alexa The adverse effect of treatment prolongation in cervical cancer by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Gynecology & Obstetrics

Author(s): Chen SW, Liang JA, Yang SN, Ko HL, Lin FJ

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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The potential risk of prolongation of treatment time in cervical cancer has been reported for many low-dose rate (LDR) studies, with an estimated loss of local control ranging from 0.3 to 1.6\% per day of treatment prolongation. Since the treatment schedule for fractionated high-dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDRICB) is not directly comparable with that for low-dose rate studies, this report aims to evaluate the adverse effect of treatment prolongation specifically for cervical cancer treated with HDRICB. MATERIAL AND METHODS: From September 1992 to December 1997, 257 patients diagnosed with uterine cervical cancer (35 Ib, 26 IIa, 122 IIb, 10 IIIa, 57 IIIb, 7 IVa), who underwent external radiotherapy combined with between two and four courses of HDRICB and a minimum of 3 years of follow-up (median 57 months), were analyzed. Treatment consisted of irradiation of the whole pelvis with 44-45 Gy consisting of 22-25 fractions by 5 weeks, with the dose boosted to 54-58 Gy (with central shielding) for patients diagnosed as FIGO stage IIb-IVa bilateral parametrial disease. HDRICB was performed using an Ir-192 remote afterloading technique at 1-week intervals. The standard prescribed dose for each course of HDRICB was 7.2 Gy to point A for three insertions (before July 1995), or 6.0 Gy to point A for four insertions (after July 1995). Total prescribed point A doses (external beam radiotherapy+HDRICB) ranged from 58 to 71.6 Gy (median, 65.6 Gy) for stage IB-IIA, while analogous dosage for larger lesions (stage IIb-IVa) ranged from 59 to 75.6 Gy (median, 65.6 Gy). Kaplan-Meier and multivariate analyses were used to test the effect of treatment time on pelvic control rate (PCR) and cause-specific survival (CSS) at 5 years. RESULTS: Median treatment time was 63 days. For all stages of disease, the 5-year CSS and PCR were significantly different comparing treatment times of less than and greater than or equal to 63 days [83\% and 65\% (P=0.004], 93\% and 83\% (P=0.02), respectively]. These associations were also significant for stage Ib/IIa [97\% and 79\% (P=0.01), and 100\% and 87\% (P=0.02), respectively), but not for stage IIb [75\% and 72\% (P=0.79), and 93\% and 87\% (P=0.83), respectively] or stage III [66\% and 49\% (P=0.2), and 83\% and 72\% (P=0.21), respectively]. Multivariate analysis identified three prognostic factors for CSS, stage (P<0.001), tumor response to external RT (P=0.001), and overall treatment time (OTT; P=0.006). Prognostic factors for pelvic failure were stage (P<0.001), tumor response to external RT (P=0.001), and OTT (P=0.03). Prolongation of treatment time resulted in a daily decrease in pelvic control rate of 0.67\% overall, and 0.43\% for stage Ib-IIa, 0.57\% for stage IIb, and 0.73\% for stage III patients. CONCLUSION: Analysis of the data from the current study demonstrates that the adverse effect of treatment prolongation was observed later in the treatment course for the high-dose rate (HDR) series compared to the LDR analog, however, treatment-time prolongation still negatively influenced the cause-specific survival and pelvic control rate for both dosage groups.
This article was published in Radiother Oncol and referenced in Gynecology & Obstetrics

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