The standard low-dose-rate (LDR) delivery system utilized in the definitive management of patients with cervical carcinoma involves an intrauterine tandem and a pair of vaginal colpostats (ovoids). This well-known application system may deliver inadequate dosage if the tumor extends to the lower vaginal mucosa. During the gauze packing of the ovoids, either operator error or narrowing of the vaginal apex can result in mal-alignment of the colpostats and subsequent inadequate dosing to the ecto-cervix. A novel vaginal cylinder has been designed to address these concerns. Beginning January 1, 2001, patients with cancer of the cervix, endometrium, or vagina requiring LDR brachytherapy have been enrolled into an institutionally sanctioned clinical trial. As of May 31, 2001, a total of 11 patients have been entered but only 10 were successfully implanted with the test device. Patient follow-up has ranged from 0.81 years to 1.2 years (median: 0.96 years). Using our study applicator, all patients received within 10% of the preimplant prescribed dose to tumor. Also, no one had cumulative dosage that exceeded 10% of the maximum allowed dose to the critical normal tissues. Thus far, all study patients have had no clinical evidence of persistence/recurrence of disease or complications from treatment. The preliminary results presented herein clearly demonstrate the feasibility of this novel LDR vaginal cylinder in the treatment of a variety of clinical situations involving gynecological cancers. Our institutional trial is continuing.
- gynecologic cancers
- intracavitary applicators
- LDR brachytherapy
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