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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 740-746

To evaluate the use of tandem and cylinder as an intracavitary brachytherapy device for carcinoma of the cervix with regard to local control and toxicities

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2 Department of Radiological Physics, Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Misba Hamid Baba
Room No. 254, Department of Radiological Physics and Bio-Engineering, Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar - 190 011, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.jcrt_243_21

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Introduction: Brachytherapy always remains a keystone in the treatment of gynecological carcinoma for both definitive and adjuvant treatments. Due to the rapid fall-off nature of brachytherapy, the target gets a high dose with a low dose to the normal organs nearby and thereby increasing the tumor control probability. Aims and Objectives: This study aims at the evaluation of local control and toxicities in the carcinoma of the cervix using tandem and cylinder as brachytherapy applicator. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted between January 2014 and December 2018 in a tertiary care hospital. Thirty-one patients who fulfilled our set criterion of Clinical stage IB3–IVA, Performance status Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0–2 were selected. All patients were treated initially with external beam radiotherapy and later by high dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy after completion of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). A dose of 18–21 Gy was delivered to the residual disease in three sessions with a 1-week interval between each session. The dose was optimized in such a way that the organs at risk (OAR), namely bladder and rectum received doses within their tolerance levels. The patients were continuously monitored using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 5.0 for both acute and late toxicities and by imaging for local control. Statistical analysis using SPSS Version 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA) was used to evaluate the results. Continuous variables were expressed as mean ± standard deviation, and categorical variables were summarized as frequencies and percentages. Results: Out of the 31 patients, 5 (16.1%) experienced radiation-induced Grade 1 skin changes which were due to EBRT, 1 (3.2%) had Grade 1 G. I. T toxicity, 1 (3.2%) had Grade 1 radiation-induced vaginal mucositis after brachytherapy. At 6–8-week follow-up, all the patients showed no evidence of disease on radiological imaging. At 3 months of follow-up, 1 (3.2%) patient had radiation-induced proctitis of Grades 2 and 3 (9.7%) had radiation-induced cystitis of Grades 1 and 1 (3.2%) had Grade 2 cystitis. At 6 months of follow-up, 1 (3.2%) had Grade 1, 1 (3.2%) had Grade 2, and 1 (3.2%) had Grade 3 radiation-induced proctitis. At 3 months of follow-up, 29 (93.5%) patients had no evidence of disease, while 2 (6.5%) were having residual disease on imaging. At 6 months of follow-up, all the patients were disease-free. At 12 months of follow-up, 26 (83.9%) patients were disease-free, 1 (3.2%) had local recurrence, 2 (6.5%) had distant metastasis, and 2 (6.5%) had expired. At 24 months of follow-up, 26 patients were disease-free. Acute and late toxicities were similar to those used in the treatment of carcinoma cervix by standard brachytherapy applicators. Local control was achieved in 83.87% of cases. Two-year survival was 93.5%. Conclusion: We observed that the tandem and cylinder applicator is an acceptable applicator to be used for intracavitary brachytherapy. It is safe and simple besides this; the toxicities and local control are similar to the other standard applicators used in brachytherapy in carcinoma cervix. However, the required dose prescription to point A was not possible in all the patients due to limitations of OARs. Furthermore, long-term follow-up is needed to see the patterns of failure, recurrence-free survival, overall survival, and long-term toxicities in the treated patients.

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