Brachy therapy of brain tumors
Temporary implants of high-activity 125iodine sources have been used in the treatment of brain tumors since December 1979 at the University of California, San Francisco. For previously untreated patients who underwent external beam radiation therapy followed by implant boost, median survival from the date of diagnosis was 88 weeks for 34 patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GM) and 157 weeks for 29 patients with nonglioblastoma gliomas (NGM). For recurrent tumors treated with brachytherapy only, median survival from the date of the implant was 54 weeks for 45 patients with GM and 81 weeks for 50 patients with NGM. Finally, in 48 patients with recurrent tumors treated with combined hyperthermia and brachytherapy, median survival from the date of the implant was 46 weeks for 25 patients with GM and 44 weeks for 7 patients with metastases; 18-month survival was 65% for 16 patients with NGM. Brachytherapy appears to be a useful technique for the treatment of selected recurrent brain tumors and selected primary glioblastomas.