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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 21(4); 2003 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2003;21(4): 276-282.
Prediction of Late Rectal Complication Following High-dose-rate Intracavitary Brachytherapy in Cancer of the Uterine Cervix
Jeung Eun Lee, Seung Jae Huh, Won Park, Do Hoon Lim, Yong Chan Ahn
Department of Radiation Oncology, Samsung Medical Center Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. leejeun@hanmir.net
Although high-dose-rate intracavitary radiotherapy (HDR ICR) has been used in the treatment of cervical cancer, the potential for increased risk of late complication, most commonly in the rectum, is a major concern. We have previously reported on 136 patients treated with HDR brachytherapy between 1995 and 1999. The purpose of this study is to upgrade the previous data and confirm the correlation between late rectal complication and rectal dose in cervix cancer patients treated with HDR ICR.
A retrospective analysis was performed for 222 patients with cervix cancer who were treated for curative intent with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and HDR ICR from July 1995 to December 2001. The median dose of EBRT was 50.4 (30.6~56.4) Gy with a daily fraction size 1.8 Gy. A total of six fractions of HDR ICR were given twice weekly with fraction size of 4 (3~5.5) Gy to A point by Iridium-192 source. The rectal dose was calculated at the rectal reference point using the barium contrast criteria. in vivo measurement of the rectal dose was performed with thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) during HDR ICR. The median follow-up period was 39 months, ranging from 6 to 90 months.
Twenty-one patients (9.5%) experienced late rectal bleeding, from 3 to 44 months (median, 13 months) after the completion of RT. The calculated rectal doses were not different between the patients with rectal bleeding and those without, but the measured rectal doses were higher in the complicated patients. The differences of the measured ICR rectal fractional dose, ICR total rectal dose, and total rectal biologically equivalent dose (BED) were statistically significant. When the measured ICR total rectal dose was beyond 16 Gy, when the ratio of the measured rectal dose to A point dose was beyond 70%, or when the measured rectal BED was over 110 Gy3, a high possibility of late rectal complication was found.
Late rectal complication was closely correlated with measured rectal dose by in vivo dosimetry using TLD during HDR ICR. If data from in vivo dosimetry shows any possibility of rectal bleeding, efforts should be made to reduce the rectal dose.
Key Words: Cervix cancer, High dose rate brachytherapy, in vivo dosimetry, Rectal complication
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