Intracavitary radiotherapy (ICRT) for the palliative treatment of advanced esophageal cancer with dysphagia is currently performed at the University of Tokyo Hospital (Tokyo, Japan). In the present study, 24 patients exhibiting advanced esophageal cancer with dysphagia received palliative ICRT. ICRT, which was delivered 5 mm below the esophageal mucous membrane, with the exception of one case, was administered at a dose of 6 Gy/fraction. Specific patients additionally underwent definitive or palliative external beam radiation therapy for esophageal cancer a minimum of three months prior to ICRT. The effect of treatment on symptom alleviation was examined by comparing the dysphagia score prior to and following ICRT, with the patients' medical records and a questionnaire used to calculate a dysphagia score ranging from zero (no dysphagia) to four (total dysphagia). In consideration of the individual efficacy of the treatment, the maximum number of repeated ICRT fractions was four (median, 1.7 times). A trend in the improvement of the symptom of dysphagia was observed in response to esophageal ICRT, with the average dysphagia score markedly decreasing from 2.54 to 1.65, however, the difference was not significant (P=0.083). Furthermore, pain was the most frequent side-effect of the esophageal ICRT and no patients exhibited severe complications. Thus, esophageal ICRT at a dose of 6 Gy/fraction may present an effective strategy for relieving the symptom of dysphagia in cases of advanced esophageal cancer.
Yamashita, M., Yamashita, H., Shibata, S., Okuma, K., & Nakagawa, K. (2015). Symptom relief effect of palliative high dose rate intracavitary radiotherapy for advanced esophageal cancer with dysphagia. Oncology Letters, 9(4), 1747. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2015.2947