Combination of external beam irradiation and high-dose-rate intraluminal brachytherapy for inoperable carcinoma of the extrahepatic bile ducts

Hyun Soo Shin, Jinsil Seong, Woo Chul Kim, Hyung Sik Lee, Sun Rock Moon, Ik Jae Lee, Kang Kyu Lee, Kyung Ran Park, Chang Ok Suh, Gwi Eon Kim

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Purpose: To assess the feasibility and therapeutic benefits of a combination of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and high-dose-rate intraluminal brachytherapy (ILBT) for treating patients with inoperable carcinoma of the extrahepatic bile ducts. Methods and materials: Of 31 patients who received RT at the Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea between 1986 and 1995, 17 patients underwent EBRT alone (Group 1) and 14 patients were treated with EBRT in combination with high-dose-rate ILBT (Group 2). After external drainage, EBRT was delivered with a total dose ranging from 36 to 55 Gy (median 50.4) in both groups. High-dose-rate ILBT for the patients in Group 2 was performed using a high-intensity 192Ir source (Gamma-med remote afterloading system) within the expandable intrabiliary prosthesis (Gianturco stent), inserted transhepatically at the site of the obstruction. The radiation dose of the high-dose-rate ILBT was prescribed at 1.5 cm from the center of the source with a single daily dose of 5 Gy to a total of 15 Gy given in three fractions. The response rate, patterns of treatment failure, treatment morbidity, and survival data in the two groups were compared. Results: Although locoregional recurrence was the most common pattern of failure in both groups, no statistically significant difference was found in the recurrence rates between those who did and did not receive ILBT (53% for Group 1 vs. 36% for Group 2; p > 0.05). However, a prolongation of the median time to tumor recurrence was observed in the Group 2 patients (5 months for Group 1 vs. 9 months for Group 2; p = 0.06). When the EBRT dose delivered was >50 Gy, most patients experienced various degrees of GI symptoms, but the frequency of radiation-induced complications in the two groups was similar. No enhancement in treatment morbidity was attributed to the addition of high-dose-rate ILBT to EBRT. With a median follow-up of 12 months, the overall actuarial 2-year survival rate for Group 2 patients was significantly better than that for Group 1 patients (0% for Group 1 vs. 21% for Group 2; p = 0.015). Conclusion: Given these observations, we believe that the combined use of EBRT and high-dose-rate ILBT is a beneficial, relatively safe, and effective method of improving the treatment outcome in selected patients with inoperable carcinoma of the extrahepatic bile ducts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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