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Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 10
Review paper

Vaginal toxicity after high-dose-rate endovaginal brachytherapy: 20 years of results

Durim Delishaj, Amelia Barcellini, Romerai D’Amico, Stefano Ursino, Francesco Pasqualetti, Ilaria Costanza Fumagalli, Carlo Pietro Soatti

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2018; 10, 6: 559–566
Online publish date: 2018/11/18
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To evaluate vaginal toxicity (primary endpoint) and local control (secondary endpoint) in patients with endometrial cancer who underwent primary surgery and adjuvant high-dose-rate (HDR) endovaginal brachytherapy (BT).

Material and methods
In September 2017, the authors conducted a comprehensive literature search of the following electronic databases: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane library. In this systematic review, the authors included randomized trials, non-randomized trials, prospective studies, retrospective studies, and cases. The time period of the research included articles published from September 1997 to September 2017.

Acute endovaginal toxicity occurred in less than 20.6% and all acute toxicities were G1-G2. The most common early side effects due to HDR-BT treatment were vaginal inflammation, vaginal irritation, dryness, discharge, soreness, swelling, and fungal infection. G1-G2 late toxicity occurred in less than 27.7%. Finally, G3-G4 late vaginal occurred in less than 2%. The most common late side effects consisted of vaginal discharge, dryness, itching, bleeding, fibrosis, telangiectasias, stenosis, short or narrow vagina, and dyspareunia.

The data suggest that HDR endovaginal brachytherapy, with or without chemotherapy, is very well tolerated with low rates of acute and late vaginal toxicities. Further prospective studies with higher numbers of patients and longer follow-up are necessary to evaluate acute and late toxicities after HDR endovaginal brachytherapy.


brachytherapy, endometrial cancer, HDR vaginal brachytherapy, radiotherapy

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