High-dose-rate brachytherapy for high-grade vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia: A dosimetric analysis

Amelia Barcellini, Mara Lecchi, Chiara Tenconi, Alessandra Macciotta, Emanuele Pignoli, Brigida Pappalardi, Ester Mazzarella, Mauro Carrara, Tommaso Giandini, Carlo Fallai, Paolo Verderio, Annamaria Cerrotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Due to the rarity of vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN), it is impossible to define the best treatment approach or to assess vaginal morbidity. However, brachytherapy (BT) could be a valuable choice for VAIN grade 3 (VAIN3). The aim of this paper was to report a single-institution study of the application of high-dose-rate BT and to evaluate clinical outcomes as well as to investigate the dose-effect relationship for vaginal stenosis. Material and methods: We retrospectively collected hospital records and treatment plans of 14 consecutive women treated in our department from August 2010 to August 2016, with HDR-BT delivered using iridium-192 by a remote after-loading system. Doses in 3D-planned treatment based on computed tomography (CT) were prescribed in high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV) at the vaginal wall. Vaginal stenosis was defined as vaginal shortening/narrowing according to CTCAE4.1. The International Commission on Radiation Units & Measurements (ICRU) bladder and rectal points were used for dose report analysis. The posterior-inferior border of the symphysis points was used to derive reference points. The median age of the enrolled women was 60 years, and the median total radiation dose delivered was 35 Gy. Results: During a median period of 15 days, the treatment was well tolerated, and no interruption was necessary. Acute toxicity was minimal, whereas late toxicity appeared in 4 patients as G2 and in 3 patients as G3 vaginal stenosis. Patients with stenosis G ≥ 2 received a higher median dose to the rectal point and were mainly over 60 years old. Conclusions: Patients with VAIN3 seemed to benefit from BT. It is generally assumed that the vagina is radio-resistant, and no constraints have yet been set, but sexual dysfunction after BT is an important cause of long-term distress. Finding applicable dose limits to the vagina could improve patients' quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Brachytherapy
  • Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Vaginal toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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