Comparative analysis between interstitial brachytherapy and stereotactic body irradiation for local ablation in liver malignancies

Published:September 12, 2019DOI:



      Interstitial high-dose-rate brachytherapy (BT) is an alternative treatment option to stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for the ablative treatment of liver malignancies. The aim of the present comparative planning study was to reveal the possibilities and limitations of both techniques with regard to dosimetric properties.

      Methods and Materials

      Eighty-five consecutive patients with liver malignancy diagnosis were treated with interstitial BT between 12/2008 and 09/2009. The prescription dose of BT varied between 15 and 20 Gy, depending on histology. For dosimetric comparison, virtual SBRT treatment plans were generated using the original BT planning CTs. Additional margins reflecting the respiratory tumor motion were added to the target volumes for SBRT planning.


      The mean PTVBT was 34.7 cm3 (0.5–410.0 cm3) vs. a mean PTVSBRT of 73.2 cm3 (6.1–593.4 cm3). Regarding the minimum peripheral dose (D99.9), BT achieved the targeted prescription dose of 15 Gy/20 Gy better without violating organ at risk constraints. The dose exposure of the liver was significantly influenced by treatment modality. The liver exposure to 5 Gy was statistically lower with 611 ± 43 cm3 for BT as compared with 694 ± 37 cm3 for SBRT plans (20-Gy group, p = 0.001), corresponding to 41.8% vs. 45.9% liver volume, respectively.


      To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the comparison of clinically treated liver BT treatments with virtually planned SBRT treatments. The planning study showed a superior outcome of BT regarding dose coverage of the target volume and exposed liver volume. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to determine ideal applicability for each treatment approach.


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