Hypoxic versus normoxic external-beam irradiation of cervical carcinoma combined with californium-252 neutron brachytherapy - Comparative treatment results of a 5-year randomized study
Purpose: The article focuses on the treatment and protective effects of hypoxyradiotherapy during external-beam irradiation of cervical carcinoma, including paraaortic Lymph nodes, combining radiotherapy with californium-252 (Cf-252) neutron brachytherapy. An analysis of treatment results, early and late side effects and complications is presented. Patients and Methods: From January 1989 to May 1997, 307 women with stage IIb and IIIb cervical carcinoma, treated with Cf-252 neutron brachytherapy, were randomly divided into two groups and treated with external-beam irradiation to the paraaortic lymph nodes as follows: 0 155 patients (59 with stage IIb, 96 with stage IIIb) were treated by external-beam irradiation administered as a 60-Gy dose applied under conditions of acute hypoxia; 77 patients (30 with stage IIb and 47 with stage IIIb) received extended-field irradiation up to L4 and 78 patients (29 with stage IIb and 49 with stage IIIb) up to T12. 0 152 patients (58 with stage IIb, 94 with stage IIIb) were treated by external-beam irradiation administered as a 40-Gy dose applied under normal oxygenation conditions. 73 patients (29 with stage IIb and 44 with stage IIIb) received extended-field irradiaton up to L4 and 79 patients (29 with stage IIb and 50 with stage IIIb) up to T12. The same 56 Gy-equivalent (eq) doses at point A and 19 Gy-eq doses at point B were applied intracavitarily in both groups. The total radiation doses at points A and B were 99 and 79 Gy-eq, respectively, for patients treated with external-beam irradiation to 60 Gy under conditions of acute hypoxia. For patients treated with external-beam irradiation to 40 Gy under normal oxygenation conditions, the doses at points A and B were 85 and 59 Gy-eq, respectively. Results: The 5-year overall survival rate for a[[ patients (stages IIb and IIIb) was 7.0% better for patients treated in acute hypoxia than for patients treated under normal oxygenation conditions (78.7% vs. 71.7% [p < 0.16]). The 5-year metastases-free survival rate was better by 11.7% for stage IIIb patients in the hypoxyradiotherapy group with extended field up to T12 as compared to patients with extended field up to L4 (97.4% vs. 85.7% [p < 0.05]). Comparison of metastases-free survival rate of stage IIIb patients after external-beam irradiation with extended field up to T12 in hypoxic condition versus normoxic condition showed a 12% better result for patients in hypoxic condition (97.4% vs. 85.4% [p < 0.04]). Occurrences of symptomatic radiation-induced reactions during or shortly after irradiation were more frequently observed in patients treated with a Lower dose under normoxic conditions. During the period of 6-12 years after treatment there were no changes in the frequencies of occurrences of Late effects and complications. Conclusion: The importance of the protective effects of hypoxyradiotherapy for dose escalation in external-beam irradiation of cervical carcinoma, including paraaortic lymph nodes, with regard to an improvement of the cure rates of metastases in paraaortic Lymph nodes has been confirmed.