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1.  Prostate cancer boost using high-dose-rate brachytherapy: early toxicity analysis of 3 different fractionation schemes 
To analyse early toxicity of high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDRB) boost for prostate cancer using 3 fractionation schemes.
Material and methods
From February 2009 to May 2012, after the first course of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT 46 Gy/23 f), 124 patients underwent HDRB boost for low (7%), intermediate (19%), and high-risk (73%) prostate cancers. From February to December 2009, Group 1 (G1) = 18 Gy/3 f/2 d (24%); from January 2010 to April 2011, Group 2 (G2) = 18 Gy/2 f/2 d (42%), and from May to September 2011, Group 3 (G3) = 14 Gy/1 f/1 d (34%). Planning and CT-scan was performed before each fraction. Dose constraints for G1/G2 were V100 rectum = 0 and V125 urethra = 0, while for G3 V90 rectum = 0 and V115 urethra = 0. Genito-urinary (GU) and Gastro-intestinal (GI) acute toxicities were assessed at 1 month (for the 3 fractionation schemes) and 6 months (for 18 Gy/3 f and 18 Gy/2 f) after the boost (CTCv3.0).
Median follow-up was 25 months (8-46.9), median age was 71 years (50-82), and median CTV was 31 cc (16-71). The grades of acute GI and GU toxicities at 1 and 6 months after HDRB were mainly Grade 1 with few Grade 2 (GU: 5% at 1 month; GI: 1% at 6 months). One patient developed G4 sepsis toxicity 2 days after HDRB and recovered without after-effects. No significant differences were observed at 1 and 6 months after the HDRB between treatment groups.
The right fractionation remains under discussion, but prostate cancer HDRB boost using a single fraction (providing similar results in terms of acute toxicity) is more comfortable for the patient, and less time consuming for the medical staff.
PMCID: PMC3899633  PMID: 24474968
boost; early toxicity; fractionation; high-dose-rate brachytherapy; prostate cancer
2.  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
3.  Vaginal tolerance of CT based image-guided high-dose rate interstitial brachytherapy for gynecological malignancies 
Purpose of this study was to identify predictors of vaginal ulcer after CT based three-dimensional image-guided high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy (HDR-ISBT) for gynecologic malignancies.
Records were reviewed for 44 female (14 with primary disease and 30 with recurrence) with gynecological malignancies treated with HDR-ISBT with or without external beam radiation therapy. The HDR-ISBT applicator insertion was performed with image guidance by trans-rectal ultrasound and CT.
The median clinical target volume was 35.5 ml (2.4-142.1 ml) and the median delivered dose in equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions (EQD2) for target volume D90 was 67.7 Gy (48.8-94.2 Gy, doses of external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy were combined). For re-irradiation patients, median EQD2 of D2cc for rectum and bladder, D0.5cc, D1cc, D2cc, D4cc, D6cc and D8cc for vaginal wall was 91.1 Gy, 100.9 Gy, 260.3 Gy, 212.3 Gy, 170.1 Gy, 117.1 Gy, 105.2 Gy, and 94.7 Gy, respectively. For those without prior radiation therapy, median EQD2 of D2cc for rectum and bladder, D0.5cc, D1cc, D2cc, D4cc, D6cc and D8cc for vaginal wall was 56.3 Gy, 54.3 Gy, 147.4 Gy, 126.2 Gy, 108.0 Gy, 103.5 Gy, 94.7 Gy, and 80.7 Gy, respectively. Among five patients with vaginal ulcer, three had prior pelvic radiation therapy in their initial treatment and three consequently suffered from fistula formation. On univariate analysis, re-irradiation and vaginal wall D2cc in EQD2 was the clinical predictors of vaginal ulcer (p = 0.035 and p = 0.025, respectively). The ROC analysis revealed that vaginal wall D2cc is the best predictor of vaginal ulcer. The 2-year incidence rates of vaginal ulcer in the patients with vaginal wall D2cc in EQD2 equal to or less than 145 Gy and over 145 Gy were 3.7% and 23.5%, respectively, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.026).
Re-irradiation and vaginal D2cc is a significant predictor of vaginal ulcer after HDR-ISBT for gynecologic malignancies. Three-dimensional image-guided treatment planning should be performed to ensure adequate target coverage while minimizing vaginal D2cc in order to avoid vagina ulcer.
PMCID: PMC3909309  PMID: 24456669
Gynecologic brachytherapy; High-dose-rate brachytherapy; Interstitial brachytherapy; Vaginal ulcer
4.  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
5.  IMRT with 18FDG-PET\CT based simultaneous integrated boost for treatment of nodal positive cervical cancer 
To evaluate toxicity and outcome of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) to the positive lymph nodes in patients with loco-regional advanced cervical cancer (LRACC).
The study population comprised ten patients with 18FDG-PET\CT positive lymph nodes (LNs), who underwent chemoradiation with IMRT and SIB. A dose of 50.4 Gy, in daily fractions of 1.8 Gy, was delivered to primary tumor and draining LNs. Primary tumor received an additional external beam boost to a total dose of 55.8 Gy. A SIB of 62 Gy, in daily fractions of 2 Gy, was delivered to the 18FDG-PET\CT positive LNs. Finally, a high dose rate brachytherapy (HDRB) boost (15 – 18 Gy) was administered to the primary tumor. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate acute and early late toxicity and loco-regional control.
The median number of irradiated LNs per patient was 3 (range: 1–6) with a median middle nodal SIB-volume of 26.10 cm3 (range, 11.9-82.50 cm3). Median follow-up was 20 months (range, 12 to 30 months). Acute and late grade 3 toxicity was observed in 1 patient. Three of the patients developed a recurrence, one in the form of a local tumor relapse, one had a paraaortic LN metastasis outside the treated volume and the last one developed a distant metastasis.
IMRT with SIB in the region of 18FDG-PET positive lymph nodes appears to be an effective therapy with acceptable toxicity and might be useful in the treatment of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.
PMCID: PMC4014138  PMID: 24661323
Cervical cancer; Loco-regional lymph nodes; Intensity modulated radiotherapy; Simultaneous integrated boost
6.  Use of electronic brachytherapy to deliver postsurgical adjuvant radiation therapy for endometrial cancer: a retrospective multicenter study 
OncoTargets and therapy  2010;3:197-203.
This retrospective, multicenter study evaluated the feasibility and safety of high-dose rate electronic brachytherapy (EBT) as a postsurgical adjuvant radiation therapy for endometrial cancer.
Medical records were reviewed from 41 patients (age 40–89 years) with endometrial cancer (Federation of International Gynecology and Obstetrics stages IA–IIIC) treated at nine centers between April 2008 and October 2009. Treatment included intracavitary vaginal EBT alone (n = l6) at doses of 18.0–24.0 Gy in 3–4 fractions and EBT in combination with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT, n = 25) at a total radiation dose range of 40.0–80.4 Gy. Doses were prescribed to a depth of 5 mm from the applicator surface and to the upper third (n = 15) and the upper half (n = 26) of the vagina.
Median follow-up was 3.8 (range 0.5–12.0) months. All 41 patients received the intended dose of radiation as prescribed. Adverse events occurred in 13 of 41 patients and were mild to moderate (Grade 1–2), consisting primarily of vaginal mucositis, rectal mucosal irritation and discomfort, and temporary dysuria and diarrhea. There were no Grade 3 adverse events in the EBT-only treatment group. One patient, who was being treated with the combination of EBT and EBRT for recurrent endometrial cancer, had a Grade 3 adverse event. No recurrences have been reported to date.
Electronic brachytherapy provides a feasible treatment option for postoperative adjuvant vaginal brachytherapy as sole radiation therapy and in combination with EBRT for primary endometrial cancer. Early and late toxicities were mild to moderate.
PMCID: PMC2962306  PMID: 21049086
endometrial cancer; electronic brachytherapy; radiation therapy
7.  High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy for the Treatment of Vaginal Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN), a rare premalignant condition, is difficult to eradicate. We assess the effectiveness of high-dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR-ICR) in patients with VAIN or carcinoma in situ (CIS) of the vagina after hysterectomy.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed 34 patients treated for posthysterectomy VAIN or CIS of the vagina by brachytherapy as the sole treatment. All patients underwent a coloposcopic-directed punch biopsy or had abnormal cytology, at least 3 consecutive times. All patients were treated with a vaginal cylinder applicator. The total radiation dose was mainly 40 Gy in 8 fractions during the periods of 4 weeks at a prescription point of the median 0.2 cm (range, 0 to 0.5 cm) depth from the surface of the vaginal mucosa.
Acute toxicity was minimal. Seven patients had grade 1/2 acute urinary and rectal complications. There were 15 cases of late toxicity, predominantly vaginal mucosal reaction in 12 patients. Of these patients, two patients suffered from grade 3 vaginal stricture and dyspareunia continuously. After a median follow-up time of 48 months (range, 4 to 122 months), there were 2 recurrences and 2 persistent diseases, in which a second-line therapy was needed. The success rate was 88.2%. The average prescription point in failure patients was 1.1 mm from the surface of the vagina compared to an average of 2.6 mm in non-recurrent patients (p=0.097).
HDR-ICR is an effective treatment method in VAIN patients. In spite of high cure rates, we should consider issues regarding vaginal toxicity and radiation techniques to reduce the occurrence of failure and toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3918530  PMID: 24520226
Vaginal neoplasms; Carcinoma in situ; Radiotherapy; Brachytherapy
8.  Extended abdominoperineal resection in women: the barbadian experience 
Background and objectives
We report our results of a selective approach to primary direct appositional vaginal repair versus transverse rectus abdominis flap repair (TRAM) in patients with extensive rectal/anal cancer or in cases with primary cancer of cervix, vagina or vulva involving the anal canal and anal sphincters.
Eighteen female patients (mean age: 62.9 years; range: 44–81 years) with a median follow-up of 14 months (range: 2–36 months) undergoing extended abdominoperineal reconstruction with total mesorectal excision between May 2002 and September 2005, were studied.
Twelve patients underwent an extended abdominoperineal resection with hysterectomy and vaginectomy, with 6 patients undergoing primary TRAM flap reconstruction following pelvic exenteration. Exenterative procedures were performed in 2 cases of primary vaginal cancer, following Wertheim hysterectomy for carcinoma of the cervix with recurrence after radiation and in 2 further cases of anal cancer with extensive pelvic recurrence after primary chemoradiation. Fifteen cases are alive on follow-up with no evidence of disease; 2 patients who had recurrent carcinoma of the cervix and who underwent TRAM flap reconstruction, have recurrent disease after 5 and 6 months of follow-up, respectively.
Our experience shows that careful primary closure of an extended abdominoperineal resection wound is effective and safe. Our one case of wound breakdown after primary repair underwent external beam and intracavitary irradiation primarily with wound breakdown of a primary repair followed by a delayed pedicled graciloplasty. TRAM flap reconstruction has been reserved in our unit for patients undergoing total pelvic extenteration. In general, we would recommend the use of TRAM flap reconstruction in younger sexually active patients where there has been external irradiation combined with brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC1779795  PMID: 17214895
9.  Cervical necrosis after chemoradiation for cervical cancer: case series and literature review 
The aim of this study was to assess the management of cervical necrosis (CN) following radiotherapy (RT) and the impact of smoking status. This rare complication mimics a neoplastic recurrence, and causes concern among attending physicians.
Between July 2008 and March 2013, 5 women on 285 with localized cervical cancer had a CN following RT. Patients were treated with concomitant chemoradiation. The medical records were reviewed to abstract demographic and clinical information until March 2013.
1.75% (95% confidence interval: 0.23 to 3.28%) developed CN. All patients were smokers with a mean of 19.5 pack-years (range: 7.5-45 pack-years). All patients were treated with weekly Cisplatin chemotherapy and external beam radiation to the pelvis, 45 Gy in 25 fractions. Four patients received an extra boost with a median dose of 7.2 Gy (range: 5.4-10 Gy). All patients had intracavitary brachytherapy (range: 27.9 to 30 Gy). Clinical presentation was similar for all the cases: vaginal discharge associated with pain. Mean time for time post-radiation therapy to necrosis was 9.3 months (range: 2.2-20.5 months). Standard workup was done to exclude cancer recurrence: biopsies and radiologic imaging. Conservative treatment was performed with excellent results. Resolution of the necrosis was complete after a few months (range: 1 to 4 months). Median follow-up until March 2013 was 19 months. All the patients were alive with no clinical evidence of disease.
This study, the largest to date, shows that conservative management of CN after RT is effective, and should be attempted. This complication is more common in smokers, and counseling intervention should result in fewer complications of CN.
PMCID: PMC3850955  PMID: 24053332
Cervical cancer; Necrosis; Radiotherapy; Radiation therapy; Chemoradiation; Smoking; Management
10.  A Novel Low Dose Fractionation Regimen for Adjuvant Vaginal Brachytherapy in Early Stage Endometrial Cancer 
Gynecologic oncology  2012;127(2):351-355.
To evaluate local control, survival and toxicity in patients with early-stage endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterus treated with adjuvant high-dose-rate (HDR) vaginal brachytherapy (VB) alone using a novel low dose regimen
We reviewed records of 414 patients with stage IA to stage II endometrial adenocarcinoma treated with VB alone from 2005 to 2011. Of these, 157 patients with endometrioid histology received 24 Gy in 6 fractions of HDR vaginal cylinder brachytherapy and constitute the study population. Dose was prescribed at the cylinder surface and delivered twice weekly in the post-operative setting. Local control and survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
All 157 patients completed the prescribed course of VB. Median follow-up time was 22.8 months (range, 1.5–76.5). Two patients developed vaginal recurrence, one in the periurethral region below the field and one in the fornix after treatment with a 2.5-cm cylinder. Three patients developed regional recurrence in the para-aortic region. Two patients developed distant metastasis (lung and carcinomatosis). The 2-year rate of vaginal control was 98.6%, locoregional control was 97.9% and disease-free survival was 96.8%. The 2-year overall survival rate was 98.7%. No Grade 2 or higher vaginal, gastrointestinal, genitourinary or skin long-term toxicity was reported for any patient.
Vaginal brachytherapy alone in early-stage endometrial cancer provides excellent results in terms of locoregional control and disease-free survival. The fractionation scheme of 24 Gy in 6 fractions prescribed to the cylinder surface was well-tolerated with minimal late toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3548566  PMID: 22850411
Endometrial cancer; vaginal brachytherapy; high-dose-rate
11.  Preoperative external beam radiotherapy and reduced dose brachytherapy for carcinoma of the cervix: survival and pathological response 
To evaluate the pathologic response of cervical carcinoma to external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and high dose rate brachytherapy (HDRB) and outcome.
Materials and methods
Between 1992 and 2001, 67 patients with cervical carcinoma were submitted to preoperative radiotherapy. Sixty-five patients were stage IIb. Preoperative treatment included 45 Gy EBRT and 12 Gy HDRB. Patients were submitted to surgery after a mean time of 82 days. Lymphadenectomy was performed in 81% of patients. Eleven patients with residual cervix residual disease on pathological specimen were submitted to 2 additional insertions of HDRB.
median follow up was 72 months. Five-year cause specific survival was 75%, overall survival 65%, local control 95%. Complete pelvic pathological response was seen in 40%. Surgery performed later than 80 days was associated with pathological response. Pelvic nodal involvement was found in 12%. Complete pelvic pathological response and negative lymphnodes were associated with better outcome (p = .03 and p = .005). Late grade 3 and 4 urinary and intestinal adverse effects were seen in 12 and 2% of patients.
Time allowed between RT and surgery correlated with pathological response. Pelvic pathological response was associated with improved outcome. Postoperative additional HDRB did not improve therapeutic results. Treatment was well tolerated.
PMCID: PMC1817645  PMID: 17316435
12.  The Role of Postoperative Irradiation in the Treatment of Locally Recurrent Incompletely Resected Extra-Abdominal Desmoid Tumors 
Sarcoma  2004;8(2-3):83-86.
Background: To define the efficacy of postoperative irradiation in patients with recurrent extra-abdominal desmoid tumors in whom surgical intervention has resulted in microscopically or grossly positive surgical margins.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients referred to the department of radiation oncology at the Detroit Medical Center with a diagnosis of recurrent extra-abdominal desmoid tumor. This analysis includes all patients seen from 1 January 1990 through 31 December 1999. A total of 11 patients were treated to 13 sites. Ten had microscopically positive margins and three had gross residual disease. Three patients were noted to have multifocal disease at the time of initial representation. Local control, survival, follow-up, and subsequent development of new tumors are measured from the last day of treatment with irradiation.
Results: Thirteen sites were treated. Seven patients had received chemotherapy/hormonal therapy prior to surgery and/or irradiation. The most commonly used drug was tamoxifen (n=6). The type of radiation delivered included external beam irradiation alone (n=3), combined external beam irradiation and brachytherapy (n=4), brachytherapy alone (n=3) and 252-Cf neutron brachytherapy alone (n=3). Follow-up has ranged from 29 to 115 months (median=76 months). Three patients have failed locally at 17, 24 and 29 months. One of these was treated for gross residual disease. No patient has died of tumor-related causes. Salvage at the failed sites was possible in twom of three with re-irradiation using external neutrons and/or aggressive surgical intervention and systemic therapy. Complications were most often noted to include decrease range in motion, especially in joint areas, and skin reactions which were normal in presentation. In one site there was development soft tissue necrosis.
Conclusion: Based on our experience we recommend postoperative irradiation for all recurrent extra-abdominal desmoid lesions with microscopically or grossly positive surgical margins. Furthermore, patients with recurrent desmoid tumors involving the bony structures of the hand or feet are poor candidates for brachytherapy alone. For patients with extremity lesions, brachytherapy may be a reasonable treatment option provided adequate margins around the tumor bed are covered. The continued recommended use of irradiation in this group of patients is warranted.
PMCID: PMC2395611  PMID: 18521399
13.  Thermal boost combined with interstitial brachytherapy in breast conserving therapy – Assessment of early toxicity 
Hyperthermia (HT) causes a direct damage to cancerous cells and/or sensitize them to radiotherapy with usually minimal injury to normal tissues. Adjuvant HT is probably one of the most effective radiation sensitizers known and works best when delivered simultaneously with radiation. In breast conserving therapy, irradiation has to minimize the risk of local relapse within the treated breast, especially in an area of a tumor bed. Brachytherapy boost reduces 5-year local recurrence rate to mean 5,5%, so there still some place for further improvement. The investigated therapeutic option is an adjuvant single session of local HT (thermal boost) preceding standard CT-based multicatheter interstitial HDR brachytherapy boost in order to increase the probability of local cure.
To report the short-term results in regard to early toxicity of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy (BT) boost with or without interstitial microwave hyperthermia (MV HT) for early breast cancer patients treated with breast conserving therapy (BCT).
Materials and methods
Between February 2006 and December 2007, 57 stage IA–IIIA breast cancer patients received a 10 Gy HDR BT boost after conservative surgery and 42.5–50 Gy whole breast irradiation (WBI) ± adjuvant chemotherapy. 32 patients (56.1%) were treated with additional pre-BT single session of interstitial MW HT to a tumor bed (multi-catheter technique). Reference temperature was 43 °C and therapeutic time (TT) was 1 h. Incidence, severity and duration of radiodermatitis, skin oedema and skin erythema in groups with (I) or without HT (II) were assessed, significant p-value ≤ 0.05.
Median follow-up was 40 months. Local control was 100% and distant metastasis free survival was 91.1%. HT sessions (median): reference temperature 42.2 °C, therapeutic time (TT) 61.4 min, total thermal dose 42 min and a gap between HT and BT 30 min. Radiodermatitis grades I and II occurred in 24 and 6 patients, respectively, differences between groups I and II were not significant. Skin oedema and erythema occurred in 48 (85.7%) and 36 (64.3%) cases, respectively, and were equally distributed between the groups. The incidence and duration of skin oedema differed between the subgroups treated with different fractionation protocols of WBI, p = 0.006. Skin oedema was present up to 12 months. No difference in pattern of oedema regression between groups I and II was observed, p = 0.933.
Additional thermal boost preceding standard HDR BT boost has a potential of further improvement in breast cancer local control in BCT. Pre-BT hyperthermia did not increase early toxicity in patients treated with BCT and was well tolerated. All side effects of combined treatment were transient and were present for up to 12 months. The increase in incidence of skin oedema was related to hypofractionated protocols of WBI. The study has to be randomized and continued on a larger group of breast cancer patients to verify the potential of local control improvement and to assess the profile of late toxicity.
PMCID: PMC3863141  PMID: 24376963
Hyperthermia; Brachytherapy boost; Breast cancer
14.  The Role of Irradiation in the Management of Locally Recurrent Non-Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcoma of Extremity/Trunkal Locations 
Sarcoma  2004;8(2-3):57-61.
Background: Patients who have had initial curative intent therapy for non-metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, and who subsequently relapse at the initial site without evidence of metastatic disease, have various options regarding local treatment. The treatment options available will be determined by the extent of relapse, previous therapy rendered, and patient characteristics. We reported on a series of 31 patients treated initially with only surgery for extremity/trunkal high-grade soft tissue sarcoma and then seen for recurrence at our institution between 1980 and 1999. Local re-treatment consisted of combined modality therapy, most often aggressive surgical debulking/resection and irradiation, in an effort to reduce the need for amputation and, where anatomically allowable, to maintain a functional limb. We report our results in re-establishing local control, subsequent survival, and complication rates.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with locally recurrent, non-metastatic high-grade soft tissue sarcoma, (excluding extraabdominal desmoid) were retrospectively reviewed to determine local control, survival, and complication rates associated with the relapsed disease. All patients had multimodality re-treatment most often utilizing aggressive surgical debulking and irradiation. The irradiation consisted of either external beam alone, brachytherapy alone, or a combination of external beam and brachytherapy. Nine patients also received multi-agent, multi-cycle chemotherapy using various regimens. In addition, the impact of surgical margin at the time of re-resection (gross versus microscopic disease), radiation treatment type, total radiation dose delivered, size of relapse, histological sub-type, sex and age, were evaluated to determine if they had any impact on the re-establishment of local control and subsequent survival.
Results: Local control was re-established in 25 of 31 (80.6%) patients. Two additional patients with isolated local relapse after irradiation were salvaged with amputation and remain NED at last follow-up. With these patients a total of 27/31 (87%) are now with local control. At last follow-up, which ranged from 23 to 192 months, 23 of 31 (74%) remained alive. Of the eight patients who have died, four had evidence of local and distant failure. Two additional patients died of distant failure while the treated sites remained in local control and two patients, both NED, died of intracurrent processes. Follow-up for those patients who had re-established local control has ranged from 23 to 192 months (median=60.5 months). Time to local failure following re-treatment ranged between 3 and 72 months following re-treatment (median=12 months). Five patients had significant treatment related complications. Included are two patients in which amputation was required due to local recurrences. Two patients developed a soft tissue necrosis and one patient had a wound healing problem that resolved with conservative management. No statistical significance in the development of local control could be found based on surgical margin status, total dose of irradiation (greater or less than 60 Gy), size of recurrence (greater than 5 cm), histological sub-type, sex, or age (greater than 50 years). There was a trend for negative impact for those patients receiving only external beam irradiation.
Conclusion: Selective locally recurrent, non-metastatic soft tissue sarcoma of the extremity/trunkal regions should still be considered eligible for aggressive limb-sparing therapy. Our experience suggests that a majority of patients re-establish local control following aggressive surgical resection/debulking and irradiation and this appears to be durable in its nature. The role of chemotherapy in this group of patients remains investigational. In a surprising finding, one patient re-relapsed in the re-treatment site at 72 months, thus justifying continued strict surveillance not only in the primary site but also for subsequent metastatic disease.
PMCID: PMC2395609  PMID: 18521396
15.  Tolerance of the vaginal vault to high-dose rate brachytherapy and concomitant chemo-pelvic irradiation: Long-term perspective☆ 
We sought to determine the tolerance level and complication rates of the vaginal vault to combined high-dose-rate intra-cavitary brachytherapy with concomitant chemo-radiotherapy.
Patients and methods
A retrospective review of medical records of all the patients who received definitive chemo-radiotherapy for cervical cancer between 1998 and 2002 was undertaken. The records were reviewed for doses and for radiation-associated early and late sequelae of the vagina, rectum and bladder. Cumulative biological effective dose was calculated for two reference vaginal surface points.
Fifty patients were included. Average age at diagnosis was 54 years. Median follow-up was 59 months. There were no recorded instances of acute grade IV toxicity. Maximal high-dose-rate vaginal surface dose (upper central point) was 103 Gy, and maximal brachytherapy lateral surface dose was 70 Gy. Maximal cumulative biological effective dose for the lateral surface reference point was 465.5 Gy3, and the maximal cumulative biological effective dose for the superior reference point was 878.6 Gy3. There were no cases of vaginal necrosis or fistulas, and no cases of grade IV late vaginal, rectal or bladder toxicity. No correlation was found between the maximal vaginal surface dose and vaginal, rectal or bladder toxicity.
The maximal surface HDR brachytherapy dose of 103 Gy and the maximal cBED of 878.6 Gy3 were not associated with fistula or necrosis or other grade 3–4 vaginal complications. Concomitant chemo-radiotherapy, including pelvic radiotherapy and high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy, is relatively safe for cervical cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4056520  PMID: 24936320
Tolerance; Vagina; Irradiation; High-dose-rate; Brachytherapy
16.  CyberKnife Boost for Patients with Cervical Cancer Unable to Undergo Brachytherapy 
Standard radiation therapy for patients undergoing primary chemosensitized radiation for carcinomas of the cervix usually consists of external beam radiation followed by an intracavitary brachytherapy boost. On occasion, the brachytherapy boost cannot be performed due to unfavorable anatomy or because of coexisting medical conditions. We examined the safety and efficacy of using CyberKnife stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) as a boost to the cervix after external beam radiation in those patients unable to have brachytherapy to give a more effective dose to the cervix than with conventional external beam radiation alone. Six consecutive patients with anatomic or medical conditions precluding a tandem and ovoid boost were treated with combined external beam radiation and CyberKnife boost to the cervix. Five patients received 45 Gy to the pelvis with serial intensity-modulated radiation therapy boost to the uterus and cervix to a dose of 61.2 Gy. These five patients received an SBRT boost to the cervix to a dose of 20 Gy in five fractions of 4 Gy each. One patient was treated to the pelvis to a dose of 45 Gy with an external beam boost to the uterus and cervix to a dose of 50.4 Gy. This patient received an SBRT boost to the cervix to a dose of 19.5 Gy in three fractions of 6.5 Gy. Five percent volumes of the bladder and rectum were kept to ≤75 Gy in all patients (i.e., V75 Gy ≤ 5%). All of the patients remain locally controlled with no evidence of disease following treatment. Grade 1 diarrhea occurred in 4/6 patients during the conventional external beam radiation. There has been no grade 3 or 4 rectal or bladder toxicity. There were no toxicities observed following SBRT boost. At a median follow-up of 14 months, CyberKnife radiosurgical boost is well tolerated and efficacious in providing a boost to patients with cervix cancer who are unable to undergo brachytherapy boost. Further follow-up is required to see if these results remain durable.
PMCID: PMC3356152  PMID: 22655266
cervix; SBRT; brachytherapy; CyberKnife
17.  Permanent interstitial re-irradiation with Au-198 seeds in patients with post-radiation locally recurrent uterine carcinoma 
Journal of Radiation Research  2012;54(2):299-306.
This study sought to analyze the outcome of patients with post-treatment locally recurrent uterine carcinoma treated with Au-198 seed permanent interstitial re-irradiation (Au-198 IRI). A retrospective review of the data of 15 patients with post-treatment locally recurrent uterine carcinoma treated with Au-198 IRI between 1991 and 2009 was performed to evaluate the disease response, local control, overall survival and complication rates. All the patients had received definitive radiation therapy or surgery as the initial treatment. None were judged as being suitable candidates for surgical treatment, and were referred for Au-198 IRI. Au-198 IRI was performed for the vaginal wall in 8 patients, vaginal stump in 4 patients, vulva in 2 patients, and cervix in 1 patient. The median tumor volume was 1.3 cm3(range, 0.4–6.9), the median treated volume was 6.3 cm3(range, 1.8–11), and the median prescribed dose was 76 Gy (range, 68–90). At a median follow-up duration of 19 months (range, 4.3–146.9), 13 of 15 patients (87%) showed complete responses after Au-198 IRI, although 10 of these 13 patients (77%) developed repeat central recurrence again between 2.5 and 49.7 months after the Au-198 IRI (median, 12.5 months). The overall 2-year local control rate and 2-year overall survival rate in the 15 patients were 33% and 64%, respectively. Two (13%) of the 15 patients experienced late complications that were more severe than Grade III. As a result, Au-198 IRI is considered to be one of the salvage treatment modalities with tolerable complications for inoperable centrally recurrent uterine carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3589930  PMID: 23071003
uterine carcinoma; brachytherapy; local recurrence; Au-198 seed permanent interstitial re-irradiation
18.  Vaginal Recurrence More than 17 Years after Hysterectomy and Adjuvant Treatment for Uterine Carcinoma with Successful Salvage Brachytherapy: A Case Report 
Case Reports in Oncology  2011;4(1):242-245.
Although the majority of recurrences occur within the first 3 years of hysterectomy for endometrioid carcinoma, we report herein a successful salvage vaginal brachytherapy in a patient with endometrioid uterine carcinoma which recurred more than 17 years after initial treatment.
Materials and Methods
A 61-year-old female was diagnosed with endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterus and treated with TAH-BSO, followed by adjuvant external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) to the whole pelvis. After remaining free of any recurrent or metastatic disease for more than 17 years, she was diagnosed with isolated vaginal cuff recurrence and successfully treated with a salvage high-dose-rate intracavitary vaginal brachytherapy.
The patient remained disease free until her death from unrelated causes 7 years later.
To the best of our knowledge, this case represents the longest time to recurrence of endometrial cancer in someone who had been treated with TAH-BSO and adjuvant pelvic EBRT. This case highlights that even with adjuvant therapy, late recurrences may occur, and successful salvage brachytherapy is very effective.
PMCID: PMC3094580  PMID: 21589885
Uterine carcinoma; Late recurrence; Brachytherapy; Salvage treatment
19.  Analysis of prognostic factors in localized high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with HDR brachytherapy, hypofractionated 3D-CRT and neoadjuvant/adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (trimodality therapy) 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;55(3):527-532.
Trimodality therapy consisting of high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy combined with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT) and adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) has been used to treat localized high-risk prostate cancer. In this study, an analysis of patients receiving the trimodality therapy was performed to identify prognostic factors of biochemical relapse-free survival (bRFS). Between May 2005 and November 2008, 123 high-risk prostate cancer patients (D'Amico classification) were treated with NHT prior to HDR brachytherapy combined with hypofractionated EBRT. Among these patients, 121 had completed AHT. The patients were assigned by time to be treated with a low-dose or high-dose arm of HDR brachytherapy with subsequent hypofractionated 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT). Multivariate analysis was used to determine prognostic factors for bRFS. With a median follow-up of 60 months, the 5-year bRFS for all patients was 84.3% (high-dose arm, 92.9%; low-dose arm, 72.4%, P = 0.047). bRFS in the pre-HDR PSA ≤ 0.1 ng/ml subgroup was significantly improved compared with that in the pre-HDR PSA > 0.1 ng/ml subgroup (88.3% vs 68.2%, P = 0.034). On multivariate analysis, dose of HDR (P = 0.045, HR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.038–0.97) and pre-HDR PSA level (P = 0.02 HR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1.18–10.16) were significant prognostic factors predicting bRFS. In high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with the trimodality therapy, the dose of HDR and pre-HDR PSA were significant prognostic factors. The pre-HDR PSA ≤ 0.1 subgroup had significantly improved bRFS. Further studies are needed to confirm the relevance of pre-HDR PSA in trimodality therapy.
PMCID: PMC4014157  PMID: 24351458
high-risk prostate cancer; HDR; trimodality therapy; PSA response
20.  Concurrent Chemoradiation for Vaginal Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65048.
It is not known whether the addition of chemotherapy to radiation therapy improves outcomes in primary vaginal cancer. Here, we review clinical outcomes in patients with primary vaginal cancer treated with radiation therapy (RT) or concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT).
Seventy-one patients with primary vaginal cancer treated with definitive RT with or without concurrent chemotherapy at a single institution were identified and their records reviewed. A total of 51 patients were treated with RT alone; 20 patients were treated with CRT. Recurrences were analyzed. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression analysis was performed.
The median age at diagnosis was 61 years (range, 18–92 years) and the median follow-up time among survivors was 3.0 years. Kaplan-Meier estimates for OS and DFS differed significantly between the RT and CRT groups (3-yr OS = 56% vs. 79%, log-rank p = 0.037; 3-yr DFS = 43% vs. 73%, log-rank p = 0.011). Twenty-three patients (45%) in the RT group had a relapse at any site compared to 3 (15%) in the CRT group (p = 0.027). With regard to the sites of first relapse, 10 patients (14%) had local only, 4 (6%) had local and regional, 9 (13%) had regional only, 1 (1%) had regional and distant, and 2 (3%) had distant only relapse. On univariate analysis, the use of concurrent chemotherapy, FIGO stage, tumor size, and date of diagnosis were significant predictors of DFS. On multivariate analysis, the use of concurrent chemotherapy remained a significant predictor of DFS (hazard ratio 0.31 (95% CI, 0.10–0.97; p = 0.04)).
Vaginal cancer results in poor outcomes. Adequate radiation dose is essential to ensure curative management. Concurrent chemotherapy should be considered for vaginal cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC3676389  PMID: 23762284
21.  Nerve tolerance to high-dose-rate brachytherapy in patients with soft tissue sarcoma: a retrospective study 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:79.
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.
PMCID: PMC1181808  PMID: 16026629
22.  Novel high dose rate lip brachytherapy technique to improve dose homogeneity and reduce toxicity by customized mold 
The purpose of this study is to describe a novel brachytherapy technique for lip Squamous Cell Carcinoma, utilizing a customized mold with embedded brachytherapy sleeves, which separates the lip from the mandible, and improves dose homogeneity.
Materials and methods
Seven patients with T2 lip cancer treated with a “sandwich” technique of High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy to the lip, consisting of interstitial catheters and a customized mold with embedded catheters, were reviewed for dosimetry and outcome using 3D planning. Dosimetric comparison was made between the “sandwich” technique to “classic” – interstitial catheters only plan. We compared dose volume histograms for Clinical Tumor Volume (CTV), normal tissue “hot spots” and mandible dose. We are reporting according to the ICRU 58 and calculated the Conformal Index (COIN) to show the advantage of our technique.
The seven patients (ages 36–81 years, male) had median follow-up of 47 months. Four patients received Brachytherapy and External Beam Radiation Therapy, 3 patients received brachytherapy alone. All achieved local control, with excellent esthetic and functional results. All patients are disease free.
The Customized Mold Sandwich technique (CMS) reduced the high dose region receiving 150% (V150) by an average of 20% (range 1–47%), The low dose region (les then 90% of the prescribed dose) improved by 73% in average by using the CMS technique. The COIN value for the CMS was in average 0.92 as opposed to 0.88 for the interstitial catheter only. All differences (excluding the low dose region) were statistically significant.
The CMS technique significantly reduces the high dose volume and increases treatment homogeneity. This may reduce the potential toxicity to the lip and adjacent mandible, and results in excellent tumor control, cosmetic and functionality.
PMCID: PMC4299482  PMID: 25533624
Brachytherapy; Lip; SCC; HDR; Customized mold technique
23.  Adjuvant and definitive radiation therapy for primary carcinoma of the vagina using brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy 
To report the outcomes of patients receiving vaginal brachytherapy and/or external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for primary vaginal cancer.
Material and methods
Between 1983 and 2009, 63 patients received brachytherapy and/or EBRT for primary tumors of the vagina at a single tertiary center. Patient data was collected via chart review. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate actuarial pelvic local control (LC), disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and severe late toxicity rates. Acute and late toxicities were scored according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3 (CTCAE v3.0).
Median follow up was 44.2 months. Patients with early stage disease (stages I and II) had significantly improved 5-year OS when compared to patients with locally advanced disease (stages III and IVA) (73.3 vs. 34.4%, p = 0.032). Patients with greater than 1/3 vaginal involvement had significantly worse prognosis than patients with tumors involving 1/3 or less of the vagina, with the later having superior DFS (84.0 vs. 52.4%, p = 0.007) and LC (86.9 vs. 60.4%, p = 0.018) at 5-years. Age, histology, and brachytherapy technique did not impact treatment outcomes. The 5-year actuarial grade 3 or higher toxicity rate was 23.1% (95% CI: 10.6-35.6%). Concurrent chemotherapy had no impact on outcomes or toxicity in this analysis.
Success of treatment for vaginal cancer depends primarily on disease stage, but other contributing factors such as extent of vaginal involvement and tumor location significantly impact outcomes. Treatment of vaginal cancer with primary radiotherapy yields acceptable results with reasonable toxicity rates. Management of this rare malignancy requires a multidisciplinary approach to appropriately optimize therapy.
PMCID: PMC3708150  PMID: 23878551
brachytherapy; radiation therapy; vaginal cancer
24.  High dose rate brachytherapy for oral cancer 
Journal of Radiation Research  2012;54(1):1-17.
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.
PMCID: PMC3534285  PMID: 23179377
brachytherapy; oral cancer; high dose rate
25.  Tumor Resection Cavity Administered Iodine-131-Labeled Anti-tenascin 81C6 Radioimmunotherapy in Patients with Malignant Glioma: Neuropathology Aspects 
Nuclear medicine and biology  2007;34(4):405-413.
The neurohistological findings in patients treated with targeted β emitters such as 131I are poorly described. We report a histopathologic analysis from patients treated with combined external beam therapy and a brachytherapy consisting of a 131I-labeled monoclonal antibody (mAb) injected into surgically created resection cavities during brain tumor resections.
Directed tissue samples of the cavity walls were obtained because of suspected tumor recurrence from 28 patients. Samples and clinical follow-up were evaluated on all patients (Group A) based on total radiation dose received and a subset of these (n=18; Group B, proximal therapy subset) who had received external beam therapy within ≤3 months of mAb therapy, and undergoing 26 biopsies over 37 months. Histologic outcomes were “proliferative glioma”, “quiescent glioma” and negative for neoplasm. Statistical analysis was used to assess the casual relation between total absorbed dose (131I-mAb + external beam) and histologic diagnosis.
The lesions observed after 131I-mAb therapy were qualitatively similar to those reported for other types of radiation therapy; however, the high localized dose rate and absorbed doses produced by the short range of 131I β particles seem to have resulted in an earlier necrotic reaction in the tumor bed. Among all 28 (Group A) patients, median survival from tissue analysis post mAb therapy depended on histopathology and total radiation absorbed dose. Median survival for patients with tissue classified as proliferative glioma, quiescent glioma, and negative for neoplasm were 3.5, 15, and 27.5 months, respectively. Without categorization, total dose was a significant predictor of survival (p < 0.002) where patients with higher doses had better prognoses. For example, median survival in patients receiving a total radiation dose greater than 86 Gy was 19 months compared with 7 months for those receiving less than 86 Gy.
Histopathologic analysis correlated with prognosis. Among all patients (Group A) there was a significant correlation between biopsy outcome, survival, and total radiation absorbed dose. Among the Group B proximal therapy patients, the neuropathologic changes were qualitatively similar to those described for external beam therapy and interstitial brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC1952684  PMID: 17499730
Radioimmunotherapy; Neuropathology; 131I; Brain Tumor; Monoclonal antibody; Radiation therapy

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