American Brachytherapy Society working group report on the patterns of care and a literature review of reirradiation for gynecologic cancers

Alina Sturdza, Akila N. Viswanathan, Beth Erickson, Catheryn Yashar, Andrew Bruggeman, Jonathan Feddock, Ann Klopp, Sushil Beriwal, David Gaffney, Kathy Han, Mitchell Kamrava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recurrences of previously irradiated gynecological malignancies are uncommon. Standardized management of these cases is not well established. We aim to provide an in-depth literature review and present current practice patterns among an international group of experienced practitioners in the reirradiation setting of gynecologic cancers. Methods and Materials: An extensive literature search was performed and 35 articles were selected based on preset criteria. A 20-question online survey of 10 experts regarding their retreatment practices was also conducted. Results: The reviewed publications include a diverse group of patients, multiple treatment techniques, a range of total doses, local control, overall survival, and toxicity outcomes. Overall, local control ranged from 44% to 88% over 1–5 years with OS in the range of 39.5–82% at 2–5 years. Late G3–4 toxicity varied very broadly from 0% to 42.9%, with most papers reporting serious toxicities greater than 15%. The most common reirradiation technique utilized was brachytherapy. Some low-dose-rate data suggest improved outcomes with doses >50 Gy. The high-dose-rate data are more varied with some studies suggesting improved local control with doses >40 Gy. In general, a longer time interval between the first and second course of radiation as well as recurrences <2–4 cm tend to have improved outcomes. Conclusions: Reirradiation with brachytherapy results in relatively reasonable local control and toxicities for women with recurrent gynecologic cancers. The appropriate dose for each case needs to be individualized given the heterogeneity of cases. Multidisciplinary management is critical to develop individualized plans and to clearly communicate potential side effects and expected treatment outcomes. Take Home Message: Reirradiation with brachytherapy is an acceptable effective organ preserving approach for recurrent gynecologic cancers with a reasonable local control and toxicity profile. Each case requires multidisciplinary management to develop an individualized approach. Monitoring for potential long-term toxicities is essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Brachytherapy
  • Gynecologic
  • Reirradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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