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Volume 8, Number 4, 2003

The repeated use of high dose brachytherapy for locally recurrent lung cancer

Skowronek J, Piotrowski T, Ramlau R, Cofta S, Świerkocki K, Piorunek T, Młynarczyk W.


Purpose: To assess the effect of repeated palliative treatment with high dose rate brachytherapy in patients with advanced lung cancer.
Material and Methods: Fifty-six patients, 25.3% of a total of 221 patients treated for lung cancer with HDR brachytherapy were treated twice, using High Dose Rate Brachytherapy. All patients were qualified for repeated brachytherapy due to the recurrence of intrabronchial tumour and acceptable remissions after the first treatment. The survival times were compared with selected clinical data. Correlations between survival times and subjective breathing difficulties were analyzed separately.
Results: The median survival time in the whole group of patients was 8.9 months. The period of obtaining a positive clinical response was correlated with a longer survival time (log-rank test, p=0.0009, F Cox test, p=0.007). In the multivariate analysis other statistically important prognostic factors were also included: the clinical stage of the primary tumour (F Cox test, p=0.04), and the interval between the first and second treatment (F Cox, p=0.004). None of the analyzed factors (dys-pnoea, cough, haemoptysis and pain) had any influence on survival.
Conclusion: Repeated HDR brachytherapy in advanced lung cancer was an efficient method that in many patients led to regression of symptoms and improvement in life quality.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2003; 8(4) : 127-137


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