Ring Versus Ovoids and Intracavitary Versus Intracavitary-Interstitial Applicators in Cervical Cancer Brachytherapy: Results From the EMBRACE I Study.

Forfattere Serban M, Kirisits C, de Leeuw A, Pötter R, Jürgenliemk-Schulz I, Nesvacil N, Swamidas J, Hudej R, Lowe G, Hellebust TP, Menon G, Oinam A, Bownes P, Oosterveld B, De Brabandere M, Koedooder K, Langeland Marthinsen AB, Whitney D, Lindegaard J, Tanderup K; EMBRACE Collaborative Group.
Kilde Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Apr 1;106(5):1052-1062. Publiceringsdato 30 jan 2020


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of brachytherapy technique and applicator type on target dose, isodose surface volumes, and organ-at-risk (OAR) dose.


Nine hundred two patients treated with tandem/ovoids (T&O) (n = 299) and tandem/ring (T&R) (n = 603) applicators from 16 EMBRACE centers were analyzed. Patients received external beam radiation therapy and magnetic resonance imaging guided brachytherapy with dose prescription according to departmental practice. Centers were divided into 4 groups, according to applicator/technique: Ovoids and ring centers treating mainly with the intracavitary (IC) technique and ovoids and ring centers treating routinely with the intracavitary/interstitial (IC/IS) technique. V85Gy EQD210, CTVHR D90% EQD210), and bladder, rectum, sigmoid, and vaginal 5-mm lateral-point doses (EQD23) were evaluated among center groups. Differences between T&O and T&R were tested with multivariable analysis.


For similar point A doses, mean CTVHR D90% was 3.3 Gy higher and V85Gy was 23% lower for ring-IC compared with ovoids-IC centers (at median target volumes). Mean bladder/rectum doses (D2cm3 and ICRU-point) were 3.2 to 7.7 Gy smaller and vaginal 5-mm lateral-point was 19.6 Gy higher for ring-IC centers. Routine use of IC/IS technique resulted in increased target dose, whereas V85Gy was stable (T&R) or decreased (T&O); reduced bladder and rectum D2cm3 and bladder ICRU-point by 3.5 to 5.0 Gy for ovoids centers; and similar OAR doses for ring centers. CTVHR D90% was 2.8 Gy higher, bladder D2cm3 4.3 Gy lower, rectovaginal ICRU-point 4.8 Gy lower, and vagina 5-mm lateral-point 22.4 Gy higher for ring-IC/IS versus ovoids-IC/IS centers. The P values were <.002 for all comparisons. Equivalently, significant differences were derived from the multivariable analysis.


T&R-IC applicators have better target dose and dose conformity than T&O-IC in this representative patient cohort. IC applicators fail to cover large target volumes, whereas routine application of IC/IS improves target and OAR dose considerably. Patients treated with T&R show a more favorable therapeutic ratio when evaluating target, bladder/rectum doses, and V85Gy. A comprehensive view on technique/applicators should furthermore include practical considerations and clinical outcome.