Predicting which patients may benefit from the hybrid intracavitary+interstitial needle (IC/IS) applicator for advanced cervical cancer: A dosimetric comparison and toxicity benefit analysis

Bladder Cancer

Brachytherapy. 2020 Oct 29:S1538-4721(20)30205-1. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2020.09.004. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the predicted rate of local control and bladder and rectum toxicity rates for image-guided adaptive brachytherapy plans using a tandem and ovoid (T/O) applicator versus using a simulated hybrid intracavitary/interstitial tandem and ring applicator with needles (T/R + N) for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC).

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with ≥ FIGO Stage IIB locally advanced cervical cancer treated with T/O from a single institution were included. Simulated treatment plans were created with a T/R + N applicator for the best high-risk clinical target volume (CTV) coverage and minimal dose to organs at risk. Three-year local control rate was estimated using published dose-volume effect relationships. Next, the high-risk CTV EQD2 D90 of T/R + N plans were calculated, and bladder and rectum toxicity rates were estimated. Analysis was performed in subpatient groups defined based on tumor volume and ratio of maximal and minimal tumor radii (RR) that reflects tumor shape asymmetry.

RESULTS: Improvements in predicted local control rate for the T/R + N were 0.8, 4.1, 1.6, and 3.9% for groups with tumor volume <35 cc, ≥35 cc, RR < 2.0, and ≥2.0, respectively, with the latter three being statistically significant. Predicted reductions in Grade 2-4 toxicity rates of bladder and rectum were significant in all groups except bladder toxicity in tumor volume <35 cc, when T/R + N plans were normalized to the same CTV coverage as the T/O plans. Comparing unnormalized T/R + N plans and T/O plans, predicted toxicity reductions were significant in all groups except rectum toxicity in RR ≥ 2.0. Predicted reduction of toxicity rate was larger for patients with large tumor or large tumor RR, although some reductions were relatively small.

CONCLUSIONS: Cases with large tumor (volume ≥35 cc) or large tumor asymmetry (RR ≥ 2.0) would probably benefit more from the use of hybrid applicators.