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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Nov 1;63(3):753-7. Epub 2005 May 31.

Interstitial brachytherapy of periorificial skin carcinomas of the face: a retrospective study of 97 cases.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, CRLCC-Nantes-Atlantique, Saint Herblain, France.



To analyze outcomes after interstitial brachytherapy of facial periorificial skin carcinomas.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 97 skin carcinomas (88 basal cell carcinomas, 9 squamous cell carcinomas) of the nose, periorbital areas, and ears from 40 previously untreated patients (Group 1) and 57 patients who had undergone surgery (Group 2). The average dose was 55 Gy (range, 50-65 Gy) in Group 1 and 52 Gy (range, 50-60 Gy) in Group 2 (mean implantation times: 79 and 74 hours, respectively). We calculated survival rates and assessed functional and cosmetic results de visu.


Median age was 71 years (range, 17-97 years). There were 29 T1, 8 T2, 1 T3, and 2 Tx tumors in Group 1. Tumors were <2 cm in Group 2. Local control was 92.5% in Group 1 and 88% in Group 2 (median follow-up, 55 months; range, 6-132 months). Five-year disease-free survival was better in Group 1 (91%; range, 75-97) than in Group 2 (80%; range, 62-90; p = 0.23). Of the 34 patients whose results were reassessed, 8 presented with pruritus or epiphora; 1 Group 2 patient had an impaired eyelid aperture. Cosmetic results were better in Group 1 than in Group 2 with, respectively, 72% (8/11) vs. 52% (12/23) good results and 28 (3/11) vs. 43% (10/23) fair results.


Brachytherapy provided a high level of local control and good cosmetic results for facial periorificial skin carcinomas that pose problems of surgical reconstruction. Results were better for untreated tumors than for incompletely excised tumors or tumors recurring after surgery.

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