Preliminary survey of 3D image-guided brachytherapy for cervical cancer at representative hospitals in Asian countries

J Radiat Res. 2020 Jul 6;61(4):608-615. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rraa025.


3D image-guided brachytherapy (3D-IGBT) has become a standard therapy for cervical cancer. However, the use of 3D-IGBT is limited in East and Southeast Asia. This study aimed to clarify the current usage patterns of 3D-IGBT for cervical cancer in East and Southeast Asia. A questionnaire-based survey was performed in 11 countries within the framework of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia. The questionnaire collected the treatment information of patients with cervical cancer who underwent 3D-IGBT. The cumulative external beam radiotherapy and 3D-IGBT doses were summarized and normalized to a biological equivalent dose of 2 Gy per fraction (EQD2) using a linear-quadratic model. Of the 11 institutions representing the participating countries, six (55%) responded to the questionnaire. Overall, data of 36 patients were collected from the six institutions. Twenty-one patients underwent whole-pelvic irradiation and 15 underwent whole-pelvic irradiation with central shielding. Patients received a median of four treatment sessions of 3D-IGBT (range, 2-6). All 3D-IGBT sessions were computed tomography (CT)-based and not magnetic resonance image-based. The median doses to the high-risk clinical target volume D90, bladder D2cc, rectum D2cc and sigmoid colon D2cc were 80.9 Gy EQD2 (range, 58.9-105.9), 77.7 Gy EQD2 (range, 56.9-99.1), 68.0 Gy EQD2 (range, 48.6-90.7) and 62.0 Gy EQD2 (range, 39.6-83.7), respectively. This study elucidated the current patterns of 3D-IGBT for the treatment of cervical cancer in East and Southeast Asia. The results indicate the feasibility of observational studies of CT-based 3D-IGBT for cervical cancer in these countries.

Keywords: 3D planning; cervical cancer; high-dose rate brachytherapy; image-guided brachytherapy; questionnaire-based survey.