Background: Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) has significantly improved the precision in which radiotherapy is delivered in cancer treatment. Typically, IGRT uses bony landmarks and key anatomical structures to locate the tumor. Recent studies have demonstrated the feasibility of peri-tumor fiducials in enabling even more accurate delineation of target and normal tissue. The use of gold coils as fiducials in gastrointestinal tumors has been extensively studied. However, placement requires expertise and specialized endoscopic ultrasound equipment. This article reports the long-term outcomes of using a standard gastroscopy to inject liquid fiducials for the treatment of oesophageal and gastric tumors with IGRT.
Aim: To assess the long-term outcomes of liquid fiducial-guided IGRT in a cohort of oesophageal and gastric cancer patients.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of consecutive adults with Oesophagogastric cancers referred for liquid fiducial placement before definitive/neo-adjuvant or palliative IGRT between 2013 and 2021 at a tertiary hospital in Melbourne, Australia was conducted. Up to four liquid fiducials were inserted per patient, each injection consisting of 0.2-0.5mL of a 1:1 mixture of iodized oil (Lipiodol; Aspen Pharmacare) and n-butyl 2-cyanoacrylate (Histoacryl®; B. Braun). A 23-gauge injector (Cook Medical) was used for the injection. All procedures were performed by or under the supervision of a gastroenterologist. Liquid fiducial-based IGRT (LF-IGRT) consisted of computer-assisted direct matching of the fiducial region on cone-beam computerised tomography at the time of radiotherapy. Patients received standard-IGRT (S-IGRT) if fiducial visibility was insufficient, consisting of bone match as a surrogate for tumor position. Radiotherapy was delivered to 54Gy in 30 fractions for curative patients and up to 45Gy in 15 fractions for palliative treatments.
Results: 52 patients were referred for liquid fiducial placement within the study period. A total of 51 patients underwent liquid fiducial implantation. Of these a total of 31 patients received radiotherapy. Among these, the median age was 77.4 years with a range between 57.5 and 88.8, and 64.5% were male. Twenty-seven out of the 31 patients were able to have LF-IGRT while four had S-IGRT. There were no complications after endoscopic implantation of liquid fiducials in our cohort. The cohort overall survival (OS) post-radiotherapy was 19 mo (range 0 to 87 mo). Whilst the progression-free survival (PFS) post-radiotherapy was 13 mo (range 0 to 74 mo). For those treated with curative intent, the median OS was 22.0 mo (range 0 to 87 mo) with a PFS median of 14.0 mo (range 0 to 74 mo). Grade 3 complication rate post-radiotherapy was 29%.
Conclusion: LF-IGRT is feasible in 87.1% of patients undergoing liquid fiducial placement through standard gastroscopy injection technique. Our cohort has an overall survival of 19 mo and PFS of 13 mo. Further studies are warranted to determine the long-term outcomes of liquid-fiducial based IGRT.
Keywords: Fiducial; Gastric cancer; Gastroscopy; Image-guided radiotherapy; Lipiodol; Oesophageal cancer.
©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.