Results of a questionnaire regarding the practice of radiotherapy for carcinoma of the cervix in the UK
Jones B., Tan LT., Blake PR., Dale RG.
A questionnaire was sent to 50 departments of clinical oncology in the UK in September 1991. The aim was to determine the range of external beam and brachytherapy techniques employed at that time in the radical treatment of carcinoma of the cervix. Replies were received from 35 centres. This paper summarizes the preliminary findings of the study. Low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy techniques predominated (34/35 = 97%) but 41% of departments (13/32) had future plans for the use of high dose rate (HDR) equipment. For low bulk (Stage I-II) carcinoma of the cervix, there was no detectable association between the total brachytherapy dose prescribed and the brachytherapy dose rate. In bulky (Stage I-III) carcinoma of the cervix treated by initial open teletherapy (without shielding), there was a statistically significant reduction in the prescribed brachytherapy dose with increasing dose rate. There was considerable variation between centres in the measurement or estimation of normal tissue doses during brachytherapy. The range of techniques used and the variation in expected complication rates should be closely monitored via medical audit and a further follow-up questionnaire may reveal important changes.