Medline: 8040034

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 29(4): 855-861, 1994.

Combined external beam radiotherapy and intraluminal high dose rate brachytherapy on bile duct carcinomas.

Fritz P, Brambs HJ, Schraube P, et al.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and complications of combined external beam and intraluminal high dose rate irradiation and various adjuvant biliary drainage techniques on patients with bile duct carcinomas.

AND MATERIALS: Eighteen patients with carcinomas of the hepatic duct bifurcation and 12 patients with carcinomas of the choledochus duct or the common hepatic duct were treated with combined external beam radiotherapy and intraluminal high-dose rate brachytherapy. Nine patients received radiotherapy after palliative tumor resection and 21 patients were primarily irradiated. Twenty-five patients completed the full course of radiotherapy. On these patients, the reference doses for the external beam varied from 30 to 45 Gy and for brachytherapy from 20 to 45 Gy. Biliary drainage after radiotherapy was achieved either with percutaneous catheters, endoprosthesis, or stents.

The median survival for the entire group was 10 months. The actuarial survival was 34% after 1 year, 18% after 2 and 3 years, and 8% after 5 years. The subgroup with palliative tumor resection exhibit a significantly better survival (median: 12.1 months vs. 7.9 months). Three patients are still living without evidence of disease since 35 to 69 months. Major complications like bacterial cholangitis could be lowered from 37% to 28% through exchange of percutaneous transhepatic catheters to endoprosthesis or stents. The longest lasting drainages were achieved through stents. The frequency of radiogenic ulcera were lowered from 23% to presently 7.6% after the total dose of the high dose rate afterloading boost was reduced to 20 Gy.

The present standard treatment schedule 40 Gy for the external beam and 20 Gy (fourfold 5 Gy) for the afterloading boost seems to be appropriate and well tolerated. After radiotherapy, a permanent supply of drainage should be made with a stent.

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