We investigated the role of brachytherapy in the management of esophageal cancer. From March, 1990, to December 1994, seventy patients, with biopsy-proved esophageal carcinoma, were treated with brachytherapy ± external beam radiotherapy. According to the TNM staging system, 24 patients were graded as T1, 24 as T2, 10 as T3, 9 as T4, and 3 as Tx. Median Karnofsky score was 80. Dysphagia was the major symptom in 68% of cases. Treatment consisted of low dose rate first, and then high dose rate brachytherapy, with progressive optimization of doses and fractions, up to total doses of 15-30 Gy in low dose rate and 7-21 Gy in high dose rate. When associated, external beam radiotherapy was delivered with conventional schedules. Tolerance to treatment was good, with slight acute toxicity. Symptoms were markedly improved, with reduction of dysphagia in 100% of cases. Overall survival was 75%, 47%, 23% and 18% at 6, 12, 24, 36 months; no significant difference was found between low and high dose rate groups. Furthermore, no difference was shown in the overall survival of the group treated with brachytherapy alone and the one with associated external beam radiotherapy. Late toxicity occured in 10% of patients and was managed by endoscopic procedures in all cases. In our opinion, brachytherapy appears to be an effective palliative treatment; its role as radical treatment remains to be defined.
|Translated title of the contribution||Intracavitary brachytherapy in esophageal cancer. The istituto del radio (Brescia) experience|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - May 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging