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Open interstitial brachytherapy for the treatment of local-regional recurrences of uterine corpus and cervix cancer after primary surgery

  • Author(s): Monk, BJ
  • Walker, JL
  • Tewari, K
  • Ramsinghani, NS
  • Syed, AMN
  • DiSaia, PJ
  • et al.
Abstract

Patients who develop locally recurrent uterine corpus or uterine cervix cancer after primary surgery are usually treated with radiotherapy. The optimal radiotherapeutic approach, however, has not been defined. We report the use of exploratory laparotomy, omental pedicle grafting, and intraoperative transperineal interstitial brachytherapy in the treatment of 28 such patients (10 with recurrent corpus and 18 with recurrent cervix cancer). In addition, 22 patients also received perioperative whole pelvic teletherapy while 21 also received a second closed interstitial application. Local control was achieved in 20 patients (71%), but only 10 (36%) continue to be alive without disease after a median of 44 months. Eighteen patients have died (17 of disease) a median of 13 months after open implant. Patients treated with a single implant (n = 7), with side wall involvement (n = 5), with tumors greater than 6 cm in size (n = 4), with a history of previous pelvic irradiation (n = 8), or with persistent disease after open interstitial therapy (n = 8), were not salvaged. Ten patients suffered acute morbidity which included deep venous thrombosis (n = 1), wound separation (n = 1), urinary infection (n = 2), wound infection (n = 2), pneumonia (n = 1), and fever (n = 3). Two other patients experienced chronic non-tumor-related comorbidities. These included a vesicovaginal fistula with a rectovaginal fistula in 1 patient and a small bowel obstruction with a ureteral stricture in another. A single individual suffered from both acute and chronic complications (fever, ureterointestinal fistula). Although associated with modest morbidity, open interstitial brachytherapy allows for surgical exploration of the abdomen and more complete evaluation of the extent of disease as well as precise needle placement for those with locally recurrent uterine malignancies. Whether these results are superior to those after intracavitary techniques in improving local tumor control and survival awaits prospective randomized study. © 1994 Academic Press, Inc.

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