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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Jun 1;47(3):665-72.

High-dose-rate brachytherapy as sole modality for early-stage endobronchial carcinoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milano, Italy.



To evaluate exclusive high-dose-rate brachytherapy for localized early-stage non-small-cell bronchial carcinoma; to develop new insights in treatment-catheter positioning and tumor-volume assessment by computed tomography (CT) scan.


Between 1992 and 1996, 34 patients with non-small-cell bronchial carcinoma were treated by brachytherapy alone. All patients were medically inoperable and had contraindications for external beam irradiation. The treatment protocol was six sessions of 5 Gy over 6 weeks. The treatment catheter was placed under fiberoscopy and was positioned with the help of spacer catheters or with a surrounding plastic tube; CT scan was performed in 50% of the cases to measure the spacing between the applicator and the bronchial wall. Dose prescription was individually based on clinical and radiologic evaluation of tumor volume.


Local disease failure occurred in 5 patients (15%). With a median follow-up of 2 years, the local control rate was 85% and the survival rate 78%. No acute toxicity was found, except one pneumothorax.


Brachytherapy alone can give an optimal therapeutic ratio in small endobronchial carcinomas without radiation-induced morbidity. Such results are achieved after careful tumor volume evaluation and individualized treatment catheter positioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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