Functional results of exclusive interventional radiotherapy (brachytherapy) in the treatment of nasal vestibule carcinomas

Brachytherapy. Jan-Feb 2021;20(1):178-184. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2020.08.008. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


Purpose: Surgery, external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), and interventional radiotherapy (IRT, BrachyTherapy BT) are the current therapeutic options for nose vestibule (NV) squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In this article, we evaluate the nose functional parameters of patients affected by SCCs of the NV, primarily treated by interstitial IRT comparing them with healthy controls and with patients treated with intensity-modulated EBRT.

Methods: Ten patients treated by using IRT (group 1), 10 healthy controls and eight patients treated by EBRT (group 2) on the region of the nose were submitted to clinical evaluation (with the NOSE scale score), rhinomanometry, olfactory testing, nasal citology, and evaluation of mucociliary clearance through saccharine test.

Results: No long-term skin or cartilaginous toxicity are recorded. The olfactometry threshold discrimination identification TDI is lower in EB group. The mean NOSE scale score was significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1 and healthy controls (p < 0.05). The distribution of cytologic patterns resulted significantly different as well. Patients treated by EB have a significantly impaired mucociliary clearance, with a mean time for the transport of the stained marker, which is more than double in the patients treated by EB than in those treated with IRT (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Nasal function and cytological findings are significantly better, substantially preserved, in patients treated by IRT than in those treated by EBRT, bringing new relevant evidence for the establishment of interstitial IRT as the new standard for the treatment of the primary lesion in cT1 and cT2 -Wang staging NV SCCs.

Keywords: Brachytherapy; External beam radiotherapy; Mucociliary transport; Nasal cytology; Nasal vestibule carcinoma; Olfaction.