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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 192-197

Treatment outcome with low-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy in early-stage oral tongue cancers

Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajendra I Bhalavat
Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.57125

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Purpose : Although radical radiotherapy is known to be equally effective for early-stage oral tongue cancers (T1-2 N0) with the added advantage of organ and function preservation, surgery remains the preferred treatment. We present outcome of patients treated with brachytherapy (BT) either radical or boost. Materials and Methods : Fifty-seven patients (T1/T2 31/26) were studied. Seventeen patients (30%) were treated with radical BT (50-67 Gy) while 40 (70%) with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) + BT (36-56 Gy + 15-38 Gy]. Low-dose-rate (LDR) BT was delivered with 192 Ir wires, using plastic bead technique with varied dose rates (<60 cGy/h in 29 patients, 60-90 cGy/h in 17, and >90 cGy/h in 11). Results : The overall local control (LCR) was achieved in 59.7% (34/57) patients. LCR for T1 and T2 was 67.8% and 50%, respectively. A total of 23 patients had failures [local: 20 (T1: 8; T2: 12 patients), node: 5 (T1:2; T2: 3), and local + nodal: 3]. Overall 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival (OAS) were 51% and 67%, respectively and those for T1 and T2 was 64.5/77.4% and 38.5/54% respectively (P = 0.002). All 16 patients were salvaged. Median survival after salvage treatment was 13.5 months (6-100 months). Soft tissue necrosis was observed in 12.3% (7/57) and osteoradionecrosis in two patients. Conclusion : BT, as an integral part of radical radiation therapy in early-stage tongue cancers, appears to be an effective alternative treatment modality with preservation of the organ and function without jeopardizing the outcome.

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