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Vaginal Brachytherapy After Surgery May Offer Benefits

-- Eric Metcalf

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Vaginal brachytherapy may provide improved quality-of-life benefits compared with external-beam radiotherapy following endometrial carcinoma surgery, according to research published online June 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Remi A. Nout, M.D., of the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 348 women surgically treated for endometrial carcinoma who were randomized to receive external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or vaginal brachytherapy (VBT). Women responded to a series of questionnaires about quality-of-life issues; these outcomes were analyzed at a median follow-up of two years.

The researchers found that women treated with EBRT had increased symptoms of diarrhea and fecal leakage, and reported a greater need to stay near a toilet compared to the brachytherapy group. Social functioning was also lower following EBRT than brachytherapy.

"In conclusion, patients who received EBRT reported significant and clinically relevant higher levels of diarrhea and fecal leakage. This resulted in a higher need to remain close to a toilet, more limitation of daily activities because of bowel symptoms, and decreased social functioning. VBT did not have this negative effect on health-related quality of life and can be regarded as the preferred treatment from an health-related quality of life perspective," the authors write. "First results suggest that VBT is effective and should be regarded as the treatment of choice for patients with high- to intermediate-risk endometrial carcinoma."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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