Recurrent malignant gliomas: Survival following interstitial brachyterapy with high-activity iodine-125 sources
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
The authors report survival data for the first 41 patients treated for recurrent malignant gliomas with interstitial brachytherapy at the University of California, San Francisco (1980-1984). Iodine-125 (125I) sources were temporarily implanted using stereotaxic techniques. The median survival period for 18 patients with recurrent glioblastomas was 52 weeks after brachytherapy; two patients are alive more than 5 years after brachytherapy. The median survival period for 23 patients with recurrent anaplastic astrocytomas is 153 weeks after brachytherapy, with 10 patients alive more than 3 years and four patients alive more than 4 years after brachytherapy. Both groups did significantly better (p less than 0.01) than groups of patients with the same diagnoses and similar general characteristics who were treated at recurrence with chemotherapy alone. Because of deterioration of their clinical condition and evidence of recurrence from computerized tomographic scans, 17 (41%) of 41 patients required reoperation 20 to 72 weeks after brachytherapy. Despite the invariable presence of apparently viable tumor cells mixed with necrotic tissue in the resected specimen, nine patients have survived more than 2 years after reoperation and two of the nine are still alive 4 years after reoperation. The authors conclude that brachytherapy with temporarily implanted 125I sources for well-circumscribed, hemispheric, recurrent malignant gliomas is effective and offers a chance for long-term survival even though focal radiation necrosis can seriously degrade the quality of survival in a minority of patients.