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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1997 Jan 15;37(2):359-65.

Primary treatment of endometrial carcinoma with high-dose-rate brachytherapy: results of 12 years of experience with 280 patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy and Radiobiology, University of Vienna, Austria.



This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDRB) in the primary treatment of endometrial carcinoma. The results of 12 years of experience (1981-1992) covering 280 patients (mean age 72 years) and their follow-up over 10 years (mean 55 months) are reported.


Staging was based on clinical examination and fractionated curettage. There were 116 patients in clinical Stage Ia, 119 in Stage Ib, 37 in Stage II, and 8 in Stage III. HDRB was performed four to five times (8.5 Gy) with a one-channel intracavitary applicator and one to two times (7 Gy) with an intravaginal cylinder applicator. Overall and disease-specific survival, local control according to stage and histology, and late side effects were analyzed retrospectively (actuarial method).


At 5 years, overall survival, disease-specific survival, and local control were 52.7%, 76.6%, and 75.4% (Stage Ia: 63.9%, 84.9%, and 86.0%; Stage Ib: 47.3%, 73.3%, and 68.8%; and Stage II: 40.2%, 68.6%, and 60.5%) according to histopathologic Grade 1: 65.1%, 83.5%, and 77.7%; for Grade 2: 44.7 %, 75.4%, and 75.8%; and for Grade 3: 37.7%, 63.9%, and 74.1%. Eight patients showed progressive disease, 64 developed recurrence after a median of 13 months (45 of whom had a local recurrence only, and 6 of whom had a local recurrence with distant metastases), 6 developed a lymph node recurrence only, and 7 developed distant metastases only. The calculated probability for developing a Grade III late side effect was 5.2% at 5 years.


At Stages Ia, Ib, and II in endometrial carcinoma, HDRB is a very effective treatment modality with acceptable local control rates and disease-specific survival for patients who are not fit for surgery. During the time frame of 12 years and in 280 patients the method has proven to have a low risk of acute complications and an acceptable risk of long-term side effects.

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