JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Adjuvant high dose rate vaginal brachytherapy as treatment of stage I and II endometrial carcinoma.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of high dose rate vaginal brachytherapy in the treatment of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IB, IC, and II endometrial carcinoma after surgical staging and complete lymphadenectomy.

METHODS: All patients with stage IB, IC, or II adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma of the endometrium who received postoperative high dose rate vaginal brachytherapy at our institution between June 1, 1989, and June 1, 1999, were eligible. High dose rate vaginal brachytherapy was delivered in three fractions of 700 cGy. Retrospective chart review was performed. Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated for disease-free and overall survival.

RESULTS: One hundred sixty-four women were identified. Fifty-six percent had stage IB disease, 30% had stage IC disease, and 14% had stage II disease. Approximately one third of patients had high-grade lesions and nearly 40% had deep myometrial invasion. Median follow-up was 65 months (range 6-142 months). To date, 14 patients have had recurrence; 2 at the vaginal apex, 9 at distant sites, 1 at the pelvic sidewall, 1 simultaneously in the pelvis and at a distant site, and 1 at an unknown site. Both patients with vaginal apex recurrences had salvage therapy and are now free of disease. The overall 5-year survival and disease-free survival rates were 87% and 90%, respectively. There were no Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 3 or 4 toxicities. High dose rate vaginal brachytherapy was approximately $1,000 less expensive than external-beam whole-pelvic radiation.

CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant high dose rate vaginal brachytherapy in thoroughly staged patients with intermediate-risk endometrial carcinoma provides excellent overall and disease-free survival with less toxicity and at less cost compared with whole-pelvic radiation.

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