Prospective multi-institutional study of definitive radiotherapy with high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy in patients with nonbulky (<4-cm) stage I and II uterine cervical cancer (JAROG0401/JROSG04-2)

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 1;82(1):e49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.01.022. Epub 2011 Apr 4.


Purpose: To determine the efficacy of a definitive radiotherapy protocol using high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDR-ICBT) with a low cumulative dose schedule in nonbulky early-stage cervical cancer patients, we conducted a prospective multi-institutional study.

Methods and materials: Eligible patients had squamous cell carcinoma of the intact uterine cervix, Federation of Gynecologic Oncology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stages Ib1, IIa, and IIb, tumor size <40 mm in diameter (assessed by T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging), and no pelvic/para-aortic lymphadenopathy. The treatment protocol consisted of whole-pelvis external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) of 20 Gy/10 fractions, pelvic EBRT with midline block of 30 Gy/15 fractions, and HDR-ICBT of 24 Gy/4 fractions (at point A). The cumulative biologically effective dose (BED) was 62 Gy(10) (α/β = 10) at point A. The primary endpoint was the 2-year pelvic disease progression-free (PDPF) rate. All patients received a radiotherapy quality assurance review.

Results: Between September 2004 and July 2007, 60 eligible patients were enrolled. Thirty-six patients were assessed with FIGO stage Ib1; 12 patients with stage IIa; and 12 patients with stage IIb. Median tumor diameter was 28 mm (range, 6-39 mm). Median overall treatment time was 43 days. Median follow-up was 49 months (range, 7-72 months). Seven patients developed recurrences: 3 patients had pelvic recurrences (2 central, 1 nodal), and 4 patients had distant metastases. The 2-year PDPF was 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 92%-100%). The 2-year disease-free and overall survival rates were 90% (95% CI, 82%-98%) and 95% (95% CI, 89%-100%), respectively. The 2-year late complication rates (according to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group/European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer of Grade ≥ 1) were 18% (95% CI, 8%-28%) for large intestine/rectum, 4% (95% CI, 0%-8%) for small intestine, and 0% for bladder. No Grade ≥ 3 cases were observed for genitourinary/gastrointestinal late complications.

Conclusions: These results suggest that definitive radiotherapy using HDR-ICBT with a low cumulative dose schedule (BED, 62 Gy(10) at point A) can provide excellent local control without severe toxicity in nonbulky (<4-cm) early-stage cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectum / radiation effects
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Tumor Burden
  • Urinary Bladder / radiation effects
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Young Adult