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Gynecol Oncol. 1999 Sep;74(3):416-22.

Interstitial brachytherapy for vaginal recurrences of endometrial carcinoma.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of California, Irvine-Medical Center, 101 The City Drive, Orange, California, 92868, USA.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of interstitial brachytherapy in the management of vaginal recurrences of endometrial carcinoma.


Thirty patients received interstitial irradiation, with or without external beam radiotherapy. They were followed for a minimum of 5 years or until death.


The median age was 66 years at initial diagnosis of endometrial cancer. FIGO stages included Stage I (n = 18), Stage II (n = 7), and Stage III (n = 5). All patients were treated originally by total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, with or without lymphadenectomy, and 13 (43%) also received postoperative adjuvant whole pelvis radiotherapy as part of their primary treatment. Vaginal recurrences were diagnosed at a mean interval of 29 months after hysterectomy (range, 3-119 months). No patient had clinical evidence of pelvic sidewall extension or of distant metastatic disease. All patients were treated with interstitial brachytherapy; each implant delivered a mean maximal tumor dose of 25.5 Gy. Eighteen patients (60%) also received external beam radiotherapy (mean dose, 48 Gy) as part of their treatment for vaginal recurrence. Twenty-eight patients (93%) experienced a complete clinical response. Ten patients relapsed in the vagina (n = 5) or at distant sites (n = 5). Eleven patients are dead of disease. From the time of vaginal recurrence, the median overall survival was 60 months and the cause of death adjusted 5-year survival rate was 65%. Major morbidity included radiation proctitis (n = 2), fistula (n = 2), and radiation stricture (n = 1).


Interstitial irradiation resulted in favorable local control as well as a 5-year survival rate and morbidity comparable to that reported previously for conventional brachytherapy.

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