Brachiterapia con alto rateo di dose del carcinoma esofageo: Esperienza Italiana

Translated title of the contribution: High-dose-rate brachytherapy of esophageal cancer: The Italian experience

Alessandro Gava, Luigi Fontan, Andrea Bolner, Marco Botturi, Ines Cafaro, Adriano Di Marco, Giorgio Marazzato, Paolo Muto, Roberto Orecchia, Marco Orsatti, Salvatore Sandro Parisi, Alberto Rigon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results are reported of HDR intracavitary brachytherapy in 134 esophageal carcinoma patients (110 men and 24 women) treated in 10 Italian centers. Forty-one patients received radical treatment and brachytherapy was often combined with external irradiation and/or chemotherapy. Clinical response rates follow: 56% complete remissions, 34% partial remissions, 10% no response/disease progression and not assessed. Ninety-three patients underwent palliative treatment: dysphagia was reduced in 80% of them and pain was reduced in 71% of them. Treatment-induced esophageal damage consisted in G3-G4 esophagitis (5% of patients), strictures (10%) and fistulas (3%). Complication rates were correlated with fraction dose (9.5% complications for fraction doses <500 cGy, 20% with doses ranging 500-800 cGy and 38% with fraction doses > 800 cGy). Moreover, the esophagus was more severely injured when small tubes were used (24% with tubes Ø <2 mm, 19% with tubes Ø 2-6 mm and 5% with tubes Ø > 6 mm). When external irradiation was combined with brachytherapy, dysphagia was more relieved than with brachytherapy alone (89% vs. 71%), with no increase in complication rates. Also the chemotherapy-brachytherapy combination improved swallowing more than brachytherapy alone (88% vs. 79%) and once again complication rates did not increase. To conclude, in the radical treatment of esophageal carcinoma. HDR brachytherapy permits higher radiation doses to be delivered, with fair complication rates. As for palliative treatment, HDR brachytherapy is safe, has low morbidity and provides adequate relief of dysphagia in 80% of patients. We suggest the use of tubes Ø > 6 mm and fraction doses ranging 5-6 Gy.

Translated title of the contributionHigh-dose-rate brachytherapy of esophageal cancer: The Italian experience
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)118-121
Number of pages4
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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