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1.  Age is not a limiting factor for brachytherapy for carcinoma of the node negative oral tongue in patients aged eighty or older 
To examine the role of brachytherapy for aged patients 80 or more in the trend of rapidly increasing number.
We examined the outcomes for elderly patients with node negative oral tongue cancer (T1-3N0M0) treated with brachytherapy. The 21 patients (2 T1, 14 T2, and 5 T3 cases) ranged in age from 80 to 89 years (median 81), and their cancer was pathologically confirmed. All patients underwent definitive radiation therapy, with low dose rate (LDR) Ra-226 brachytherapy (n = 4; median 70Gy), with Ir-192 (n = 12; 70Gy), with Au-198 (n = 1) or with high dose rate (HDR) Ir-192 brachytherapy (n = 4; 60 Gy). Eight patients also underwent external radiotherapy (median 30 Gy). The period of observation ranged from 13 months to 14 years (median 2.5 years). We selected 226 population matched younger counterpart from our medical chart.
Definitive radiation therapy was completed for all 21 patients (100%), and acute grade 2-3 mucositis related to the therapy was tolerable. Local control (initial complete response) was attained in 19 of 21 patients (90%). The 2-year and 5-year local control rates were 91%, (100% for T1, 83% for T2 and 80% for T3 tumors after 2 years). These figures was not inferior to that of younger counterpart (82% at 5-year, n.s.). The cause-specific survival rate was 83% and the regional control rate 84% at the 2-years follow-up. However, 12 patients died because of intercurrent diseases or senility, resulting in overall survival rates of 55% at 2 years and 34% at 5 years.
Age is not a limiting factor for brachytherapy for appropriately selected elderly patients, and brachytherapy achieved good local control with acceptable morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3016284  PMID: 21143904
2.  Brachytherapy boost in loco-regionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a prospective randomized trial of the International Atomic Energy Agency 
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.
PMCID: PMC4018980  PMID: 24581393
Nasopharynx; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Brachytherapy boost
3.  Brachytherapy of stage II mobile tongue carcinoma. Prediction of local control and QOL 
There is no consensus as to the prognostic model for brachytherapy of tongue carcinoma. This study was designed to evaluate the prognostic factors for local control based on a large population under a unified treatment policy.
Between 1970 and 1998, 433 patients with stage II tongue squamous cell carcinoma were treated by low-dose-rate brachytherapy. This series included 277 patients treated with a linear source with a minimum follow-up of 3 years. A spacer was introduced in 1987. The primary local control rates were 85.6%.
In the multivariate analysis, an invasive growth pattern was a significant factor for local recurrence. The disease-related survival was influenced by old age and an invasive growth pattern. A spacer lowered mandibular bone complications. The growth pattern was the most important factor for recurrence. Brachytherapy was associated with a high cure rate and the use of spacers brought about good quality of life (QOL).
PMCID: PMC1543646  PMID: 16834784
4.  Cervical brachytherapy technique for locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix in a patient with septate uterus 
To describe an approach to cervical brachytherapy in a patient with congenital septate uterus and locally advanced cervical carcinoma.
Material and methods
The patient is a 34-year-old female with septate uterus presenting with pelvic pain. Workup demonstrated a stage IIB cervical adenocarcinoma with imaging evidence of an involved right external iliac lymph node. The patient received whole pelvic radiation, with concurrent weekly cisplatin (40 mg/m2), to a dose of 45 Gy in 25 fractions followed by a parametrial boost of 5.4 Gy and an additional nodal boost of 9 Gy.
The patient was initiated on cervical brachytherapy following fraction 23 of pelvic radiation. To conform to her septated uterus, a Rotte-Y tandem was used. Additionally, 2 CT-compatible ovoids were placed in the vaginal apex to enhance dose distribution and coverage of the target volume. Each fraction of brachytherapy was performed with CT-based planning. A high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV) and normal structures were defined and constrained per American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) and Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie/European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (GEC-ESTRO) guidelines. The brachytherapy dose was 27.5 Gy in 5 fractions of 5.5 Gy each, prescribed to the HR-CTV.
Herein, we report the first documented case of cervical brachytherapy in a patient with septate uterus and locally advanced cervical carcinoma. Using CT-guided planning, in conjunction with the ABS and GEC-ESTRO guidelines, the patient was effectively treated with adapted cervical brachytherapy, meeting criteria for HR-CTV coverage and normal tissue tolerances.
PMCID: PMC4003424  PMID: 24790625
brachytherapy; cervical cancer; Rotte-Y tandem; septate uterus
5.  Patterns of Use and Short-Term Complications of Breast Brachytherapy in the National Medicare Population From 2008–2009 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(35):4302-4307.
Brachytherapy has disseminated into clinical practice as an alternative to whole-breast irradiation (WBI) for early-stage breast cancer; however, current national treatment patterns and associated complications remain unknown.
Patients and Methods
We constructed a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries ages 66 to 94 years who underwent breast-conserving surgery from 2008 to 2009 and were treated with brachytherapy or WBI. We used hospital referral regions (HRRs) to assess national treatment variation and an instrumental variable analysis to compare complication rates between treatment groups, adjusting for patient and clinical characteristics. We compared overall, wound and skin, and deep-tissue and bone complications between brachytherapy and WBI at 1 year of follow-up.
Of 29,648 women in our sample, 4,671 (15.8%) received brachytherapy. The percent of patients receiving brachytherapy varied substantially across HRRs, ranging from 0% to over 70% (interquartile range, 7.5% to 23.3%). Of women treated with brachytherapy, 34.3% had a complication compared with 27.3% of women undergoing WBI (P < .001). After adjusting for patient and clinical characteristics, 35.2% of women treated with brachytherapy (95% CI, 28.6 to 41.9) had a complication compared with 18.4% treated with WBI (95% CI, 15.5 to 21.3; P value for difference, <.001). Brachytherapy was associated with a 16.9% higher rate of wound and skin complications compared with WBI (95% CI, 10.0 to 23.9; P < .001), but there was no difference in deep-tissue and bone complications.
Brachytherapy is commonly used among Medicare beneficiaries and varies substantially across regions. After 1 year, wound and skin complications were significantly higher among women receiving brachytherapy compared with those receiving WBI.
PMCID: PMC3675700  PMID: 23091103
6.  Treatment of c-kit positive adenoid cystic carcinoma of the tongue: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(1):309-312.
Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) or ‘cylindroma’ is a malignant tumor that often occurs in the areas of the head and neck, affecting the secretory glands and the major and minor salivary glands. The present study describes a case of a patient who presented with a posterior tongue lesion. The case is of a 71-year-old female with an asymptomatic volume growth of the posterior left tongue perceived 8 months prior, and neoplastic cells positive for c-kit. A computed tomography of the head and neck showed asymmetry of the base of the tongue, which was enlarged in the left portion. A physical examination revealed a nodule on the posterior left tongue of ~3 cm in diameter, while the cervical lymph node chain had a normal size and consistency. Surgical exeresis of the tongue lesion and cervical lymph node dissection were performed. Subsequent to surgical removal of the cancer cells and adjuvant radiotherapy, the patient showed excellent health, although the follow-up remains in progress. ACC, one of the most biologically destructive tumors of the head and neck, is locally aggressive and gives rise to distant metastases. The tongue is the place of origin in 3.4–17.1% of cases. The treatment for ACC consists of primary surgical resection with adjuvant radiotherapy. To prevent the risk for distant metastasis, it is necessary to remove the first echelon nodes and monitor the patient with a long-term follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4063594  PMID: 24959267
adenoid cystic carcinoma; c-kit; cylindroma; lymph nodes; salivary gland neoplasm; tongue
7.  Angiosarcoma of the scalp: a case report 
The aim of this paper is to report the treatment of angiosarcoma of the scalp. High-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy with an individual mold applicator is presented.
Case description
A case of a 75-year-old male will be presented with multicentric lesions over the scalp in the temple and crown region. Biopsy diagnosis was angiosarcoma of the scalp, nonoperable. The patient was qualified for chemotherapy combined with radiotherapy.
Angiosarcoma of the scalp is a very aggressive tumor. The main aim of the treatment of angiosarcoma is local control of the tumor. Most cases are treated with wide excision surgery. The use of surgery with adjuvant radiotherapy or chemotherapy is recommended in some cases. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are suggested in the recurrent or extensive lesions with regional or distant metastasis. Radiation therapy can be realized with external beam therapy or brachytherapy. High-dose-rate brachytherapy is an effective, adequate, well tolerated by patients treatment method. In every case, an individual approach is needed.
The HDR brachytherapy technique is useful and practicable. The advantages of brachytherapy are: targeted dose distribution, low integral dose, and short time of treatment. The mold HDR brachytherapy treatment using an individual applicator was an appropriate tool for the presented patient.
PMCID: PMC4105641  PMID: 25097563
angiosarcoma; HDR brachytherapy; mold applicator
8.  Prognostic factors of cervical node status in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma 
Cervical nodal status is one of prognostic factors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors of cervical node status including site and size of primary tumors, presence of lymphovascular invasion, and size of cervical node for appropriate further treatment in HNSCC.
A 5-year retrospective review of patients with HNSCC in Phramongkutklao Hospital from 2009 to 2013 was conducted. Histopathologic data on primary tumors and cervical nodes were reviewed. Cervical nodes were divided into five groups: 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–30, and >30 mm. Numbers of positive and negative nodes were compared in different sizes and sites and the presence of extracapsular extension.
In all, 165 patients and 1,472 nodes were reviewed. The mean age was 52.6 years and 77.58% were male. The most frequent primary site was oral tongue (50.91%). In sum, 52.72% showed lymphovascular invasion. Thirty-five patients (81.40%) in therapeutic neck dissections and 18 patients (69.23%) in prophylactic neck dissections showed nodal metastasis. The mean size of metastatic nodes was 3.89 mm (range, 2–45 mm) and 3.53 mm (range, 2–23 mm), respectively. Significant associations were found between the size of cervical nodes and the site of primary tumor of the oral tongue, lip, base of the tongue, and floor of the mouth (p < 0.05). Metastatic lymph nodes showed extracapsular extension 69.55%. No significance was found between extracapsular extension and clinical staging, size of primary tumor, pathologic differentiation, and size of cervical nodes. Sizes of cervical lymph node of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral tongue and lip were statistically significant with the size of tumor and tumor grading (p < 0.05).
A statistical significance was found between the size of cervical nodes and the site of primary tumor of the oral tongue and lip. Herein, we recommended performing neck dissection in all cases of SCC of the base of the tongue, floor of the mouth, buccal mucosa, and retromolar trigone.
PMCID: PMC4336753
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; Cervical node metastasis; Prognostic factors
9.  An electronic brachytherapy technique for treating squamous cell carcinoma in situ of the digit: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:147.
Squamous cell carcinoma in situ of the digit presents a complex management problem, which is usually treated with surgery or radiation or topical agents. The outcome of the surgical treatment can be an undesirable cosmetic result and loss of function. We report a unique Electronic Brachytherapy technique to treat the digit, which uses a 50 Kv miniaturized X-ray source with specialized applicators.
Case presentation
A 62-year-old African-American male was presented with a 12-month history of gradual darkening of the dorsal-distal middle left finger. Examination revealed a hyper pigmented scaly patch on the proximal to lateral nail fold of the L 3rd finger, nail dystrophy, and vertical split in the lateral section of the nail. The patient underwent evaluation of the lesion by Plastic Surgery with the removal of the lateral nail and a nail bed biopsy. Pathology revealed squamous cell carcinoma in situ with a possible focal positive, deep margin. The patient deliberated over surgical opinions, and eventually decided on radiation. A high dose rate Electronic Brachytherapy system using the XOFT Accent controller delivered dose of 4000 cGy in eight fractions, twice weekly, with at least 48 hours between fractions and treatment prescribed to a depth of 0 to 2 mm. The Xoft unit has specialized skin applicators that permit superficial treatment. Parameters assessed included the efficacy, cosmetic results feasibility, and acute safety of the Electronic Brachytherapy technique.
The patient exhibited moderate redness, hyperpigmentation erythema, desquamation, and Grade 1 to 2 edema acutely (following radiation), which resolved within 1 month of the treatment. Electronic brachytherapy treatment delivery took about 6 minutes, and the total procedure time was about 15 minutes. At the median follow-up of one year, the area revealed excellent cosmesis, and there was no infection or fat necrosis, desquamation, no cancer recurrence, and no evidence of fibrosis at the last follow-up. This suggests that Electronic Brachytherapy was a viable treatment option for this particular patient.
PMCID: PMC3637079  PMID: 23587114
Skin cancer; Radiation therapy; Electronic brachytherapy
10.  Elective neck dissection versus “wait and watch” policy in tongue carcinoma 
Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences  2012;4(Suppl 2):S226-S229.
To evaluate the efficacy of elective neck dissection versus the “wait and watch” policy in the treatment of early squamous cell carcinoma of tongue.
Materials and Methods:
This is a retrospective study of 21 patients with surgical treatment between April 2009 and July 2011. The patients were divided into two groups, with Group 1 consisting of patients who underwent wide excision glossectomy with elective neck dissection and Group 2 consisting of patients who underwent glossectomy without the neck being surgically addressed. The selection of patients was done by the random double-blinded method and the review was done by a single reviewer. All patients were examined for an average period of 1 year postoperatively.
Twenty-one cases were treated, among which there were 17 T1 and 4 T2 carcinomas. All the patients had primary carcinoma involving only the tongue with no clinical neck palpable neck nodes. Eleven patients underwent wide excision of primary tumor with elective neck dissection (Group 1) and 10 patients underwent only resection of primary tumor without the neck being surgically addressed (Group 2). In Group 1, there were no recurrences, and in Group 2, there were two patients who developed subsequent cervical node metastasis with one patient undergoing further surgery to address the positive neck and the other patient was lost to follow-up.
Regional recurrence was the most common cause of failure after surgical treatment of oral tongue carcinoma. Elective neck dissection significantly reduced mortality due to regional recurrence and also increased the overall survival. Our study suggests that elective neck dissection is a treatment strategy of choice for stages I and II carcinoma of the oral tongue. A prospective, randomized study is worthwhile to further evaluate the benefit of elective neck dissection in the treatment of early carcinoma of the tongue with a larger pool of patients and a lengthier follow-up period.
PMCID: PMC3467864  PMID: 23066257
Cancer recurrence; glossectomy; squamous cell carcinoma; tongue
11.  Impact of comorbidity in elderly prostate cancer patients treated with brachytherapy 
To analyze the correlations among comorbidity and overall survival (OS), biochemical progression-free survival (b-PFS) and toxicity in elderly patients with localized prostate cancer treated with 125I brachytherapy.
Elderly men, aged ≥65 years, with low-intermediate risk prostate cancer, were treated with permanent 125I brachytherapy as monotherapy. Comorbidity data were obtained from medical reports using age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index (a-CCI). The patients were categorized into two age groups (<75 and ≥75 years old), and two comorbidity score groups (a-CCI ≤3 and >3). Toxicity was scored with Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) scale.
From June 2003 to October 2009, a total of 92 elderly patients underwent prostate brachytherapy, including 57 men (62%) with low-risk prostate cancer, and 35 men (38%) with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. The median age of patients was 75 years (range, 65-87 years). Forty-seven patients (51%) had a-CCI ≤3 and 45 patients (49%) a-CCI >3. With a median follow-up period of 56 months (range, 24-103 months), the 5-year actuarial OS and b-PFS were 91.3% and 92.4% respectively, without statistical significance between two Charlson score groups. Toxicity was mild. None of the patients experienced gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, and only 4 patiens (4%) experienced late genitourinary (GU) grade-3 (G3) toxicity. No correlation between acute GU and GI toxicity and comorbidity was showed (P=0.50 and P=0.70, respectively).
Our data suggest that elderly men with low-intermediate risk prostate cancer and comorbidity can be considered for a radical treatment as 125I low-dose rate brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC3696714  PMID: 23825903
Prostate cancer; brachytherapy; elderly; comorbidity; toxicity; overall survival; biochemical control
12.  Current Status of Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer 
Korean Journal of Urology  2012;53(11):743-749.
Brachytherapy was developed to treat prostate cancer 50 years ago. Current advanced techniques using transrectal ultrasonography were established 25 years ago. Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) has enabled the prostate to be viewed with improved resolution with the use of modern ultrasound machines. Moreover, the development of software that can provide images captured in real time has improved treatment outcomes. Other new radiologic imaging technologies or a combination of magnetic resonance and TRUS could be applied to brachytherapy in the future. The therapeutic value of brachytherapy for early-stage prostate cancer is comparable to that of radical prostatectomy in long-term follow-up. Nevertheless, widespread application of brachytherapy cannot be achieved for several reasons. The treatment outcome of brachytherapy varies according to the skill of the operator and differences in patient selection. Currently, only three radioactive isotopes are available for use in low dose rate prostate brachytherapy: I-125, Pd-103, and Cs-131; therefore, more isotopes should be developed. High dose rate brachytherapy using Ir-192 combined with external beam radiation, which is needed to verify the long-term effects, has been widely applied in high-risk patient groups. Recently, tumor-selective therapy or focal therapy using brachytherapy, which is not possible by surgical extraction, has been developed to maintain the quality of life in selected cases. However, this new application for prostate cancer treatment should be performed cautiously because we do not know the oncological outcome, and it would be an interim treatment method. This technique might evolve into a hybrid of whole-gland treatment and focal therapy.
PMCID: PMC3502731  PMID: 23185664
Brachytherapy; Neoplasms; Prostate
13.  Radiation therapy for primary vaginal carcinoma 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;54(5):931-937.
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.
PMCID: PMC3766300  PMID: 23559599
primary vaginal cancer; radiation therapy; high-dose-rate brachytherapy; intracavitary brachytherapy; interstitial brachytherapy
14.  Systematic overview of the evidence for brachytherapy in clinically localized prostate cancer 
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.
PMCID: PMC80925  PMID: 11314451
15.  Breast conservation therapy without capsular contracture in young augmented women using interstitial brachytherapy 
To describe a breast-conserving technique using interstitial brachytherapy after lumpectomy and axillary nodal sampling in selected women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in the presence of augmentation mammoplasty.
Material and methods
Over the past 20 years, we have developed and improved a technique of “pinch view” image-guided catheter insertion that avoids implant puncture. Selection criteria include: 1) women of any age with either subpectoral or retroglandular, augmentation implants (silicone or saline) who were diagnosed with stages Tis, T1, T2, N0, or N1 breast cancer; 2) any pathologic subtype of malignant breast cancer was accepted; 3) microscopic tumor extent ≤ 3 cm; 4) axillary node negative or metastasis to 1 to 3 nodes without extracapsular extension; and 5) surgical margins clear by the NSABP “no ink on tumor” definition. More than 250 women have been successfully treated. Patients were treated with high dose rate Iridium-192 brachytherapy to 34 Gy in 10 or 32 Gy in 8 twice daily fractions. The target volume was the surgical cavity edge with 1.5 to 2 cm margin using 3-D treatment planning systems.
The implant technique as currently employed is described. There have been no implant ruptures, and the Planning Treatment Volume (PTV-eval) exhibited at least 90% coverage by the 90% isodose line in the vast majority of cases. Dose Homogeneity Index exceeded 70% in most cases. The maximum skin dose was below the prescription dose in every case. Other than some patients with pre-existing capsular contracture, less than 5% experience new capsular contracture after interstitial brachytherapy.
A technique of reliable and reproducible accelerated partial breast irradiation is described that minimizes the risk of capsular contracture by avoiding circumferential dose to the foreign body in the breast.
PMCID: PMC4105651  PMID: 25097566
accelerated partial breast irradiation; brachytherapy; breast augmentation; breast cancer treatment
16.  Acute complications following intracavitary high-dose-rate brachytherapy in uterine cancer 
Almost 30% of malignancies in women of developing countries are gynecological and brachytherapy is an integral part of management of these patients. Reports of complications (both acute and late) of high-dose-rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy are sparse in world literature due to relatively small number of gynecological malignancies, particularly in advanced stage, in developed countries. High-dose-rate brachytherapy is gaining popularity in developing countries due to scientific and economic reasons. Here we are reporting our experience regarding acute complications of intracavitary brachytherapy (events occurring within 30 days of insertion needing hospitalization or death) and their causes to improve the quality of management, so that the already low incidence of acute complications can be further reduced.
Material and methods
From February 2004 to December 2012, a total of 1947 patients with uterine cancer were treated by HDR intracavitary brachytherapy in the Department of Radiotherapy, of a tertiary cancer centre of a developing country, 86% of them were cervical cancer and 14% endometrial cancer. Excluding the post-operative patients, a total of 4285 insertions were done in 1527 patients with intact uterus (eligible for analysis) and acute complications were analyzed.
Out of 4285 intracavitary brachytherapy insertions in gynecological malignancy patients, only 12 mortality and 239 morbidity instances needing hospitalization were documented and most of them were in cervical carcinoma patients.
Our results have indicated that acute complications can be minimized by pre-treatment management of co-morbidities, decreasing the time of operative lithotomy position and bed rest, avoidance of ‘conscious sedation’ in selected cases etc. Routine post insertion CT scan if done in all patients in all insertions, then only, uterine perforations can be detected early and prompt management can reduce both the mortality and morbidity to a great extent.
PMCID: PMC4200184  PMID: 25337129
acute complications; cervical cancer; HDR brachytherapy; intracavitary brachytherapy; uterine cancer
17.  Intravascular brachytherapy for peripheral vascular disease 
Scientific background
Percutaneous transluminal angioplasties (PTA) through balloon dilatation with or without stenting, i.e. vessel expansion through balloons with or without of implantation of small tubes, called stents, are used in the treatment of peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD). The intravascular vessel irradiation, called intravascular brachytherapy, promises a reduction in the rate of repeated stenosis (rate of restenosis) after PTA.
Research questions
The evaluation addresses questions on medical efficacy, cost-effectiveness as well as ethic, social and legal implications in the use of brachytherapy in PAOD patients.
A systematic literature search was conducted in August 2007 in the most important medical electronic databases for publications beginning from 2002. The medical evaluation included randomized controlled trials (RCT). The information synthesis was performed using meta-analysis. Health economic modeling was performed with clinical assumptions derived from the meta-analysis and economical assumptions derived from the German Diagnosis Related Groups (G-DRG-2007).
Medical evaluation
Twelve publications about seven RCT on brachytherapy vs. no brachytherapy were included in the medical evaluation.
Two RCT showed a significant reduction in the rate of restenosis at six and/or twelve months for brachytherapy vs. no brachytherapy after successful balloon dilatation, the relative risk in the meta-analysis was 0.62 (95% CI: 0.46 to 0.84). At five years, time to recurrence of restenosis was significantly delayed after brachytherapy.
One RCT showed a significant reduction in the rate of restenosis at six months for brachytherapy vs. no brachytherapy after PTA with optional stenting, the relative risk in the meta-analysis was 0.76 (95% CI: 0.61 to 0.95). One RCT observed a significantly higher rate of late thrombotic occlusions after brachytherapy in the subgroup of stented patients.
A single RCT for brachytherapy vs. no brachytherapy after stenting did not show significant results for the rate of restenosis at six months. Both, early and late thrombotic occlusions appeared more frequently in the brachytherapy group.
Health economic evaluation
Additional costs of brachytherapy were estimated to be 1,655 or 1,767 Euro according to the used G-DRG. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio per avoided restenosis was calculated to be 8,484 Euro or 9,058 Euro for brachytherapy use after successful balloon dilatation, 19,027 Euro or 20,314 Euro for brachytherapy after PTA with optional stenting and -39,646 Euro or -48,330 Euro for brachytherapy after stenting.
Partially poor performing and reporting quality of the RCT exacerbate the interpretation and the transferability of the study results. The used methodical approach enables the highest evidence level for the determined results and presents a good approximation of the current brachytherapy related costs for the German health care system.
Brachytherapy after successful balloon dilatation in PAOD can be recommended from a medical point of view for the reduction of the rate of restenosis at one year. However from a health economic view the answer is not yet clear. Based on the current data the use of brachytherapy after stenting in PAOD cannot be recommended neither from a medical nor from a health economic point of view. The informed consent of the patients is an important ethical aspect in the use of brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC3011304  PMID: 21289914
18.  Low-Dose-Rate Definitive Brachytherapy for High-Grade Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
The Oncologist  2011;16(2):182-188.
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.
Learning Objectives
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
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.
PMCID: PMC3228085  PMID: 21262875
Vaginal neoplasms; Carcinoma in situ; Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; Brachytherapy
19.  Tongue metastasis as an initial presentation of renal cell carcinoma: a case report and literature review 
Primary tumour of the kidney metastasizing to the tongue is very unusual and only anecdotal cases have been reported. An exhaustive literature review covering the period from 1911 onwards disclosed 28 cases. Out of those, only 3 cases presented initially with tongue metastases before the diagnosis of primary renal cell carcinoma.
The prognosis for patients with lingual metastasis of renal cell carcinoma is poor. Treatment of tongue metastasis is usually palliative and aims to provide patient comfort by means of pain relief and prevention of bleeding and infection. Surgical excision is recommended as the primary treatment with emphasis on preservation of tongue structure and function.
Case presentation
We report a case of tongue metastasis as an initial presentation of renal cell carcinoma in a 78-year-old man. Initially thought to be primary tongue cancer but on review of his histopathology again, it was diagnosed to be a rare metastasis from kidney cancer.
Tongue metastasis from renal cell carcinoma is rare and its diagnosis is a challenge. The prognosis of patients with tongue metastasis is poor. Similar to the primary tumours of the tongue, metastatic lesions may be ulcerated or polypoid. Since the tongue is a rare metastatic site, when a lesion is detected, a thorough evaluation to distinguish between metastasis and primary cancer should be made as the management and prognosis vary.
PMCID: PMC2495001  PMID: 18657269
20.  Surgical perspectives from a prospective, nonrandomized, multicenter study of breast conserving surgery and adjuvant electronic brachytherapy for the treatment of breast cancer 
Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) may be used to deliver radiation to the tumor bed post-lumpectomy in eligible patients with breast cancer. Patient and tumor characteristics as well as the lumpectomy technique can influence patient eligibility for APBI. This report describes a lumpectomy procedure and examines patient, tumor, and surgical characteristics from a prospective, multicenter study of electronic brachytherapy.
The study enrolled 65 patients of age 45-84 years with ductal carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ, and 44 patients, who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, were treated with APBI using the Axxent® electronic brachytherapy system following lumpectomy. The prescription dose was 34 Gy in 10 fractions over 5 days.
The lumpectomy technique as described herein varied by site and patient characteristics. The balloon applicator was implanted by the surgeon (91%) or a radiation oncologist (9%) during or up to 61 days post-lumpectomy (mean 22 days). A lateral approach was most commonly used (59%) for insertion of the applicator followed by an incision site approach in 27% of cases, a medial approach in 5%, and an inferior approach in 7%. A trocar was used during applicator insertion in 27% of cases. Local anesthetic, sedation, both or neither were administered in 45%, 2%, 41% and 11% of cases, respectively, during applicator placement. The prescription dose was delivered in 42 of 44 treated patients.
Early stage breast cancer can be treated with breast conserving surgery and APBI using electronic brachytherapy. Treatment was well tolerated, and these early outcomes were similar to the early outcomes with iridium-based balloon brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC3065420  PMID: 21385371
21.  Hyperfractionated high-dose rate brachytherapy in the treatment of oral tongue cancer 
Low-dose rate brachytherapy is a well established treatment modality of oral cancer. Data about high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy are still sparse with various fractionation schedules and heterogeneous results.
The aim of our retrospective study was to evaluate the results of HDR brachytherapy with doses of 3 Gy twice daily.
Patients and methods
Twenty patients with squamous cell tongue cancer were treated in the years 2001–2009 by exclusive HDR BT 18 × 3 Gy twice daily. The plastic tube technique was used. Median follow up was 47 months (7.8–118) since brachytherapy.
The local and locoregional control was 85% and 68%, respectively. Bone necrosis developed in one case treated without mandibular shielding and soft tissue necrosis in 2 cases.
It can be concluded that HDR brachytherapy with 18 × 3 Gy twice daily is safe with promising local control. The risk of nodal recurrences is substantial.
PMCID: PMC3863239  PMID: 24376988
Oral cancer; High-dose rate brachytherapy
22.  Brachytherapy of intra ocular tumors using ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’: An Indian experience 
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology  2014;62(2):158-162.
To report our experience of brachytherapy using ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’ for the management of intraocular tumors with regard to tumor control, globe preservation visual outcome, and patient survival at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India between September 2003 and May 2011.
Materials and Methods:
We reviewed records of 35 eyes of 35 patients who underwent ophthalmic brachytherapy between September 2003 and May 2011. Twenty-one cases had choroidal melanoma, nine had childhood retinoblastoma, two had adult-onset retinoblastoma, and there were one case each of vasoproliferative tumor, retinal angioma, and ciliary body melanoma. Brachytherapy was administered using a 15- or 20-mm gold plaque with or without a notch. Brachytherapy was the primary treatment modality in all tumors other than retinoblastoma, wherein brachytherapy was done post chemoreduction for residual tumor.
For choroidal melanomas, the mean radiation dose was 68.69 ± 15.07 (range, 47.72-94.2) Gy. The eye salvage rate was 13/20 (65%) and tumor control rate was 16/20 (80%) at an average follow-up of 24.43 ± 24.75 (range, 1.5-87.98) months. For retinoblastoma, the mean dose was 45.85 ± 3.90 (range, 39.51-50.92) Gy. The eye salvage rate and tumor control rate was 5/6 (83.3%) at an average follow-up of 38.36 ± 31.33 (range, 4.14-97.78) months. All eyes with retinoblastoma needed additional focal therapy for tumor control and eye salvage.
The results of this retrospective study confirms that the use of ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’ in episcleral plaques to treat intraocular tumors offers a viable option for the management of intraocular cancers.
PMCID: PMC4005230  PMID: 24618486
‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seeds’; choroidal melanoma; ciliary body melanoma; Episcleral plaque brachytherapy; retinal angioma; retinoblastoma; vasoproliferative tumor
23.  Salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence after initial brachytherapy for prostate cancer: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):760.
To report the efficacy and safety of salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence after initial brachytherapy in a patient with prostate cancer. As far as we know, this is a first report of salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence in Japan.
Case presentation
A 70-year-old Japanese man with low-risk prostate cancer received low-dose-rate brachytherapy. Forty-two months after the seed implantation, he showed biochemical recurrence based on the nadir + 2 ng/mL definition. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was 5.11 ng/mL at 58 months after seed implantation. A saturation biopsy of the prostate showed no recurrence. Systemic screening also showed no distant metastases. However, T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a low intensity area at the base of the right seminal vesicle, which was strongly suggestive of recurrence. Sixty months after the initial therapy, a seminal vesicle biopsy confirmed recurrence with a Gleason score of 4 + 3 before salvage brachytherapy was performed. The prescribed dose was 145 Gy, the same as the dose of the initial therapy. One month later, the PSA level had rapidly declined to 0.898 ng/mL without androgen deprivation therapy. Ten months after the salvage brachytherapy, the PSA level reached 0.078 ng/mL. No adverse events were seen during the follow-up period.
We experienced a patient who was successfully treated with salvage brachytherapy for seminal vesicle recurrence. Salvage brachytherapy is one of the promising therapeutic options for recurrence after initial brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC4216847  PMID: 25344831
Salvage brachytherapy; Seminal vesicle recurrence; Prostate cancer
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.
PMCID: PMC2396328  PMID: 15275727
Prostate cancer; Brachytherapy; MRI; Image guidance
25.  Adaptive 3D Image-Guided Brachytherapy: A Strong Argument in the Debate on Systematic Radical Hysterectomy for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer 
The Oncologist  2013;18(4):415-422.
The outcomes of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer treated with three-dimensional image-guided brachytherapy after concomitant chemoradiation were evaluated. An excellent locoregional control rate with low treatment-related morbidity was observed, justifying the elimination of hysterectomy in the absence of obvious residual disease.
Learning Objectives
Evaluate control rates of IGABT combined with CCRT for the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer.Describe survival outcomes in patients treated with IGABT combined with CCRT for locally advanced cervical cancer.Describe toxicities in patients treated with IGABT combined with CCRT for locally advanced cervical cancer.
To evaluate the outcomes of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer treated with three-dimensional image-guided brachytherapy (IGABT) after concomitant chemoradiation (CCRT).
Materials and Methods.
Data from patients treated with CCRT followed by magnetic resonance imaging-guided or computed tomography-guided pulsed-dose-rate brachytherapy, performed according to the Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie–European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology guidelines, were reviewed. At first, stage I or II patients systematically underwent radical hysterectomy or were offered a randomized study evaluating hysterectomy. Then, hysterectomy was limited to salvage treatment.
Of 163 patients identified, 27% had stage IB, 57% had stage II, 12% had stage III, and 3% had stage IVA disease. The mean dose delivered (in 2-Gy dose equivalents) to 90% of the high-risk clinical target volume was 78.1 ± 9.6 Gy, whereas the doses delivered to organs at risk were maintained under the usual thresholds. Sixty-one patients underwent a hysterectomy. Macroscopic residual disease was found in 13 cases. With a median follow-up of 36 months (range, 5–79 months), 45 patients had relapsed. The 3-year overall survival rate was 76%. Local and pelvic control rates were 92% and 86%, respectively. According to the Common Toxicity Criteria 3.0, 7.4% of patients experienced late grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Most of those had undergone postradiation radical surgery (2.9% vs. 14.8; p = .005).
IGABT combined with CCRT provides excellent locoregional control rates with low treatment-related morbidity, justifying the elimination of hysterectomy in the absence of obvious residual disease. Distant metastasis remains an important first relapse and may warrant more aggressive systemic treatment.
PMCID: PMC3639528  PMID: 23568003
Cervical cancer; Image-guided adaptive brachytherapy; Chemoradiation; Optimization; Dose escalation

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