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J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2012 Mar;4(1):3-7. doi: 10.5114/jcb.2012.27945. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Impact of point A asymmetry on local control and survival for low dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy in cervical cancer.

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Radiation Oncology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.



To evaluate whether Point A asymmetry in low dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy is associated with local control (LC), disease-free survival (DFS) and/or overall survival (OS).


A retrospective analysis of disease control and survival outcomes was conducted for patients who underwent LDR brachytherapy for advanced cervical cancer. Institutional protocol entailed concurrent chemotherapy and whole pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) over 5 weeks, followed by placement of Fletcher-Suit tandem and colpostat applicators at weeks 6 and 8. Objective Point A doses, 80-85 Gy, were accomplished by placement of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) sources. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess associations between disease control and survival endpoints with variables of interest.


The records of 50 patients with FIGO stage IB1-IVA cervical cancer undergoing LDR brachytherapy at our institution were identified. Thirty of these patients had asymmetry > 2.5%, and 11 patients had asymmetry > 5%. At a median survivor follow-up of 20.25 months, 15 patients had experienced disease failure (including 5 cervical/vaginal apex only failures and 2 failures encompassing the local site). Right/left dose asymmetry at Point A was associated with statistically significantly inferior LC (p = 0.035) and inferior DFS (p = 0.011) for patients with mean Point A dose of > 80 Gy. Insufficient evidence existed to conclude an association with OS.


LDR brachytherapy may be associated with clinically significant dose asymmetry. The present study demonstrates that patients with Point A asymmetry have a higher risk of failure for DFS and LC.


Fletcher-Suit system; brachytherapy; cervical; point A

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