Purpose: Definitive radiation therapy for locally advanced cervical cancer involves external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy. There remains controversy and practice pattern variation regarding the optimal radiation dose to metastatic pelvic lymph nodes (LNs). This study investigates the contribution of the pelvic LN dose from HDR brachytherapy. Methods and Materials: For 17 patients with 36 positive pelvic LNs, each LN was contoured on a computed tomography (CT) plan for EBRT and on brachytherapy planning CTs using positron emission tomographic images obtained before chemoradiation. The mean delivered dose from each plan was recorded, and an equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions (EQD2) was calculated. A Student's t test was performed to determine if the mean delivered dose is significantly different from the mean prescribed dose and EQD2. Results: The average prescribed dose from the total EBRT was 54.09Gy. The average prescribed HDR dose to International Commission on Radiation Units point A was 26.81Gy. The average doses delivered to the involved LNs from EBRT and brachytherapy were 54.25 and 4.31Gy, respectively, with the corresponding EQD2 of 53.45 and 4.00Gy. There was no statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the mean delivered and the prescribed doses for EBRT and between the delivered dose and the EQD2 for EBRT and brachytherapy. Conclusions: Our study shows that the HDR contribution is 7% (4.00Gy) of the total EQD2 (57.45Gy). The HDR contribution should be accounted for when prescribing the EBRT boost dose to pelvic LNs for the optimal therapeutic dose.
- Cervical cancer
- Equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions
- High-dose-rate brachytherapy
- Pelvic lymph nodes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging