Author(s): Corn BW, Hanlon AL, Pajak TF, Owen J, Hanks GE
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The purpose of this study was to document whether the technical qualities of a brachytherapy application impacts on the outcome of patients with locally advanced cervix cancer treated by definitive irradiation. A previous report from the patterns of care study demonstrated the importance of brachytherapy in the treatment of locally advanced cervix cancer. Locally advanced disease was defined as FIGO stages Ib (if tumor diameter was < or = 4 cm), IIb (if disease was bilateral or involved the lateral aspect of either parametrium), and III. Localization films from 128 patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix were reviewed by a radiation physicist and a radiation oncologist with expertise in gynecologic radiotherapy. All patients received external beam irradiation followed by one brachytherapy application (median point A dose = 8040 cGy; range, 4083-10,020 cGy). Brachytherapy parameters assessed were (a) the distance between the right colpostat source and the distal tandem source, (b) the distance between the left colpostat source and the distal tandem source, and (c) the symmetry of colpostat placement. Implants were scored as "ideal" (n = 8) when all three parameters were deemed satisfactory, "unacceptable" (n = 17) when none of the parameters was deemed satisfactory, and "adequate" (n = 41) in all other cases. Significantly improved 5-year local control was seen when comparing ideal and adequate placements to unacceptable placements (68\% vs 34\%, P = 0.02). A strong trend toward improved 5-year survival was also noted among the group with ideal and adequate implants as opposed to unacceptable implants (60\% vs 40\%). Multivariate analysis showed that the technical adequacy of the brachytherapy implant was the most important prognostic discriminant of local control. In conclusion, these analyses demonstrate the direct influence of competent technical implant performance on tumor control and even survival. While only a small fraction of implants for cervical cancer are performed poorly in the United States, there is a need for continued emphasis of the principles for proper implant technique.
This article was published in Gynecol Oncol
and referenced in Gynecology & Obstetrics