Brachytherapy: An overview for clinicians

Cyrus Chargari, Eric Deutsch, Pierre Blanchard, Sebastien Gouy, Hélène Martelli, Florent Guérin, Isabelle Dumas, Alberto Bossi, Philippe Morice, Akila Viswanathan, Christine Haie-Meder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Brachytherapy is a specific form of radiotherapy consisting of the precise placement of radioactive sources directly into or next to the tumor. This technique is indicated for patients affected by various types of cancers. It is an optimal tool for delivering very high doses to the tumor focally while minimizing the probability of normal tissue complications. Physicians from a wide range of specialties may be involved in either the referral to or the placement of brachytherapy. Many patients require brachytherapy as either primary treatment or as part of their oncologic care. On the basis of high-level evidence from randomized controlled trials, brachytherapy is mainly indicated: 1) as standard in combination with chemoradiation in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer; 2) in surgically treated patients with uterine endometrial cancer for decreasing the risk of vaginal vault recurrence; 3) in patients with high-risk prostate cancer to perform dose escalation and improve progression-free survival; and 4) in patients with breast cancer as adjuvant, accelerated partial breast irradiation or to boost the tumor bed. In this review, the authors discuss the clinical relevance of brachytherapy with a focus on indications, levels of evidence, and results in the overall context of radiation use for patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-401
Number of pages16
JournalCA Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

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Keywords

  • brachytherapy
  • cervical cancer
  • evidence-based medicine
  • image-guided adaptive brachytherapy
  • overall survival
  • precision medicine
  • prostate cancer
  • quality of life
  • radiation oncology
  • therapeutic index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

Cite this

Chargari, C., Deutsch, E., Blanchard, P., Gouy, S., Martelli, H., Guérin, F., Dumas, I., Bossi, A., Morice, P., Viswanathan, A., & Haie-Meder, C. (2019). Brachytherapy: An overview for clinicians. CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 69(5), 386-401. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21578