Dermo Beta Brachytherapy with 188Re in extramammary Paget's disease

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2014 Feb;149(1):115-21.


Aim: Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) is a rare neoplastic pathology involving the vulva, scrotum, and perianal areas, and it is characterized by a slow and insidious course. EMPD may also be associated with internal malignancy, and its clinical presentation features long-standing pruritic lesions, eczema-like, refractory to any therapy. The pathogenesis is unclear, and univocal standardization of treatment is yet to be determined. As regard to the patients who suffer from it, women are more often affected than men. The therapeutic approach depends on the extent of involvement; wide surgical excision is the first choice among treatments, but other forms of therapy, alone or in combination, include imiquimod 5%, photodynamic therapy, Mohs surgery as well as external beam radiotherapy and Brachytherapy. In the present paper a new therapeutic alternative is proposed: Dermo-Beta-Brachytherapy (DBBT) with 188Re.

Methods: Five patients with EMPD, one secondary and four primary cases, have been treated by Brachytherapy with DBBT. This therapy has been successfully used for non-melanocytic skin tumors and basically consists in the topical application of a specially designed, tailor-made mould containing a radioactive beta-emitting isotope, rhenium-188.

Results: The patients healed completely, after one session in one case and after two sessions in four cases, with 34 months mean follow-up.

Conclusion: Brachyterapy could represent a new alternative therapy, instead than invasive treatments as surgery and conventional radiotherapy, capable to treat EMPD independently of its extension, with aesthetic and functional satisfactory results.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / pathology
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / radiotherapy*
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / secondary
  • Penile Neoplasms / pathology
  • Penile Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Rhenium / therapeutic use*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / secondary
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / radiotherapy


  • Radioisotopes
  • Rhenium