Intraluminal radiation therapy in the management of malignant biliary obstruction
Fifteen patients with malignant biliary obstruction from carcinoma of the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas (Group I) or metastatic disease (Group II) were treated with intraluminal radiation therapy (ILRT) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 11 cases ILRT was used as a central boost in combination with 3000 cGy external beam radiation therapy (ERT). No significant treatment toxicity was observed. Cholangiographic response was observed in 2 of 12 evaluable patients. In no patient was long-term relief of jaundice without indwelling biliary stent achieved. Survival from treatment in eight Group I patients treated with ILRT +/- ERT was 3 to 13 months (median, 4.5). Survival in seven similarly treated Group II patients was 0.5 to 8 months (median, 4.0). Additional data for ten similar patients referred for ILRT but treated with ERT alone are presented. Analysis of this and other reports indicate the need for prospective controlled trials of the role of this regimen in the management of malignant biliary obstruction before wider application can be recommended.