Underutilization of brachytherapy for cervical cancer in the United States

  • Casey W. Williamson
    Department of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
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  • Jyoti Mayadev
    Corresponding author. Gynecologic Oncology Radiation Services, University of California San Diego, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, Tel.: 85-88-224364, Fax: 85-82-461505.
    Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    Search for articles by this author
Published:December 08, 2022DOI:


      Brachytherapy is a critical component of the definitive management of cervical cancer and allows for the safe delivery of about half of the total effective radiation dose needed for optimal outcomes. Moreover, the dose distribution of brachytherapy is highly conformal, allowing for a therapeutic index currently unmatched by alternative techniques. However, a modern brachytherapy program requires special equipment, infrastructure, and procedural expertise. Unfortunately, multiple lines of evidence suggest that brachytherapy is currently underutilized in the United States. In this review, we examine the importance of brachytherapy, contemporary recommendations, and avenues for growth.


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