Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Treating Skin Cancers Around the Eye With Interstitial HDR Brachytherapy

By: Emily Rhode
Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021

For patients with non-melanocytic skin cancers of the eyelid, external-beam radiotherapy often carries a high risk of complications in the eye lens, leading to problems within ocular structures, particularly the lens. However, interstitial high–dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy seems to be an effective and relatively low-burden method for treating patients with skin cancers of the eyelids, cheek, nose, and temples, according to Ludmiła Grzybowska-Szatkowska, MD, PhD, DSc, of the Medical University of Lublin, Poland, and colleagues. The study was published in the journal Cancers.

The analysis consisted of 28 patients treated with HDR brachytherapy. None of the patients had previously received any other radiation therapy. Patients were treated with either 49 Gy in 3.5-Gy fractions twice a day for 7 days or 45 Gy in 5-Gy fractions twice a day for 7 days. Tolerance doses were not exceeded for any of the ocular structures. The mean follow-up was 24 months, during which two patients had a relapse. The rate of local tumor control during the full follow-up period was 97%. No patients experienced severe and late grade 3 or 4 adverse effects or late 3 or 4 toxicity. 

“The use of brachytherapy was associated with a short hospitalization time and a relatively low burden on the patient, although a slightly longer 1.5-week treatment regimen due to a lower fraction dose may be more beneficial in terms of lens protection,” concluded the investigators.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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