Out-patient high-dose-rate endobronchial brachytherapy for palliation of lung cancer: an observational study
AbstractBackground and Aim. Out-patient high-dose-rate endobronchial brachytherapy (HDREB) is a possible option in the palliation of symptoms in patients with advanced lung cancer, but literature data is limited and the technique is still under development in Italy. Our aim was to evaluate safety and effectiveness of out-patient HDREB for palliation of malignant endobronchial tumours in the context of a multidisciplinary approach. Methods. Out-patient HDREB sessions were scheduled at weekly intervals (500-1000 cGy per session) with prior Diodi-laser resection in some cases. Response was assessed bronchoscopically, clinically and functionally at the end of treatment and one month after the last HDREB session. Inclusion criteria was: histological evidence of malignant tumour not susceptible to surgical treatment for extension or co-morbidity. Results. 150 outpatient HDREB sessions were carried out on consecutive 35 patients (mean age 69 yrs, M/F 29/6) with symptoms due to central airway obstruction. A shortterm endoscopic response was observed in 15/28 patients. After delivering 2000 cGy dyspnoea decreased significantly. After one month cough decreased and haemoptysis disappeared. Palliation was obtained in all patients except one during. Lung function tests did not significantly improve after HDREB. No fatal complication occurred. A temporary radiation bronchitis was observed in six patients. Conclusions. This non-comparative, prospective observational study showed a palliative response of HDREB in most of patients with advanced endoluminal lung cancer. The safety of the procedure was good and the rate of non-fatal serious complications was very low.
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