should be part of comprehensive planning of the total dose to the pelvic nodes, particularly when there is evidence of pathologic involvement of nodes.
HDR brachytherapy; cervical cancer; pelvic lymph nodes; point B
To investigate the impact of bladder filling state on dosimetry and determine the best bladder dosimetric parameter in vaginal-cuff brachytherapy.
Materials and Methods
Twenty women received vaginal cylinder high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy with each fraction followed by a planning CT scan on a prospective clinical trial. The bladder was full for fraction 2 and empty for fraction 3. Dose volume histogram (DVH) and dose surface histogram (DSH) values were generated for the bladder, rectum, and urethra. The midline maximum bladder point (MBP) and the midline maximum rectal point (MRP) were recorded. Paired t-tests, Pearson correlations, and regression analyses were performed.
The volume and surface area of bladder irradiated were significantly smaller when the bladder was empty than when full. Of several DVH and DSH parameters evaluated, the bladder D2cc, V50, V70 and SA50 significantly predicted the difference in empty versus full filling states. The V70 and D2cc were significantly correlated with the MBP. Bladder filling did not alter the volume or surface area of rectum irradiated. However, an empty bladder did result in the nearest point of bowel being significantly closer to the vaginal cylinder than when the bladder was full.
In order to minimize radiation dose to the bladder, patients receiving vaginal-cuff HDR brachytherapy should be treated with an empty bladder if feasible. The MBP correlates well with the volumetric assessments of bladder dose and provides a non-invasive method for reporting maximum bladder point dose using 3D imaging. The MBP can therefore be used as a surrogate for complex dosimetry in the clinic.
Vaginal cuff brachytherapy; CT bladder dosimetry
To evaluate whether Point A asymmetry in low dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy is associated with local control (LC), disease-free survival (DFS) and/or overall survival (OS).
Material and methods
A retrospective analysis of disease control and survival outcomes was conducted for patients who underwent LDR brachytherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Institutional protocol entailed concurrent chemotherapy and whole pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) over 5 weeks, followed by placement of Fletcher-Suit tandem and colpostat applicators at weeks 6 and 8. Objective Point A doses, 80-85 Gy, were accomplished by placement of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) sources. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess associations between disease control and survival endpoints with variables of interest.
The records of 50 patients with FIGO stage IB1-IVA cervical cancer undergoing LDR brachytherapy at our institution were identified. Thirty of these patients had asymmetry > 2.5%, and 11 patients had asymmetry > 5%. At a median survivor follow-up of 20.25 months, 15 patients had experienced disease failure (including 5 cervical/vaginal apex only failures and 2 failures encompassing the local site). Right/left dose asymmetry at Point A was associated with statistically significantly inferior LC (p = 0.035) and inferior DFS (p = 0.011) for patients with mean Point A dose of > 80 Gy. Insufficient evidence existed to conclude an association with OS.
LDR brachytherapy may be associated with clinically significant dose asymmetry. The present study demonstrates that patients with Point A asymmetry have a higher risk of failure for DFS and LC.
brachytherapy; cervical; point A; Fletcher-Suit system
The optimal dosimetric parameters and planning techniques for high-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy (HDR-VB) are unclear. Our aim was to evaluate the utility of bladder and rectal dosimetry for patients receiving HDR-VB for postoperative treatment of endometrial carcinoma.
Material and methods
Patients with endometrial cancer who underwent postoperative HDR-VB from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2010 were included. All patients underwent primary surgery consisting of total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophrectomy (TH-BSO) with or without lymph node dissection and were treated with HDR-VB without pelvic external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or chemotherapy. Demographic, pathologic, dosimetric and clinical data were collected.
One hundred patients were identified with the majority of patients receiving HDR-VB in 700 cGy × 3 fractions (45%) or 550 cGy x 4 fractions (53%). No plan was altered based on bladder dosimetry at the time of planning. The rate of acute urinary reactions (< 90 days from beginning of RT) grades 1 and 2 were 14% and 2%, respectively. The rate of late urinary reactions (> 90 days after RT) grades 1 and 2 were 7% and 3%, respectively. Dose to the bladder point did not correlate with urinary toxicity. No rectal toxicity was reported by patients receiving HDR-VB.
In the setting of HDR-VB without EBRT, the measured dose to the bladder point does not predict urinary toxicity and is very unlikely to indicate the need to change the treatment plan. The treatment of endometrial carcinoma utilizing HDR-VB alone is associated with very low rates of high-grade acute or late bladder toxicity.
endometrial cancer; high-dose-rate; brachytherapy
The common use of nomograms in Low Dose Rate (LDR) permanent prostate brachytherapy (BT) allows to estimate the number of seeds required for an implant. Independent dosimetry verification is recommended for each clinical dosimetry in BT. Also, nomograms can be useful for dose calculation quality assurance and they could be adapted to High Dose Rate (HDR). This work sets nomograms for LDR and HDR prostate-BT implants, which are applied to three different institutions that use different implant techniques.
Material and methods
Patients treated throughout 2010 till April 2011 were considered for this study. This example was chosen to be the representative of the latest implant techniques and to ensure consistency in the planning. A sufficient number of cases for both BT modalities, prescription dose and different work methodology (depending on the institution) were taken into account. The specific nomograms were built using the correlation between the prostate volume and some characteristic parameters of each BT modality, such as the source Air Kerma Strength, number of implanted seeds in LDR or total radiation time in HDR.
For each institution and BT modality, nomograms normalized to the prescribed dose were obtained and fitted to a linear function. The parameters of the adjustment show a good agreement between data and the fitting. It should be noted that for each institution these linear function parameters are different, indicating that each centre should construct its own nomograms.
Nomograms for LDR and HDR prostate brachytherapy are simple quality assurance tools, specific for each institution. Nevertheless, their use should be complementary to the necessary independent verification.
nomograms; prostate brachytherapy; quality assurance; independent verification
To examine the role of brachytherapy for aged patients 80 or more in the trend of rapidly increasing number.
We examined the outcomes for elderly patients with node negative oral tongue cancer (T1-3N0M0) treated with brachytherapy. The 21 patients (2 T1, 14 T2, and 5 T3 cases) ranged in age from 80 to 89 years (median 81), and their cancer was pathologically confirmed. All patients underwent definitive radiation therapy, with low dose rate (LDR) Ra-226 brachytherapy (n = 4; median 70Gy), with Ir-192 (n = 12; 70Gy), with Au-198 (n = 1) or with high dose rate (HDR) Ir-192 brachytherapy (n = 4; 60 Gy). Eight patients also underwent external radiotherapy (median 30 Gy). The period of observation ranged from 13 months to 14 years (median 2.5 years). We selected 226 population matched younger counterpart from our medical chart.
Definitive radiation therapy was completed for all 21 patients (100%), and acute grade 2-3 mucositis related to the therapy was tolerable. Local control (initial complete response) was attained in 19 of 21 patients (90%). The 2-year and 5-year local control rates were 91%, (100% for T1, 83% for T2 and 80% for T3 tumors after 2 years). These figures was not inferior to that of younger counterpart (82% at 5-year, n.s.). The cause-specific survival rate was 83% and the regional control rate 84% at the 2-years follow-up. However, 12 patients died because of intercurrent diseases or senility, resulting in overall survival rates of 55% at 2 years and 34% at 5 years.
Age is not a limiting factor for brachytherapy for appropriately selected elderly patients, and brachytherapy achieved good local control with acceptable morbidity.
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
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