Primary radiotherapy for carcinoma of the endometrium using external beam radiotherapy and single line source brachytherapy
Churn M., Jones B.
A small proportion of patients with adenocarcinoma of the endometrium are inoperable by virtue of severe concurrent medical conditions, gross obesity or advanced stage disease. They can be treated with primary radiotherapy with either curative or palliative intent. We report 37 such patients treated mainly with a combination of external beam radiotherapy and intracavitary brachytherapy using a single line source technique. The 5-year disease-specific survival for nonsurgically staged patients was 68.4% for FIGO Stages I and II and 33.3% for Stages III and IV. The incidence of late morbidity was acceptably low. Using the France-Italian Glossary, there was 27.0% grade 1 but no grade 2-4 bladder toxicity. For the rectum the rates were 18.9% grade 1, 5.4%, grade 2, 2.7% grade 3, and no grade 4 toxicity. Methods of optimizing the dose distribution of the brachytherapy by means of variation of treatment length, radioactive source positions, and prescription point according to tumour bulk and individual anatomy are discussed. The biologically equivalent doses (BED) for combined external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy were calculated to be in the range of 78-107 Gy3 or 57-75 Gy10 at point 'A' and appear adequate for the control of Stage I cancers.