eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 11
Original paper

Patterns of cervical cancer brachytherapy in India: results of an online survey supported by the Indian Brachytherapy Society

Abhishek Chatterjee
Surbhi Grover
Lavanya Gurram
Supriya Sastri
Umesh Mahantshetty

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2019; 11, 6: 527–533
Online publish date: 2019/12/06
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Cervical cancer is the most common gynecological cancer in India. Uniform protocol-based treatment is important for achieving optimal outcomes. We undertook a survey to investigate patterns of care with special regard to patterns of care in cervical cancer brachytherapy in India.

Material and methods
A 17-question online survey was sent to radiation oncologists across India. Respondents were required to have a minimum of 1-year experience. One response per center was accepted and deemed as representative.

Out of 116 centers, 59 responses were generated. Two-thirds (66.1%) were from academic centers and the majority (96.6%) used high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy. The centers treated an average of 255 patients per year (median 161 patients, IQR 76-355). The majority were locally advanced cancers (FIGO 2009 stage II-IV 87.5%). External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) schedules were fairly consistent, administering doses of 45-50 Gy over 5 weeks. Brachytherapy was performed towards EBRT completion by 37/59 (62%) and 43/59 (74.3%) centers used a schedule of 7 Gy × 4 fractions (HDR). Brachytherapy was commonly performed under anesthesia (spinal/general: 44% each) with ultrasound (USG) guidance (29%). Computed tomography (CT) imaging (65%) and orthogonal X-rays (35%) represented the most common imaging for planning, while point A prescription (66%) or GEC-ESTRO based parameters (35%) with manual/geometric methods represented the most common methodology for dose volume prescription and optimization. Overall treatment time (OTT) reported was within 49-56 days in 50%. Complex implants (IC + IS) were performed for more than 30% of cases by 3 centers.

Our survey suggested a fairly uniform treatment paradigm for cervical cancer brachytherapy, with a progressive shift from 2D to 3D image-based parameters for planning, with persistence of point A based prescription. Further efforts are needed to augment and ease this transition.


cervical cancer, India, brachytherapy, patterns of care

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