Pulsed dose-rate perioperative interstitial brachytherapy for soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities and skeletal muscles of the trunk

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Background: This study evaluated the role of pulsed dose-rate (PDR) brachytherapy (BRT), delivered alone or as a boost to external beam radiotherapy, as adjuvant therapy for the local control of soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities and skeletal muscles of the trunk that have undergone surgical treatment. Methods: Between July 1998 and January 2002, 42 patients were treated with a combination of surgery and BRT alone (18 patients) or BRT/external beam radiotherapy (24 patients) for the treatment of primary (n = 32) and recurrent (n = 10) soft tissue sarcomas located in the proximal extremity (n = 17), distal extremity (n = 17), and trunk (n = 8). Tumor size was 5 cm in 22 cases, with histological grading of 1 (n = 7), 2 (n = 18), or 3 (n = 17). The median BRT dose delivered was 15 Gy, and the median external beam irradiation dose was 50 Gy. Results: With a median follow-up of 34 months, the 36-month survival was 83.9% (SE, 6.1%), and the local control was 89%. Conclusions: PDR interstitial BRT for soft tissue sarcoma is an effective, well-tolerated adjuvant radiation treatment that offers several practical advantages, among which are low acute and late toxicity with maximum normal tissue and critical structure sparing and overall shorter radiotherapy and hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005



  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Pulsed dose-rate brachytherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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