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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 20(3); 2002 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2002;20(3): 228-236.
High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy for Uterine Cervical Cancer : The Results of Different Fractionation Regimen
Won Sup Yoon, Tae Hyun Kim, Dae Sik Yang, Myung Sun Choi, Chul Yong Kim
Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. kcyro@korea.ac.kr
Although high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy regimens have been practiced with a variety of modalities and various degrees of success, few studies on the subject have been conducted. The purpose of this study was to compare the results of local control and late complication rate according to different HDR brachytherapy fractionation regimens in uterine cervical cancer patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS: From November 1992 to March 1998, 224 patients with uterine cervical cancer were treated with external beam irradiation and HDR brachytherapy. In external pelvic radiation therapy, the radiation dose was 45~54 Gy (median dose 54 Gy) with daily fraction size 1.8 Gy, five times per week. In HDR brachytherapy, 122 patients (Group A) were treated with three times weekly with 3 Gy to line-A (isodose line of 2 cm radius from source) and 102 patients (Group B) underwent the HDR brachytherapy twice weekly with 4 or 4.5 Gy to line-A after external beam irradiation. Iridium-192 was used as the source of HDR brachytherapy. Late complication was assessed from grade 1 to 5 using the RTOG morbidity grading system.
The local control rate (LCR) at 5 years was 80% in group A and 84% in group B (p=0.4523). In the patients treated with radiation therapy alone, LCR at 5 years was 60.9% in group A and 76.9% in group B (p=0.2557). In post-operative radiation therapy patients, LCR at 5 years was 92.6% in group A and 91.6% in group B (p=0.8867). The incidence of late complication was 18% (22 patients) and 29.4% (30 patients), of bladder complication was 9.8% (12 patients) and 14.7% (15 patients), and of rectal complication was 9.8% (12 patients) and 21.6% (22 patients), in group A and B, respectively. Lower fraction sized HDR brachytherapy was associated with decrease in late complication (p=0.0405) (rectal complication, p=0.0147; bladder complication, p=0.115). The same result was observed in postoperative radiation therapy patients (p=0.0860) and radiation only treated patients (p=0.0370).
For radiation only treated patients, a greater number of itemized studies on the proper fraction size of HDR brachytherapy, with consideration for stages and prognostic factors, are required. In postoperative radiation therapy, the fraction size of HDR brachytherapy did not have much effect on local control, yet the incidence of late complication increased with the elevation in fraction size. We suggest that HDR brachytherapy three times weekly with 3 Gy could be an alternative method of therapy.
Key Words: Uterine cervical cancer, High-dose-rate brachytherapy, Fraction size
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