Objectives. To evaluate the long-term treatment outcome of patients with carcinoma of the cervix treated with high dose rate brachytherapy (HDRB) using a small number of fractions. Methods. Between 1984 and 1997, 282 patients with cervix cancer (stages IB to IVA) were treated with external beam radiotherapy to the whole pelvis (median dose of 45 Gy) and HDRB (median dose of 24 Gy at point A in 3 insertions given weekly). Endpoints assessed were survival, patterns of failure and complications. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify variables predictive for overall survival and local control. Variables investigated were stage, age, overall duration of treatment, HDRB scheduling and total dose to point A. Results. At a median follow-up of 86.3 months for patients at risk, the 5-, 10- and 15-year overall survival rates are 57%, 52% and 47%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, only stage and age correlated with improved survival. Treatment duration beyond 47 days was associated with poorer overall survival, although it did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.10). Brachytherapy scheduling and BED to point A had no impact on overall survival. Stage and age significantly correlated with pelvic disease control. Duration of therapy, scheduling of the brachytherapy and BED at point A were not individual predictors for overall local control. Overall, gastrointestinal and genitourinary actuarial complication rates were 15% and 8%, respectively. Conclusions. In our experience, HDRB using 3 insertions is well tolerated and the results are comparable to HDRB using larger number of fractions and to low dose rate brachytherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology