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Niemoeller, Olivier M.; Poellinger, Barbara; Niyazi, Maximilian; Corradini, Stefanie; Manapov, Farkhad; Belka, Claus; Huber, Rudolf M. (2013): Mature results of a randomized trial comparing two fractionation schedules of high dose rate endoluminal brachytherapy for the treatment of endobronchial tumors. In: Radiation Oncology 8:8


Purpose: To determine the efficacy of high dose rate endobronchial brachytherapy (HDR-BT) for the treatment of centrally located lung tumors, two different fractionation schedules were compared regarding local tumor response, side effects and survival. Mature retrospective results with longer follow-up and more patients were analyzed. Initial results were published by Huber et al. in 1995. Methods and materials: 142 patients with advanced, centrally located malignant tumors with preferential endoluminal growth were randomized to receive 4 fractions of 3.8 Gy (time interval: 1 week, n = 60, group I) or 2 fractions of 7.2 Gy (time interval: 3 weeks, n = 82, group II) endobronchial HDR-BT. Age, gender, tumor stage, Karnofsky Performance Score and histology were equally distributed between both groups. Results: Local tumor response with 2 fractions of 7.2 Gy was significantly higher as compared to 4 fractions of 3.8 Gy (median 12 vs. 6 weeks; p <= 0.015). Median survival was similar in both groups (19 weeks in the 4 fractions group vs. 18 weeks in the 2 fractions group). Fatal hemoptysis was less frequent following irradiation with 2 x 7.2 Gy than with 4 x 3.8 Gy, although the difference did not achieve statistical significance (12.2% vs. 18.3%, respectively. p = 0,345). Patients presenting with squamous cell carcinoma were at higher risk of bleeding compared to other histology (21.9% vs. 9%, p = 0,035). Multivariate analysis with regard to overall survival, revealed histology (p = 0.02), Karnofsky Performance Score (p < 0.0001) and response to therapy (p < 0.0001) as significant prognostic factors. For patients showing complete response the median survival was 57 weeks, while for patients with progressive disease median survival time was 8 weeks, p < 0.0001. The KPS at the start of the treatment was significantly correlated with survival. Patients presenting with a KPS = 60 at the start had a significantly (p = 0,032) shorter survival time (10 weeks) than patients with a KPS &gt; 60 (29 weeks). Moreover, the Karnofsky Performance Score of most patients improved during therapy (p = 0,001), suggesting successful palliation of cancer associated symptoms. Multivariate analysis with regard to local tumor control found no significant factors. Conclusion: Endobronchial HDR-BT is an effective local treatment for advanced centrally located malignant tumors with endoluminal tumor growth. Local tumor response was significantly higher after HDR-BT with 2 x 7.2 Gy.