Aims: Endometrial cancer is the commonest malignancy of the female genital tract. Surgery forms the cornerstone of treatment with adjuvant therapy proven to reduce local recurrence without demonstrating a clear survival benefit. The selection of adjuvant therapy is becoming increasingly more complex. The aim of this study was to investigate current adjuvant practices by reviewing outcomes of patients with endometrial cancer treated with intracavitary vaginal brachytherapy (VB).
Materials & Methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out of all women with Stage II endometrial endometroid adenocarcinoma treated at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield with adjuvant VB from 2003–2006. The data collected and analysed included histology, stage and grade of disease, radiotherapy treatment–related parameters, morbidity, recurrence rates and survival rates. Kaplan-Meier was used to analyse recurrence-free and overall survival rates. Wilson’s score was used to determine statistical significance of outcomes. Attention was focused on the method of treatment delivery, and this was compared with available literature.
Results: In total, 33 patients were identified. All patients were treated with LDR 48 Gy prescribed to the surface of the applicator. Median follow-up was 36 months. Vaginal, pelvic and distant relapse rates were 9%, 15% and 18%, respectively. Recurrence-free and overall survival rates were 78.8% and 84.8%, respectively. Six of the seven patients (86%) who recurred developed distant metastases, not influenced by VB. No severe (Grade 3 or 4 toxicity) was recorded. When vaginal relapse rates were compared to published trials based on technique used, no statistically significant difference was demonstrated.
Conclusion: Rates of vaginal relapses were comparable to the available literature suggesting current VB practice is an effective adjuvant local treatment. The study highlights the importance of surveillance and patient education regarding toxicity and its prevention with particular attention drawn to vaginal stenosis.