High precision radiotherapy including intensitymodulated radiation therapy and pulsed-dose-rate brachytherapy for cervical cancer: A retrospective monoinstitutional study

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Purpose: To analyse the survival outcomes and toxicity profile of patients treated with pulsed-dose-rate (PDR) brachytherapy (BT) after intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for uterine cervical cancer in a single institution. Material and methods: Between March 2011 and December 2014, 50 patients with histologically proven stages IB1-IVB cervical cancer were treated with IMRT followed by PDR-BT boost. Radiation treatment consisted of IMRT to pelvic with or without paraaortic lymph nodes to a total dose of 45-50.4 Gy. Weekly concomitant chemotherapy was administered to 45 patients. PDR-BT boost was delivered with a median dose of 30 Gy to the high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV) after a median time of 14 days since IMRT. Acute and late toxicity were evaluated by Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) - European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) scoring criteria and Subjective Objective Management Analytic-Late Effects of Normal Tissues (SOMA-LENT) criteria. Results: Two patients had tumour persistence at 6 months after the end of BT. After a median follow-up of 33 months, 6 distant metastases with or without regional relapse were observed. The 1- and 5-year progression-free survival was 83% (95% CI: 69-91%) and 76% (95% CI: 61-86%), whereas the 3- and 5-year overall survival was 91% (95% CI: 78-97%) and 76% (95% CI: 56-88%), respectively. Urinary and rectal toxicity higher than grade 2 was observed in 6.3% and 17% of patients, respectively. Five patients (10.6%) had grade 4 gastrointestinal toxicity requiring colostomy. Conclusions: Our study confirms that the combination of IMRT and PDR-BT can be considered an effective treatment for cervical cancer, ensuring high local control, despite the high percentage of locally advanced disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-526
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Brachytherapy
  • Cervical cancer
  • IMRT
  • PDR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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