Gynecologic Oncology| Volume 16, ISSUE 1, P133-140, January 2017

Differences in outcome for cervical cancer patients treated with or without brachytherapy

Published:November 08, 2016DOI:



      To compare the clinical outcome of cervical cancer patients treated with primary radiotherapy with and without the addition of brachytherapy.

      Methods and Materials

      In all, 220 patients with cervical cancer stage I–IV treated between 1993 and 2009 were included. Three or five 6.0 Gy fractions of brachytherapy were given in addition to the external beam radiotherapy to 134 patients, whereas 86 patients received external beam radiotherapy alone (EBRTA). In the EBRTA group, the patients received external boost instead of brachytherapy with a total dose to the tumor of 64–72 Gy.


      The 5-year overall survival and cancer-specific survival rates of the complete series were 42.5% and 55.5%, respectively. The rates of primary complete remission, 5-year cancer-specific survival, and recurrence were 92.5%, 68.5%, and 31.3% for the brachytherapy group vs. 73.3%, 35.4%, and 37.2% for the EBRTA group. The survival (all types) of the patients receiving brachytherapy was significantly (p < 0.0001) better than for the patients treated with external boost, but the difference was most pronounced in FIGO stage II tumors. Higher FIGO stage, nonsquamous cell carcinoma histology, treatment with EBRTA, and lower total equal 2-Gy (EQD2) external dose were significantly associated with poorer survival, lower rate of remission, and higher recurrence rate in multivariate models.


      Primary tumor remission rate, recurrence rate, and all types of survival rates were improved in the brachytherapy group. Brachytherapy is important to achieve sufficient doses to the periphery and central part of the tumor and should always be considered in treatment of cervical carcinomas.


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