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
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
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
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
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.
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 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.
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
Dosimeteric and radiobiological comparison of two radiation schedules in localized carcinoma prostate: Standard Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3DCRT) followed by Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) boost (sequential-IMRT) with Simultaneous Integrated Boost IMRT (SIB-IMRT).
Material and Methods:
Thirty patients were enrolled. In all, the target consisted of PTV P + SV (Prostate and seminal vesicles) and PTV LN (lymph nodes) where PTV refers to planning target volume and the critical structures included: bladder, rectum and small bowel. All patients were treated with sequential-IMRT plan, but for dosimetric comparison, SIB-IMRT plan was also created. The prescription dose to PTV P + SV was 74 Gy in both strategies but with different dose per fraction, however, the dose to PTV LN was 50 Gy delivered in 25 fractions over 5 weeks for sequential-IMRT and 54 Gy delivered in 27 fractions over 5.5 weeks for SIB-IMRT. The treatment plans were compared in terms of dose–volume histograms. Also, Tumor Control Probability (TCP) and Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) obtained with the two plans were compared.
The volume of rectum receiving 70 Gy or more (V > 70 Gy) was reduced to 18.23% with SIB-IMRT from 22.81% with sequential-IMRT. SIB-IMRT reduced the mean doses to both bladder and rectum by 13% and 17%, respectively, as compared to sequential-IMRT. NTCP of 0.86 ± 0.75% and 0.01 ± 0.02% for the bladder, 5.87 ± 2.58% and 4.31 ± 2.61% for the rectum and 8.83 ± 7.08% and 8.25 ± 7.98% for the bowel was seen with sequential-IMRT and SIB-IMRT plans respectively.
For equal PTV coverage, SIB-IMRT markedly reduced doses to critical structures, therefore should be considered as the strategy for dose escalation. SIB-IMRT achieves lesser NTCP than sequential-IMRT.
Carcinoma prostate; intensity-modulated radiotherapy; normal tissue complication probability; simultaneous integrated boost; sequential intensity-modulated radiotherapy; tumor control probability
Most studies of men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer examine physical symptoms as predictors of Quality of Life (QOL). However, symptoms vary by treatment modality in this population, and psychosocial variables, shown to be important to QOL, have rarely been examined. Litwin noted a need for analysis of QOL data in men treated for prostate cancer with different modes of therapy, as studies focusing on specific treatments will increase the homogeneity of research findings.
This cross-sectional study explored physical and psychosocial predictors of QOL in men receiving one of two types of radiation treatment for prostate cancer: Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) + High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy or IMRT + seed implantation. Subjects completed a biographic questionnaire; quality of life measures, which were the eight subscales of the Medical Outcome Study Short Form Health Survey (SF-36); measures of physical symptoms including the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (RTOG/EORTC) and the Prostate Symptom Self-Report (PSSR); and measures of psychological factors, the Ways of Coping Scale (WOC), Perceived Stress Scale, the Anxiety Subscale of the SCL-90, and Strategies Used by Patients to Promote Health (SUPPH). Eight regression models including both physical and psychosocial variables were used to predict quality of life.
Sixty-three subjects with complete data on all variables were studied. Treatment effect sizes were medium to large in predicting each of the quality of life subscales of the SF-36. Psychosocial variables were related to physical function, role function, bodily pain, general health, social function, emotional role, and mental health. Physical symptoms were related to subjects' perceived general health and mental health.
The number of significant relationships among psychosocial variables and indicators of QOL exceeded the number of relationships among symptoms and QOL suggesting that psychosocial variables associate strongly with prostate cancer patients' reports of quality of life. Findings of the study may provide patients and families with knowledge that contributes to their understanding of quality of life outcomes of IMRT+ HDR and IMRT + seed implantation and their ability to make more informed treatment choices.
quality of life; prostate cancer; radiation therapy
For the head-and-neck cancer bilateral irradiation, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is the most reported technique as it enables both target dose coverage and organ-at-risk (OAR) sparing. However, during the last 20 years, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) techniques have been introduced, which are tailored to improve the classic shrinking field technique, as regards both planning target volume (PTV) dose conformality and sparing of OAR’s, such as parotid glands and spinal cord. In this study, we tested experimentally in a sample of 13 patients, four of these advanced 3DCRT techniques, all using photon beams only and a unique isocentre, namely Bellinzona, Forward-Planned Multisegments (FPMS), ConPas, and field-in-field (FIF) techniques. Statistical analysis of the main dosimetric parameters of PTV and OAR’s DVH’s as well as of homogeneity and conformity indexes was carried out in order to compare the performance of each technique. The results show that the PTV dose coverage is adequate for all the techniques, with the FPMS techniques providing the highest value for D95%; on the other hand, the best sparing of parotid glands is achieved using the FIF and ConPas techniques, with a mean dose of 26 Gy to parotid glands for a PTV prescription dose of 54 Gy. After taking into account both PTV coverage and parotid sparing, the best global performance was achieved by the FIF technique with results comparable to that of IMRT plans. This technique can be proposed as a valid alternative when IMRT equipment is not available or patient is not suitable for IMRT treatment.
Head and neck; 3DCRT techniques; dosimetric comparison
To evaluate gold marker displacement due to needle insertion during HDR-brachytherapy for therapy of prostate cancer.
Patients and methods
18 patients entered into this prospective evaluation. Three gold markers were implanted into the prostate during the first HDR-brachytherapy procedure after the irradiation was administered. Three days after marker implantation all patients had a CT-scan for planning purpose of the percutaneous irradiation. Marker localization was defined on the digitally-reconstructed-radiographs (DRR) for daily (VMAT technique) or weekly (IMRT) set-up error correction. Percutaneous therapy started one week after first HDR-brachytherapy. After the second HDR-brachytherapy, two weeks after first HDR-brachtherapy, a cone-beam CT-scan was done to evaluate marker displacement due to needle insertion. In case of marker displacement, the actual positions of the gold markers were adjusted on the DRR.
The value of the gold marker displacement due to the second HDR-brachytherapy was analyzed in all patients and for each gold marker by comparison of the marker positions in the prostate after soft tissue registration of the prostate of the CT-scans prior the first and second HDR-brachytherapy. The maximum deviation was 5 mm, 7 mm and 12 mm for the anterior-posterior, lateral and superior-inferior direction. At least one marker in each patient showed a significant displacement and therefore new marker positions were adjusted on the DRRs for the ongoing percutaneous therapy.
Needle insertion in the prostate due to HDR-brachytherapy can lead to gold marker displacements. Therefore, it is necessary to verify the actual position of markers after the second HDR-brachytherapy. In case of significant deviations, a new DRR with the adjusted marker positions should be generated for precise positioning during the ongoing percutaneous irradiation.
Prostate cancer; HDR-brachytherapy; Gold markers; Conformal radiotherapy; Intensity modulated radiotherapy
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 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.
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.
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
To evaluate intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) as an alternative to conformal radiotherapy (CRT) or 4-field box boost (4FB) in women with gynecologic malignancies who are unsuitable for brachytherapy for technical or medical reasons.
Dosimetric and toxicity information was analyzed for 12 patients with cervical (8), endometrial (2) or vaginal (2) cancer previously treated with external beam pelvic radiotherapy and a CRT boost. Optimized IMRT boost treatment plans were then developed for each of the 12 patients and compared to CRT and 4FB plans. The plans were compared in terms of dose conformality and critical normal tissue avoidance.
The median planning target volume (PTV) was 151 cm3 (range 58–512 cm3). The median overlap of the contoured rectum with the PTV was 15 (1–56) %, and 11 (4–35) % for the bladder. Two of the 12 patients, both with large PTVs and large overlap of the contoured rectum and PTV, developed grade 3 rectal bleeding. The dose conformity was significantly improved with IMRT over CRT and 4FB (p ≤ 0.001 for both). IMRT also yielded an overall improvement in the rectal and bladder dose-volume distributions relative to CRT and 4FB. The volume of rectum that received the highest doses (>66% of the prescription) was reduced by 22% (p < 0.001) with IMRT relative to 4FB, and the bladder volume was reduced by 19% (p < 0.001). This was at the expense of an increase in the volume of these organs receiving doses in the lowest range (<33%).
These results indicate that IMRT can improve target coverage and reduce dose to critical structures in gynecologic patients receiving an external beam radiotherapy boost. This dosimetric advantage will be integrated with other patient and treatment-specific factors, particularly internal tumor movement during fractionated radiotherapy, in the context of a future image-guided radiation therapy study.
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
We would like to investigate the if IMRT produced better target coverage and dose sparing to adjacent normal structures as compared with 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) and lateral opposing fields (LOF) for patients with Graves’ ophthalmopathy treated with retro-orbital irradiation.
Ten consecutive patients diagnosed with Graves’ ophthalmopathy were prospectively recruited into this study. An individual IMRT, 3DCRT and LOF plan was created for each patient. Conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI) and other dosimetric parameters of the targets and organs-at-risk (OAR) generated by IMRT were compared with the other two techniques.
Mann–Whitney U test demonstrated that CI generated by IMRT was superior to that produced by 3DCRT and LOF (p=0.005 for both respectively). Similarly HI with IMRT was proven better than 3DCRT (p=0.007) and LOF (p=0.005). IMRT gave rise to better dose sparing to some OARs including globes, lenses and optic nerves as compared with 3DCRT but not with LOF.
IMRT, as compared with 3DCRT and LOF, was found to have a better target coverage, conformity and homogeneity and dose sparing to some surrounding structures, despite a slight increase but clinically negligible dose to other structures. Dosimetrically it might be a preferred treatment technique and a longer follow up is warranted to establish its role in routine clinical use.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Graves’ ophthalmopathy; Retro-orbital irradiation
Brachytherapy (permanent implantation of radioactive seeds) has emerged as an alternative to existing standard therapy with radical prostatectomy or external beam radiotherapy in the treatment of clinically localized (T1 and T2) prostate cancer. The Genitourinary Cancer Disease Site Group of the Cancer Care Ontario Practice Guidelines Initiative examined the role of brachytherapy in treating clinically localized prostate cancer.
A systematic review of articles published from 1988 to April 1999, retrieved through a search of MEDLINE and CANCERLIT databases, was combined with a consensus interpretation of the evidence in the context of conventional practice.
Although there were no randomized trials comparing brachytherapy with standard treatment, evidence was available from 13 case series and 3 cohort studies. Rates of freedom from biochemical failure (biochemically no evidence of disease [bNED]) varied considerably from one series to another and were highly dependent on tumour stage, grade and pretreatment serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Results in patients with favourable tumours (T1 or T2 tumour, Gleason score of 6 or lower, serum PSA level of 10 ng/mL [μg/L] or less) were comparable to those in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Acute urinary retention was reported in 1%–14% of patients. Long-term sequelae occurred in less than 5% of patients and included urinary incontinence, cystitis, urethral strictures and proctitis. Sexual potency was maintained after implantation in 86%–96% of patients.
At present, there is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of brachytherapy over current standard therapy for localized prostate cancer. Brachytherapy using transrectal ultrasound guidance for seed implantation is promising in terms of freedom from biochemical failure in selected patients with early-stage prostate cancer. Brachytherapy is currently available outside of clinical trials, but whenever possible patients should be asked to participate in randomized trials comparing brachytherapy and current standard therapy. Brachytherapy should be available to selected patients (those with T1c or T2a tumours, a Gleason score of 6 or lower and a serum PSA level of 10 μg/L or less), after discussion of the available data and potential adverse effects.
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
To compare the RapidArc plan for primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with 3-D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans using dosimetric analysis.
Nine patients with unresectable HCC were enrolled in this study. Dosimetric values for RapidArc, IMRT, and 3DCRT were calculated for total doses of 45~50.4 Gy using 1.8 Gy/day. The parameters included the conformal index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), and hot spot (V107%) for the planned target volume (PTV) as well as the monitor units (MUs) for plan efficiency, the mean dose (Dmean) for the organs at risk (OAR) and the maximal dose at 1% volume (D1%) for the spinal cord. The percentage of the normal liver volume receiving ≥ 40, > 30, > 20, and > 10 Gy (V40 Gy, V30 Gy, V20 Gy, and V10 Gy) and the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) were also evaluated to determine liver toxicity.
All three methods achieved comparable homogeneity for the PTV. RapidArc achieved significantly better CI and V107% values than IMRT or 3DCRT (p < 0.05). The MUs were significantly lower for RapidArc (323.8 ± 60.7) and 3DCRT (322.3 ± 28.6) than for IMRT (1165.4 ± 170.7) (p < 0.001). IMRT achieved a significantly lower Dmean of the normal liver than did 3DCRT or RapidArc (p = 0.001). 3DCRT had higher V40 Gy and V30 Gy values for the normal liver than did RapidArc or IMRT. Although the V10 Gy to the normal liver was higher with RapidArc (75.8 ± 13.1%) than with 3DCRT or IMRT (60.5 ± 10.2% and 57.2 ± 10.0%, respectively; p < 0.01), the NTCP did not differ significantly between RapidArc (4.38 ± 2.69) and IMRT (3.98 ± 3.00) and both were better than 3DCRT (7.57 ± 4.36) (p = 0.02).
RapidArc provided favorable tumor coverage compared with IMRT or 3DCRT, but RapidArc is not superior to IMRT in terms of liver protection. Further studies are needed to establish treatment outcome differences between the three approaches.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides superior visualization of the prostate and surrounding anatomy, making it the modality of choice for imaging the prostate gland. This pilot study was performed to determine the feasibility and dosimetric quality achieved when placing high-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy catheters under MRI guidance in a standard “closed-bore” 1.5T scanner.
Methods and Materials:
Patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localized prostate cancer received MRI-guided high-dose-rate brachytherapy boosts before and after a course of external beam radiotherapy. Using a custom visualization and targeting program, the brachytherapy catheters were placed and adjusted under MRI guidance until satisfactory implant geometry was achieved. Inverse treatment planning was performed using high-resolution T2-weighted MRI.
Ten brachytherapy procedures were performed on 5 patients. The median percentage of volume receiving 100% of prescribed minimal peripheral dose (V100) achieved was 94% (mean, 92%; 95% confidence interval, 89–95%). The urethral V125 ranged from 0% to 18% (median, 5%), and the rectal V75 ranged from 0% to 3.1% (median, 0.3%). In all cases, lesions highly suspicious for malignancy could be visualized on the procedural MRI, and extracapsular disease was identified in 2 patients.
High-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy in a standard 1.5T MRI scanner is feasible and achieves favorable dosimetry within a reasonable period with high-quality image guidance. Although the procedure was well tolerated in the acute setting, additional follow-up is required to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of this approach.
Prostate cancer; Brachytherapy; MRI; Image guidance
Iridium-192 is widely used for high-dose rate brachytherapy. Co-60 source with similar geometric and dosimetric properties are now available. It has a longer half life but higher energy than Iridium-192. If Co-60 source can produce similar results, it will be more economical for low resource settings.
To evaluate the acute gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity associated with Co-60 source in the brachytherapy of cervical cancer.
Seventy patients with cervical cancer received 45 Gy in 22 fractions of pelvic external beam radiotherapy and 19.5 Gy in 3 fractions of HDR with Co-60 source using tandem and ring applicators with 6 courses of cisplatin 50 mg/m2 and 5 fluorouracil 1000 mg/m2 every 3 weeks Toxicity was scored using NCI-CTC version 4.0.
The median total BED (Gy10) for tumor was 86.2 (84.4–88.8) while that for rectum (BED Gy3) was 124.4 (120–133). Two patients (3%) had grade 3 gastrointestinal toxicity while all others had ≤grade 2 toxicity and this is comparable with previous results.
Co-60 as HDR brachytherapy source is tolerable and is economical for low resource settings.
HDR brachytherapy; Co-60 source; cervical cancer; acute toxicity