eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 9
Original paper

High-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy in head and neck cancer: do we need a look back into a forgotten art – a single institute experience

Rajendra Bhalavat, Manish Chandra, Vibhay Pareek, Lalitha Nellore, Karishma George, Nandakumar P., Pratibha Bauskar

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2017; 9, 2: 124–131
Online publish date: 2017/04/13
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Purpose: To evaluate the treatment outcomes with high-dose-rate (HDR) interstitial brachytherapy (HDR-BRT) in head and neck cancers (HNC).

Material and methods: Fifty-eight patients with HNC as per American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging criteria were analyzed retrospectively between 2008 and 2015. Forty-two patients received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with HDR-BRT and 16 patients received BRT alone. The survival was calculated with respect to median biological equivalent doses (BED) and median 2 Gy equivalent dose (EQD2), keeping / = 10 for tumor. Loco-regional control and disease free survival was assessed.

Results: The median follow-up period was 25 months (2-84 months). The disease-free survival (DFS) probability at year 1 was 82.7%, and 68% at year 7. The overall survival probability was 91.3% at year 1 and 85.8% at year 7. The local control rate was 70%. The rate of recurrence was 30%. Distant metastasis rate was 17.2%. The median BED and EQD2, respectively, were 86.78 Gy and 71.6 Gy. The DFS was 74.1% and 75.9% in patients receiving a dose more than median BED and EQD2, respectively, and was 64.8% and 61.5% for less than the median dose.

Conclusions: The overall outcome was good with implementation of HDR-BRT used alone or as boost, and shows DFS as better when the dose received is more than the median BED and median EQD2. The role of HDR-BRT in HNC is a proven, effective, and safe treatment method with excellent long term outcome as seen in this study, which reflects the need for reviving the forgotten art and science of interstitial brachytherapy in HNC.

BED, EQD2, HDR, head and neck cancer, interstitial brachytherapy

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