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Gynecol Oncol. 1999 May;73(2):210-5.

Potential decreased morbidity of interstitial brachytherapy for gynecologic malignancies using laparoscopy: A pilot study.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



This pilot study was designed to prospectively assess whether the addition of laparoscopy at the time of interstitial brachytherapy is safe, provides verification and/or guidance of needle placement, and results in a reduction of treatment-related morbidity.


Between 7/93 and 2/97 15 consecutive eligible patients were entered into this study. All patients received external pelvic radiation to a dose range between 45 and 61.20 Gy using 1.8-Gy fractions. In each patient the minimum prescribed dose for the brachytherapy portion was 20 Gy. Minimum cumulative doses to sites of gross disease ranged from 71.8 to 115.3 Gy. A Syed-Neblett afterloading perineal template was used in all the procedures. Laparoscopy using established guidelines was performed during placement of interstitial needles. During template placement, verification of interstitial needles on laparoscopy and any subsequent changes or needle rearrangement were noted.


No acute radiation toxicity greater than Grade 2 was noted during the external beam portion of treatment, and no perioperative complications were encountered. These needles were withdrawn under laparoscopic guidance to just below the peritoneal reflection, avoiding proximity to the bowel and improving tumor coverage. Median follow-up time was 26 months. No late radiation morbidity greater than Grade 2 nor any laparoscopic-related complications were noted. To date, one patient has died of disease; six are alive with disease; and eight are alive free of disease with a mean disease-free survival of 17.3 months.


Laparoscopy at the time of interstitial brachytherapy appears to be safe. No radiation toxicity greater than Grade 2 has developed. No perioperative complications were seen with the addition of laparoscopy. The addition of laparoscopy to the placement of transperineal interstitial implants impacted needle arrangement and/or loading of sources in 50% of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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