The result of curative treatment for very elderly patients with tongue carcinoma has not been reported to date. We retrospectively reviewed the results of brachytherapy in 125 the patients aged over 75 years.
The results of brachytherapy in 125 patients, 75 years old or older, with Stage I or II squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue were reviewed. The 125 cases consisted of 31 Stage I and 94 Stage II cases; 67 patients were under 80 years old and 58 were over 80 years old. All patients were treated using low-dose-rate brachytherapy (198Au/222Rn: 59 cases; 192Ir: 38 cases; 226Ra/137Cs: 28 cases).
None of the patients stopped treatment during the course of brachytherapy. The 3 year and 5 year control rates of the primary lesions were both 86%. Post-brachytherapy neck node metastasis was diagnosed in 43 cases and radical neck dissection was performed for 24 cases (21 of the 24 cases were under 80 years old). As a result, the 7 year disease-specific survival (DSS) rate for patients aged under 80 years old was 70% and 41% for those over 80 years old (p = 0.03).
The brachytherapy for elderly patients with tongue cancer was safe, and the control of the primary lesion was almost the same as in younger patients. However, modalities available to treat neck node metastasis are limited. More conservative surgical approaches combined with post-operative irradiation may be advocated for neck node metastasis for elderly patients with tongue cancer.
To determine outcomes of interstitial high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) in patients with early stage oral tongue cancer.
Material and methods
Ninety-two patients with stage I and II oral tongue cancer were treated with HDR-BT between 1999 and 2014: brachytherapy alone = 62 (67.4%), and combination of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy = 30 (32.6%). Median follow-up was 53.5 months. Patterns of failure, overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), local control rates (LCR), and nodal control rates (NCR) were determined.
5-year OS, DFS, LCR, and NCR were 73.2%, 58.2%, 64.2%, and 83.8%, respectively. In total, 43 patients (46.7%) failed treatment: isolated local failures = 28 (30.4%), isolated nodal failures = 8 (8.7%), both local and regional failures = 7 (7.6%). While in T1 stage, 5 year LCR were significantly higher in brachytherapy alone group compared to combined EBRT and brachytherapy group (81.7% vs. 62.5%, p = 0.04), the isolated nodal failure rates were not significantly different among the two groups. For T2 stage, NCR were higher in combined EBRT and brachytherapy group compared to brachytherapy alone (92.9% vs. 74.3%). Acute mucositis (grade ≥ 2) was seen more in brachytherapy alone group compared to the combined modality group (87% vs. 66%), and this correlated significantly with the higher biological equivalent dose (BED) in the brachytherapy alone group.
Our study recommends treating patients with brachytherapy alone in T1 stage, and demonstrates the need for addressing nodal region either by neck dissection or nodal irradiation in T2 stage patients. Also, the study highlights the need for dose escalation (from the doses used in the study) in both T1 and T2 stage tumors when using interstitial brachytherapy either as sole modality or as a boost.
brachytherapy; high-dose-rate; escalation; oral tongue cancer
To examine 10-year rates of local, regional, and distant recurrences, patterns of recurrence, and survival rates for breast cancer patients enrolled on Study NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9517, a multi-institutional prospective trial that studied one of the earliest methods of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), multicatheter brachytherapy (MCT).
Methods and Materials
Eligibility included stage I/II unifocal breast cancer <3 cm in size after lumpectomy with negative surgical margins and 0 to 3 positive axillary nodes without extracapsular extension. The APBI dose delivered was 34 Gy in 10 twice-daily fractions over 5 days for high-dose-rate (HDR); and 45 Gy in 3.5 to 5 days for low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy. The primary endpoint was HDR and LDR MCT reproducibility. This analysis focuses on long-term ipsilateral breast recurrence (IBR), contralateral breast cancer events (CBE), regional recurrence (RR), and distant metastases (DM), disease-free, and overall survival.
The median follow-up was 12.1 years. One hundred patients were accrued from 1997 to 2000; 98 were evaluable; 65 underwent HDR and 33 LDRMCT. Median age was 62 years; 88% had T1 tumors; 81% were pN0. Seventy-seven percent were estrogen receptor and/or progesterone receptor positive; 33% received adjuvant chemotherapy and 64% antiendocrine therapy. There have been 4 isolated IBRs and 1 IBR with RR, for 5.2% 10-year IBR without DM. There was 1 isolated RR, 1 with IBR, and 1 with a CBE, for 3.1% 10-year RR without DM. The 10-year CBE rate was 4.2%, with 5 total events. Eleven patients have developed DM, 8 have died of breast cancer, and 22 have died from other causes. The 10-year DFS and OS rates are 69.8% and 78.0%, respectively.
This multi-institutional, phase 2 trial studying MCT-APBI continues to report durable in-breast cancer control rates with long-term follow-up.
Study NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9517, a phase 2, multi-institutional, single-arm, prospective trial, evaluated one of the earliest methods of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), multicatheter brachytherapy, and accrued a total of 100 patients. This combined analysis of those who received low- and high-dose-rate APBI demonstrates durable local control outcomes at a median follow-up of 12.1 years.
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 efficacy and safety results of treatment with low-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute are presented. This treatment was found to be both safe and effective.
After completing this course, the reader will be able to:
Utilize data supporting the efficacy of low-dose definitive brachytherapy to inform clinical decisions about treating women with high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.Implement methods for delivering low-dose definitive brachytherapy that minimize toxicity.Communicate to patients the type and incidence of toxic events associated with low-dose definitive brachytherapy.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
Treatment of high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN) is controversial and could include surgical excision, topical medication, brachytherapy, or other treatments. We report the results of low-dose-rate (LDR) vaginal brachytherapy for grade 3 VAIN (VAIN-3) over a 25-year period at Gustave Roussy Institute.
Patients and Methods.
We retrospectively reviewed the files of all patients treated at Gustave Roussy Institute for VAIN-3 since 1985. The treatment consisted of LDR brachytherapy using a personalized vaginal mold and delivered 60 Gy to 5 mm below the vaginal mucosa. All patients had at least an annual gynecological examination, including a vaginal smear.
Twenty-eight patients were eligible. The median follow-up was 41 months. Seven patients had a follow-up <2 years, and the median follow-up for the remaining 21 patients was 79 months. The median age at brachytherapy was 63 years (range, 38–80 years). Twenty-six patients had a history of VAIN recurring after cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and 24 had a previous hysterectomy. The median brachytherapy duration was 4.5 days. Median doses to the International Commission of Radiation Units and Measurements rectum and bladder points were 68 Gy and 45 Gy, respectively. The median prescription volume (60 Gy) was 74 cm3. Only one “in field” recurrence occurred, corresponding to a 5- and 10-year local control rate of 93% (95% confidence interval, 70%–99%). The treatment was well tolerated, with no grade 3 or 4 late toxicity and only one grade 2 digestive toxicity. No second cancers were reported.
LDR brachytherapy is an effective and safe treatment for vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.
Vaginal neoplasms; Carcinoma in situ; Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy, interstitial tumor bed irradiation, following conservative surgery has been shown to provide excellent local control and limb preservation in patients with soft tissue sarcomas (STS), whereas little is known about the tolerance of peripheral nerves to brachytherapy. In particular, nerve tolerance to high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has never been properly evaluated. In this study, we examined the efficacy and radiation neurotoxicity of HDR brachytherapy in patients with STS in contact with neurovascular structures.
Between 1995 and 2000, seven patients with STS involving the neurovascular bundle were treated in our institute with limb-preserving surgery, followed by fractionated HDR brachytherapy. Pathological examination demonstrated that 6 patients had high-grade lesions with five cases of negative margins and one case with positive margins, and one patient had a low-grade lesion with a negative margin. Afterloading catheters placed within the tumor bed directly upon the preserved neurovascular structures were postoperatively loaded with Iridium-192 with a total dose of 50 Gy in 6 patients. One patient received 30 Gy of HDR brachytherapy combined with 20 Gy of adjuvant external beam radiation.
With a median follow-up of 4 years, the 5-year actuarial overall survival, disease-free survival, and local control rates were 83.3, 68.6, and 83.3%, respectively. None of the 7 patients developed HDR brachytherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Of 5 survivors, 3 evaluable patients had values of motor nerve conduction velocity of the preserved peripheral nerve in the normal range.
In this study, there were no practical and electrophysiological findings of neurotoxicity of HDR brachytherapy. Despite the small number of patients, our encouraging results are valuable for limb-preserving surgery of unmanageable STS involving critical neurovascular structures.
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
Cervical cancer remains to be a major health problem and cancer-related cause of death among women in developing countries such as Iran where the most cases are diagnosed in locally advanced stage.
This cross sectional-analytic study aims to report outcome 154 patients with carcinoma of cervix were treated with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy with cobalt 60 (Co-6o) remote after loading system.
Patients and Methods:
A total of 154 patients with the international federation of gynecologist and oncologist (FIGO) stages I-IVA with histopathologically confirmed carcinoma of cervix, followed by the radiation-oncology ward of Shohada-e-Tajrish Hospital in Tehran, Iran, between February 2008 and March 2015. They were completed their scheduled EBRT and HDR brachytherapy with Co-60 remote after loading system. Out of this, 132 patients completed their standard follow up protocol. They were analyzed for 3-year disease-free survival (DFS), 3-year overall survival (OS) incidence of acute and late complications for HDR brachytherapy.
Fourteen patients (9.1 %) were in stage I (FIGO classification), 8 (5.2%) were in stage IIA, 26 (16.9%) were in stage IIB, 100 (64.9%) were in stage III, and 6 (3.9 %) were in stage IVA. The follow up duration was between 6 - 60 months with a median of 38 months. Overall rectal and bladder treatment toxicity rates were 33.7%. The 3-year DFS rate was 85.7%, 70.7 %, 41% and 16.6% for stages I, II, III, IVA respectively. Favorable prognostic factors in univariate and multivariate analysis were early stage, tumor size < 4 cm (after adjusting for the residual disease after radiation), no pelvic lymph node involvement and 1 week Gap between EBRT and HDR brachytherapy in 3-year DFS (P = 0.001, P = 0.012, P = 0.005, P = 0.005, respectively). The 3-year OS rate was 85.7%, 76.4%, 42%, and 33.3% for stages I, II, III, and IVA, respectively. Favorable prognostic factors in univariate and multivariate analysis were early stage, tumor size < 4 cm, no pelvic lymph node involvement, 1 week gap between EBRT and HDR brachytherapy and no distant metastasis (during the follow up) in 3-year OS (P = 0.001, P = 0.002, P = 0.002, P = 0.002, P = 0.001, respectively).
HDR brachytherapy with Co-60 remote after loading system was successful and it showed HDR brachytherapy in treating patients with carcinoma of cervix was effective after EBRT with acceptable rectal and bladder complications.
Brachytherapy; Disease Free Survival; Overall Survival; Treatment
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
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 using the mold technique is a less invasive treatment for early lip and oral cavity cancer. However, limited reports exist regarding the feasibility of this method. In this retrospective study, we evaluated the outcome of this therapy and investigated its feasibility for lip and oral cavity tumors.
Between May 2002 and December 2010, 17 patients (median age, 80.0 years) with histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the lip or oral cavity were treated by means of HDR brachytherapy using the mold technique after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Tumor sites included the buccal mucosa in eight cases, the gingiva in three cases, the lips in two cases, the floor of the mouth in two cases, and the hard palate in two cases. For all patients, EBRT (30 Gy/15 fractions), was performed before HDR brachytherapy. Two 6-Gy fractions were delivered twice daily for 2 days a week with an interval of 6 hours between the fractions. The total HDR brachytherapy dose was 24 Gy. Prior to EBRT, two patients with neck metastasis underwent neck dissection, and one patient with an exophytic tumor underwent tumor resection.
The median follow-up period was 53.4 (range, 4.8–83.4) months. Of the 17 patients, 14 (82.4%) achieved a complete response, and three (17.6%) displayed a partial response.
The overall 3- and 5-year survival rates were both 68.8%, the 3- and 5-year disease-specific survival rates were both 86.7%, and the 3- and 5-year local control rates were both 54.1%. Seven patients developed local recurrence at a median time of 3.4 (range, 1.7–29.1) months after treatment. Nodal and lung metastases occurred separately in two patients. By the end of the follow-up period, two patients had died of the primary disease and four patients had died of other causes.
Although there is a need to improve the technical aspects of the treatment protocol, HDR brachytherapy using the mold technique might be a therapeutic option for superficial lip or oral cavity tumors, especially in older patients who have a poor performance status or are in poor physical condition.
Lip cancer; Oral cavity cancer; Mold; High-dose-rate; Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a curative alternative to radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation [i.e. 3D conformal external beam radiation therapy (CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)] with comparable long-term survival and biochemical control and the most favorable toxicity. HDR brachytherapy (HDR-BT) in treatment of prostate cancer is most frequently used together with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as a boost (increasing the treatment dose precisely to the tumor). In the early stages of the disease (low, sometimes intermediate risk group), HDR-BT is more often used as monotherapy. There are no significant differences in treatment results (overall survival rate – OS, local recurrence rate – LC) between radical prostatectomy, EBRT and HDR-BT. Low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) is a radiation method that has been known for several years in treatment of localized prostate cancer. The LDR-BT is applied as a monotherapy and also used along with EBRT as a boost. It is used as a sole radical treatment modality, but not as a palliative treatment. The use of brachytherapy as monotherapy in treatment of prostate cancer enables many patients to keep their sexual functions in order and causes a lower rate of urinary incontinence. Due to progress in medical and technical knowledge in brachytherapy (“real-time” computer planning systems, new radioisotopes and remote afterloading systems), it has been possible to make treatment time significantly shorter in comparison with other methods. This also enables better protection of healthy organs in the pelvis. The aim of this publication is to describe both brachytherapy methods.
HDR brachytherapy; LDR brachytherapy; prostate cancer; seeds
The aim of the study was to present an original technique of catheter implantation for perioperative HDR-Ir192 brachytherapy in patients after palliative operations of unresectable locally advanced pancreatic tumors and to estimate the influence of perioperative HDR-Ir192 brachytherapy on pain relief in terminal pancreatic cancer patients.
Material and methods
Eight patients with pancreatic tumors located in the head of pancreas underwent palliative operations with the use of HDR-Ir192 brachytherapy. All patients qualified for surgery reported pain of high intensity and had received narcotic painkillers prior to operation. During the last phase of the surgery, the Nucletron® catheters were implanted in patients to prepare them for later perioperative brachytherapy. Since the 6th day after surgery HDR brachytherapy was performed. Before each brachytherapy fraction the location of implants were checked using fluoroscopy. A fractional dose was 5 Gy and a total dose was 20 Gy in the area of radiation. A comparative study of two groups of patients (with and without brachytherapy) with stage III pancreatic cancer according to the TNM scale was taken in consideration.
Results and Conclusions
The authors claim that the modification of catheter implantation using specially designed cannula, facilitates the process of inserting the catheter into the tumor, shortens the time needed for the procedure, and reduces the risk of complications. Mean survival time was 5.7 months. In the group of performed brachytherapy, the mean survival time was 6.7 months, while in the group of no brachytherapy performed – 4.4 months. In the group of brachytherapy, only one patient increased the dose of painkillers in the last month of his life. Remaining patients took constant doses of medicines. Perioperative HDR-Ir192 brachytherapy could be considered as a practical application of adjuvant therapy for pain relief in patients with an advanced pancreatic cancer.
brachytherapy; catheter implantation; HDR; pancreatic cancer
The purpose was to determine whether a brachytherapy boost improves outcomes in patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with standard chemo-radiotherapy.
Patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma WHO grades I-III and TNM stages III or non-metastatic stage IV were eligible for this phase III study. Patients were randomized to either arm (A) induction chemotherapy, followed by external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with concomitant cisplatin (n = 139) or arm (B), the same schedule plus a brachytherapy boost to the nasopharynx (n = 135). The EBRT doses given were 70 Gy to the primary tumour and positive lymph nodes and 46 Gy to the negative neck. The additional brachytherapy boost in arm (B) was given by either low dose-rate (LDR – 11 Gy) or high dose-rate (HDR – 3 fractions of 3.0 Gy) brachytherapy. The primary endpoint was 3-year overall survival (OS) and secondary endpoints were: local control, regional control, distant metastasis and grade 3–4 adverse events.
274 patients were randomized between September 2004 and December 2008. The two arms were comparable with regard to age, gender, stage and grade. 273 patients completed treatment. Median follow-up was 29 months (0.2-67 months). The effect of treatment arm, country, age, gender, WHO pathology, stage (T3-4, N2-3 versus other) and chemotherapy on overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and local recurrence-free survival (LRFS) was studied. Stage significantly affected OS (p = 0.024) and DFS (p = 0.018) while age significantly affected OS (p = 0.014). None of the other factors studied were significant. The 3-year LRFS was 60.5% and 54.4% in arms A and B respectively (p = 0.647). The 3-year regional control rate in the neck was 59.7% and 54.3% respectively (p = 0.7). Distant metastasis developed in 59.7% of patients in arm A and 55.4% in arm B (p = 0.377). Patients with T1/T2 N + had a 3 year LRFS of 51.8% in Arm A (62 patients) versus 57.9% in Arm B (67 patients) (p = 0.343). The grade 3–4 toxicity rate was 21.6% (30/139) and 24.4% (33/135) respectively (p = 0.687).
The addition of a brachytherapy boost to external beam radiotherapy and chemotherapy did not improve outcome in loco-regionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Nasopharynx; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Brachytherapy boost
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide; definitive radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy is the accepted standard of care for patients with node positive or locally advanced tumors > 4 cm. Brachytherapy is an important part of definitive radiotherapy shown to improve overall survival. While results for two-dimensional X-ray based brachytherapy have been good in terms of local control especially for early stage disease, unexplained toxicities and treatment failures remain. Improvements in brachytherapy planning have more recently paved the way for three-dimensional image-based brachytherapy with volumetric optimization which increases tumor control, reduces toxicity, and helps predict outcomes. Advantages of image-based brachytherapy include: improved tumor coverage (especially for large volume disease), decreased dose to critical organs (especially for small cervix), confirmation of applicator placement, and accounting for sigmoid colon dose. A number of modalities for image-based brachytherapy have emerged including: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), CT-MRI hybrid, and ultrasound with respective benefits and outcomes data. For practical application of image-based brachytherapy the Groupe Europeen de Curietherapie-European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Working Group and American Brachytherapy Society working group guideline serve as invaluable tools, additionally here-in we outline our institutional clinical integration of these guidelines. While the body of literature supporting image-based brachytherapy continues to evolve a number of uncertainties and challenges remain including: applicator reconstruction, increasing resource/cost demands, mobile four-dimensional targets and organs-at-risk, and accurate contouring of “grey zones” to avoid marginal miss. Ongoing studies, including the prospective EMBRACE (an international study of MRI-guided brachytherapy in locally advanced cervical cancer) trial, along with continued improvements in imaging, contouring, quality assurance, physics, and brachytherapy delivery promise to perpetuate the advancement of image-based brachytherapy to optimize outcomes for cervical cancer patients.
Cervical cancer; Brachytherapy; Image-based brachytherapy; 3D-planning; Magnetic resonance imaging-based brachytherapy; Groupe Europeen de Curietherapie-European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Working Group guidelines
We analyzed the long-term oncologic outcome for patients with prostate cancer and transurethral resection who were treated using low-dose-rate (LDR) prostate brachytherapy.
Methods and Materials
From January 2001 to December 2005, 57 consecutive patients were treated with clinically localized prostate cancer. No patients received external beam radiation. All of them underwent LDR prostate brachytherapy. Biochemical failure was defined according to the “Phoenix consensus”. Patients were stratified as low and intermediate risk based on The Memorial Sloan Kettering group definition.
The median follow-up time for these 57 patients was 104 months. The overall survival according to Kaplan-Meier estimates was 88% (±6%) at 5 years and 77% (±6%) at 12 years. The 5 and 10 years for failure in tumour-free survival (TFS) was 96% and respectively (±2%), whereas for biochemical control was 94% and respectively (±3%) at 5 and 10 years, 98% (±1%) of patients being free of local recurrence. A patient reported incontinence after treatment (1.7%). The chronic genitourinary complains grade I were 7% and grade II, 10%. At six months 94% of patients reported no change in bowel function.
The excellent long-term results and low morbidity presented, as well as the many advantages of prostate brachytherapy over other treatments, demonstrates that brachytherapy is an effective treatment for patients with transurethral resection and clinical organ-confined prostate cancer.
Brachytherapy; Transurethral Resection of Prostate; Prostatic Neoplasms
Interstitial brachytherapy represents the treatment of choice for small tumours, regionally localized in the oral cavity and the oropharynx. In the technical setting, continuous low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy represented for many years the gold standard for administering radiation in head and neck brachytherapy. Large series of head and neck cancer patients treated with LDR brachytherapy have been reported, constituting an invaluable source of clinical data and the gold standard to compare results of new techniques. Nowadays, LDR brachytherapy competes with fractionated HDR and hyperfractionated PDR. In the paper an overview of the different time-dose-fraction alternatives to LDR brachytherapy in head and neck cancer is presented, as well as the radiobiological basis of different dose-rate schedules, the linear-quadratic model, interconversion of fractionation schedules and the repair half-times for early- and late-responding tissues. In subsequent sections essentials of switching from LDR to HDR and from LDR to PDR are discussed. Selected clinical results using HDR and PDR brachytherapy in oral cavity and oropharynx cancer are presented.
HDR; oral cavity; oropharynx; PDR; radiobiology
Brachytherapy plays an important role in the treatment of cervical cancer. While small trials have shown comparable survival outcomes between high (HDR) and low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, little data is available in the US. We examined the utilization of HDR brachytherapy and analyzed the impact of type of brachytherapy on survival for cervical cancer.
Women with stage IB2–IVA cervical cancer treated with primary (external beam and brachytherapy) radiotherapy between 2003–2011 and recorded in the National Cancer Database (NCDB) were analyzed. Generalized linear mixed models and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to examine predictors of HDR brachytherapy use and the association between HDR use and survival.
A total of 10,564 women including 2681 (25.4%) who received LDR and 7883 (74.6%) that received HDR were identified. Use of HDR increased from 50.2% in 2003 to 83.9% in 2011 (P<0.0001). In a multivariable model, year of diagnosis was the strongest predictor of use of HDR. While patients in the Northeast were more likely to receive HDR therapy, there were no other clinical or socioeconomic characteristics associated with receipt of HDR. In a multivariable Cox model, survival was similar between the HDR and LDR groups (HR=0.93; 95% 0.83–1.03). Similar findings were noted in analyses stratified by stage and histology. Kaplan-Meier analyses demonstrated no difference in survival based on type of brachytherapy for stage IIB (P=0.68), IIIB (P=0.17), or IVA (P=0.16) tumors.
The use of HDR therapy has increased rapidly. Overall survival is similar for LDR and HDR brachytherapy.
Lip cancer can be treated by surgery, external radiotherapy, and/or brachytherapy (BT). In recent years, BT has become increasingly favored for this type of cancer. The aim of the present study was to analyze local control and survival of patients treated at our institution between July 1989 and June 2008.
Material and methods
We performed a retrospective study of 121 patients (109 males and 12 females) who underwent lip cancer brachytherapy from July 1989 to June 2008. Median age was 67 years and median follow-up was 31.8 months (range 20-188 months). Out of 121 patients, 100 (82.6%) were treated with low dose rate (LDR) BT while the remaining 21 patients (17.4%) received high dose rate (HDR) BT.
The most common cell type was squamous cell carcinoma (115 cases; 95%) and most tumors were located on the lower lip (107 patients; 88.4%). Most cases were either stage T1 (62 patients; 51.2%), or T2 (44 cases; 36.4%). After 15 years of follow-up, overall survival was 89.5%, cause-specific survival 97.8%, and disease-free survival 86.6%. Local, regional, and distant control at 15 years were 90%, 92%, and 98.8%, respectively. Grade 3 mucosal toxicity was observed in 23% of patients treated with LDR compared to 33% of HDR patients, and grade 4 mucosal toxicity in 9% versus 0% in the HDR group.
Our findings confirm that brachytherapy is an effective treatment for lip cancer. The results from our series are in line with those published elsewhere. Based on our limited data, HDR appears to be equally as good as LDR, although this needs to be confirmed by further studies.
lip cancer; brachytherapy; radiotherapy dosage
Purpose: Although several clinical nomograms predictive of biochemical failure-free survival (BFFS) for localized prostate cancer exist in the medical literature, making valid comparisons can be challenging due to variable definitions of biochemical failure, the disparate distribution of prognostic factors, and received treatments in patient populations. The aim of this investigation was to develop and validate clinically-based nomograms for 5-year BFFS using the ASTRO II “Phoenix” definition for two patient cohorts receiving low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy or conventionally fractionated external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) from a large Canadian multi-institutional database.
Methods and Materials: Patients were selected from the GUROC (Genitourinary Radiation Oncologists of Canada) Prostate Cancer Risk Stratification (ProCaRS) database if they received (1) LDR brachytherapy ≥ 144 Gy (n=4208) or (2) EBRT ≥ 70 Gy (n=822). Multivariable Cox regression analysis for BFFS was performed separately for each cohort and used to generate clinical nomograms predictive of 5-year BFFS. Nomograms were validated using calibration plots of nomogram predicted probability versus observed probability via Kaplan-Meier estimates.
Results: Patients receiving LDR brachytherapy had a mean age of 64 ± 7 years, a mean baseline PSA of 6.3 ± 3.0 ng/mL, 75% had a Gleason 6, and 15% had a Gleason 7, whereas patients receiving EBRT had a mean age of 70 ± 6 years, a mean baseline PSA of 11.6 ± 10.7 ng/mL, 30% had a Gleason 6, 55% had a Gleason 7, and 14% had a Gleason 8-10. Nomograms for 5-year BFFS included age, use and duration of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), baseline PSA, T stage, and Gleason score for LDR brachytherapy and an ADT (months), baseline PSA, Gleason score, and biological effective dose (Gy) for EBRT.
Conclusions: Clinical nomograms examining 5-year BFFS were developed for patients receiving either LDR brachytherapy or conventionally fractionated EBRT and may assist clinicians in predicting an outcome. Future work should be directed at examining the role of additional prognostic factors, comorbidities, and toxicity in predicting survival outcomes.
radiotherapy; prostate cancer; ldr brachytherapy; fractionated external beam radiation therapy; biochemical failure; nomogram
Surgery is the major therapeutic method in soft tissue sarcomas of the extremity (E-STS). Treatment of large high-grade tumours, which resection cannot be performed with a wide safe margin, should include complementary radiation and/or chemo-therapy. Hopefully, the use of adjuvant brachytherapy will improve the prognosis of E-STS.
After a long process of diagnosing a tumour in the medial compartment of the thigh, a 65-year-old woman with diagnosed synovial sarcoma underwent a surgery. Compartment resection was performed and the tumour was removed with a 10 mm safety margin of healthy tissue. Adjuvant brachytherapy was delivered with 192Ir (MicroSelectron, Nucletron Electa Group, Stockholm, Sweden®) with 10 Ci of nominal activity to a dose of 55 Gy in 16 days because of large tumour size (99 × 78 × 73 mm) and its proximity to the neurovascular bundle. No complications were reported. The patient was discharged from the hospital on the 28th day after the surgery. The wound healed without any complications and the outpatient follow-up is being continued.
Adjuvant brachytherapy is rarely used after surgical treatment due to its limited accessibility in hospitals with surgical and orthopaedic departments. There are numerous publications proving positive influence of brachytherapy on local control and decreased number of recurrences. The recurrence-free survival time also increased significantly, however no direct impact on the number of distant metastases was found. Treatment is well tolerated and short. The complication rate varies between centres from 5 to 30%. The most common adverse effects include: peripheral neuropathy, skin necrosis and osteonecrosis of the long bones.
Treatment of large soft tissue sarcomas of the extremity (E-STS) should include combination of surgical intervention and external beam radiotherapy or brachytherapy. Adjuvant brachytherapy improves local control rate up to 78%, is well tolerated and rarely causes complications. We couldn't determine which type of adjuvant radiation therapy is more effective.
soft tissue sarcoma; brachytherapy; compartment surgery
To evaluate the prognostic value of prostate-specific antigen nadir (nPSA) after high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy in clinically non-metastatic high-risk prostate cancer patients.
Material and methods
Data from 216 patients with high-risk or locally advanced prostate cancer who underwent HDR brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy with long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) between 2003 and 2008 were analyzed. The median prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level at diagnosis was 24 ng/ml (range: 3-338 ng/ml). The clinical stage was T1c-2a in 55 cases (26%), T2b-2c in 48 (22%), T3a in 75 (35%), and T3b-4 in 38 (17%). The mean dose to 90% of the planning target volume was 6.3 Gy/fraction of HDR brachytherapy. After 5 fractions, external beam radiation therapy with 10 fractions of 3 Gy was administered. All patients initially underwent neoadjuvant ADT for at least 6 months, and adjuvant ADT was continued for 36 months. The median follow-up was 7 years from the start of radiotherapy.
The 7-year PSA relapse-free rate among patients with a post-radiotherapy nPSA level of ≤ 0.02 ng/ml was 94%, compared with 23% for patients with higher nPSA values (HR = 28.57; 95% CI: 12.04-66.66; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that the nPSA value after radiotherapy was a significant independent predictor of biochemical failure, whereas pretreatment predictive values for worse biochemical control including higher level of initial PSA, Gleason score ≥ 8, positive biopsy core rate ≥ 67%, and T3b-T4, failed to reach independent predictor status. The 7-year cancer-specific survival rate among patients with a post-radiotherapy nPSA level of ≤ 0.02 ng/ml was 99%, compared with 82% for patients with higher nPSA values (HR = 32.25; 95% CI: 3.401-333.3; p = 0.002).
A post-radiotherapy nPSA value of ≤ 0.02 ng/ml was associated with better long-term biochemical tumor control even if patients had pretreatment predictive values for worse control.
brachytherapy; high-dose-rate; prostate cancer; PSA nadir
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.
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
In early stage mobile tongue cancer radical radiotherapy offers good local control and organ preservation, which is especially important in the group of young patients. In our department, for many years HDR-BT has been performed in mobile tongue cancers as a sole treatment or as a “boost” with EBRT. The aim of the study was to show our experience with HDR-BT in early stage mobile tongue cancers among young patients.
Material and methods
From 2001 to 2006 in Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, five patients under 45 years with mobile tongue cancer were treated with HDR brachytherapy (T1N0M0 – 3/5 and T2N0M0 – 2/5); 4 with HDR brachytherapy “boost” and 1 as a sole treatment. One woman was previously treated with tumour resection, but because of positive surgical margins was referred for radiotherapy. All patients had clinically negative lymph nodes, without dissection. They were treated with interstitial HDR-BT (3-8 catheters). In 4 patients treated with HDR-BT as a “boost”, total doses ranged from 18 to 21 Gy given in 6-7 fractions (twice a day, 3 Gy per fraction). Total doses in EBRT (to local lymph nodes and tumour bed) ranged from 50 to 60 Gy (1.8-2 Gy per fraction 5 days/week). One patient, treated with radical HDR brachytherapy, received 45 Gy in 10 fractions and 50 Gy in EBRT to regional lymph nodes.
We did not notice local recurrences or distant metastases in our group of patients. Median follow-up was 67 months (range 47-79 months). All patients preserved normal tongue function. A severe late complication occurred in 1 patient – fracture of the mandible.
In the analysed group of young patients with mobile tongue cancer interstitial HDR brachytherapy in combination with EBRT was an effective and well tolerated treatment modality which allowed preservation of the tongue and its function.
tongue cancer; HDR brachytherapy; radiotherapy