The Effect of Contemporary Brachytherapy Practices on Prognosis in Women with Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer

Janna J. Laan*, Luc R. C. W. van Lonkhuijzen, Jaap A. Stokking, Danique L. J. Barten, Karel A. Hinnen, Bradley R. Pieters, Lukas J. A. Stalpers, Henrike Westerveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


(1) Background: Over the past two decades use of new imaging modalities and the adaptation of applicators have allowed for advances in volumetric (3D) imaging-based brachytherapy practices for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to compare the oncological outcome and toxicity for three consecutively introduced brachytherapy practices in a large single-center cohort; (2) Methods: Patients treated for cervical cancer with primary radiotherapy and curative intent were consecutively included in this retrospective, single-center cohort study from 2006 to 2019. This cohort was divided into three groups (CT, MRI, and MRI+needles) based on the timing of the introduction of a novel brachytherapy practice; 3D brachytherapy planning using CT- and MRI-guided adaptive brachytherapy and the use of parametrial interstitial needles, respectively. Actuarial estimates were compared between groups. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed to correct for other risk factors. Crude rates of severe (≥grade 3) late toxicity were reported; (3) Results: A total of 397 patients were included in this cohort. At a median follow-up of 40 months (interquartile range (IQR) 22–62), actuarial 3-year local control, pelvic control, disease-free survival, and overall survival for the entire cohort were 91% (95% (Confidence Interval (CI)) 88–94), 88% (95% CI 84–91), 69% (95% CI 64–74), and 75% (95% CI 70–79), respectively). Local control, disease-free survival, and overall survival were significantly improved in the MRI+needles group compared to the CT group (p = 0.040, p = 0.004, and p < 0.001, respectively). Independent risk factors for overall survival were treatment in either the CT or MRI group (vs. MRI+needles), older age at diagnosis, adeno (squamous) carcinoma, FIGO stage III/IV, and lymph node metastases. The crude rate of severe late toxicity was 27% in the CT, 26% in the MRI, and 20% in the MRI+needles group; (4) Conclusions: Prognosis in women with locally advanced cervical cancer treated with state-of-the-art MRI-guided adaptive brachytherapy combined with parametrial interstitial needles compares favorably to patients treated with more traditional CT only based brachytherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4275-4288
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

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