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Damm, Robert; Zörkler, Ingo; Rogits, Bela; Hass, Peter; Omani, Jazan; Powerski, Maciej; Knopf, Sigfried; Mohnike, Konrad; Pech, Maciej; Ricke, Jens; Seidensticker, Max (2018): Needle track seeding in hepatocellular carcinoma after local ablation by high-dose-rate brachytherapy: a retrospective study of 588 catheter placements. In: Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy, Vol. 10, No. 6: pp. 516-521
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Abstract

Purpose: Needle track seeding in the local treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not yet evaluated for catheter-based high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT), a novel local ablative technique. Material and methods: We report a retrospective analysis of 100 patients treated on 233 HCC lesions by HDR-BT (using 588 catheters in total). No needle or catheter track irradiation was used. Minimum required follow-up with imaging was 6 months. In case of suspected needle track seeding (intra- and/or extrahepatic) in follow-up, image fusion of follow-up CT/MRI with 3D irradiation plan was used to verify the location of a new tumor deposit within the path of a brachytherapy catheter at the time of treatment. Results: We identified 9 needle track metastases, corresponding to a catheter-based risk of 1.5% for any location of occurrence. A total of 7 metastases were located within the liver (catheter-based risk, 1.2%), and 2 metastases were located extrahepatic (catheter-based risk, 0.3%). Eight out of 9 needle track metastases were successfully treated by further HDR-BT. Conclusions: The risk for needle track seeding after interstitial HDR-BT of HCC is comparable to previous reports of percutaneous biopsies and radiofrequency ablation (RFA), especially in case of extrahepatic needle track metastases. To compensate for the risk of seeding, a track irradiation technique similar to track ablation in RFA should be implemented in clinical routine.