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ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 15
Original paper

Intra-luminal iodine-125 brachytherapy in patients with esophageal carcinoma and 3/4 dysphagia score: A feasibility study

Kaihao Xu
Chuan Tian
Yahua Li
Yiming Liu
Jianzhuang Ren
Xinwei Han
Dechao Jiao

Department of Interventional Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China
J Contemp Brachytherapy 2023; 15, 3: 166–173
Online publish date: 2023/06/01
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To evaluate the clinical results of nasal feeding nutritional tube (NFNT)-loaded iodine-125 (125I) seeds in intra-luminal brachytherapy (ILBT) for esophageal carcinoma (EC) patients with a 3/4 dysphagia score.

Material and methods:
From January 2019 to January 2020, 26 patients (female/male: 17/9, mean age: 75.3 years, dysphagia score 3/4: 6/20, mean Karnofsky score: 58.4) with EC underwent NFNT-loaded 125I seed placement for both nutrition and brachytherapy. Technical and clinical success, D90 (radiation dose received by 90% of tumor volume) and organ at risk (OAR) dose, complications, dysphagia-free time (DFT), and overall survival (OS) time were documented. Local tumor diameter, Karnofsky score, dysphagia score, and quality of life (QoL) were compared before and 6 weeks after tube placement.

Technical and clinical success rates were 100% and 76.9%, respectively. The D90 and OAR doses were 39.7 Gy and 2.3 Gy, respectively. Eight cases (30.8%) experienced mild complications, but no seed loss, fistula, and massive bleeding were observed. Median DFT and OS were 3.1 months and 13.7 months, respectively. Tumor diameter and dysphagia score significantly decreased (p < 0.05), Karnofsky score significantly improved (p < 0.05), and QoL scores related to physical function, physical functioning, general health, vitality, and emotional functioning improved (p < 0.05).

NFNT-loaded 125I brachytherapy for ILBT is technically a safe and effective strategy for EC patients with low Karnofsky scores, and can be a bridging therapy for advanced anti-cancer treatment.


125I seed, brachytherapy, esophageal cancer, dysphagia

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