Research Article| Volume 4, ISSUE 1, P30-33, 2005

A pilot trial of high-dose-rate intraoperative radiation therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma



      To report results of a phase II trial of high-dose-rate intra-operative radiation therapy (HDR-IORT) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

      Methods and materials

      Seven patients had extrapleural pneumonectomy with IORT (EPP/IORT) and 6 patients had pleurectomy/decortication with IORT (PD/IORT) between 1994 and 1996. IORT was delivered with 192Ir using a customized applicator with a remote afterloader. A median of 3 sites were treated to a median area of 143 cm2. A dose of 1500 cGy was prescribed at each site, with 1000 cGy delivered to the mediastinum. Postoperative external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) was given 3–5 weeks later. Median follow-up was 8 months (range, 1–84 months).


      Five patients developed local failure. Two-year local control and survival rates were 35% and 23%, respectively. Mortality was 2/13 (15%), 1 from each surgical group. Serious complications requiring further intervention occurred in 3/6 (50%) of the EPP/IORT group and 1/5 (20%) of the PD/IORT group.


      HDR-IORT after EPP for MPM is prohibitively toxic and has been abandoned, while its use with PD remains in question.


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