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Title: Manifestation Pattern of Early-Late Vaginal Morbidity After Definitive Radiation (Chemo)Therapy and Image-Guided Adaptive Brachytherapy for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer: An Analysis From the EMBRACE Study

Background and Purpose: Brachytherapy in the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer has changed substantially because of the introduction of combined intracavitary/interstitial applicators and an adaptive target concept, which is the focus of the prospective, multi-institutional EMBRACE study ( ( on image-guided adaptive brachytherapy (IGABT). So far, little has been reported about the development of early to late vaginal morbidity in the frame of IGABT. Therefore, the aim of the present EMBRACE analysis was to evaluate the manifestation pattern of vaginal morbidity during the first 2 years of follow-up. Methods and Materials: In total, 588 patients with a median follow-up time of 15 months and information on vaginal morbidity were included. Morbidity was prospectively assessed at baseline, every 3 months during the first year, and every 6 months in the second year according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 3, regarding vaginal stenosis, dryness, mucositis, bleeding, fistula, and other symptoms. Crude incidence rates, actuarial probabilities, and prevalence rates were analyzed. Results: At 2 years, the actuarial probability of severe vaginal morbidity (grade ≥3) was 3.6%. However, mild and moderate vaginal symptoms were still pronounced (grade ≥1, 89%; grade ≥2, 29%), of which the majority developed within 6 months. Stenosis was most frequently observed, followed by vaginalmore » dryness. Vaginal bleeding and mucositis were mainly mild and infrequently reported. Conclusion: Severe vaginal morbidity within the first 2 years after definitive radiation (chemo)therapy including IGABT with intracavitary/interstitial techniques for locally advanced cervical cancer is limited and is significantly less than has been reported from earlier studies. Thus, the new adaptive target concept seems to be a safe treatment with regard to the vagina being an organ at risk. However, mild to moderate vaginal morbidity is still pronounced with currently applied IGABT, and it needs further attention.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University of Vienna/General Hospital of Vienna (Austria)
  2. (Austria)
  3. Department of Clinical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands)
  4. Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital (Denmark)
  5. Department of Radiotherapy, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  6. Department of Radiotherapy, Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif (France)
  7. Department of Radiotherapy, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  8. (Qatar)
  9. Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 89; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States