Treatment of locally advanced vaginal cancer with radiochemotherapy and magnetic resonance image-guided adaptive brachytherapy: dose-volume parameters and first clinical results

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Apr 1;82(5):1880-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.03.049. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


Purpose: To investigate the clinical feasibility of magnetic resonance image-guided adaptive brachytherapy (IGABT) for patients with locally advanced vaginal cancer and to report treatment outcomes.

Methods and materials: Thirteen patients with vaginal cancer were treated with external beam radiotherapy (45-50.4 Gy) plus IGABT with or without chemotherapy. Distribution of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stages among patients were as follows: 4 patients had Stage II cancer, 5 patients had Stage III cancer, and 4 patients had Stage IV cancer. The concept of IGABT as developed for cervix cancer was transferred and adapted for vaginal cancer, with corresponding treatment planning and reporting. Doses were converted to the equivalent dose in 2 Gy, applying the linear quadratic model (α/β = 10 Gy for tumor; α/β = 3 for organs at risk). Endpoints studied were gross tumor volume (GTV), dose-volume parameters for high-risk clinical target volume (HRCTV), and organs at risk, local control (LC), adverse side effects, and survival.

Results: The mean GTV (± 1 standard deviation) at diagnosis was 45.3 (±30) cm(3), and the mean GTV at brachytherapy was 10 (±14) cm(3). The mean D90 for the HRCTV was 86 (±13) Gy. The mean D2cc for bladder, urethra, rectum, and sigmoid colon were 80 (±20) Gy, 76 (±16) Gy, 70 (±9) Gy, and 60 (±9) Gy, respectively. After a median follow-up of 43 months (range, 19-87 months), one local recurrence and two distant metastases cases were observed. Actuarial LC and overall survival rates at 3 years were 92% and 85%. One patient with Stage IVA and 1 patient with Stage III disease experienced fistulas (one vesicovaginal, one rectovaginal), and 1 patient developed periurethral necrosis.

Conclusions: The concept of IGABT, originally developed for treating cervix cancer, appears to be applicable to vaginal cancer treatment with only minor adaptations. Dose-volume parameters for HRCTV and organs at risk are in a comparable range. First clinical results indicate excellent LC. Further prospective multicenter studies are needed to establish this method and to confirm these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Organs at Risk
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods*
  • Rectovaginal Fistula / etiology
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / etiology