Acute toxicity and local response using three fractions of high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy for curative treatment of carcinoma cervix

Nasir Ali, Bilal Mazhar Qureshi, Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi, Asim Hafiz, Benazir Mir Khan, Abdul Qadir Jangda

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To determine the acute vaginal mucosal toxicity and clinical response of cervical cancer after definitive treatment with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and three fractions each of 8 Fray (Gy) high dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR-BT). Study Design: Descriptive study. Place and Duration: Radiation Oncology Section, Department of Oncology, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan from January 2008 till December 2015. Methodology: Protocol was formulated for carcinoma cervix to complete treatment in 7 weeks. Patients were treated with chemotherapy and pelvic EBRT to a total dose of 45 Gy/25 fractions, followed by three intracavitary HDR brachytherapy fractions of 8 Gy each. Vaginal toxicity and local clinical response was assessed at the end of treatment, at 4 and 8 weeks. Results: A total of 57 patients were treated with HDR brachytherapy and 49 patients were evaluated for assessment of toxicity and response. According to FIGO staging system, two had stage IB2, one had IIA, thirty-six had IIB, seven had IIIB, one had IVA disease and two had IVB with para aortic nodes. Concurrent gemcitabine and cisplatin were given to 26 (46%); whereas, 28 (49%) received concurrent cisplatin alone. Grade III acute vaginal mucosal toxicity was seen in 52 and Grade IV acute vaginal mucosal toxicity was observed in 08 patients. At completion of treatment, 40 patients had complete clinical response, at 4 weeks follow-up, complete regression of disease was found in 3 more and at 8 weeks none had clinical residual disease. Conclusion: This regimen of HDR brachytherapy treatments is feasible, efficacious, and well-tolerated for carcinoma cervix in a setup with cost constraints. Long term toxicity and disease control remains to be reported with longer follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-979
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Acute toxicity
  • Carcinoma cervix
  • External beam radiation therapy
  • High dose rate brachytherapy
  • Intracavitary brachytherapy
  • Local response


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