A pilot study of intracavitary hyperthermia combined with radiation in the treatment of oesophageal carcinoma

R. L. Ren, C. K. Chou, N. Vora, K. Luk, L. Vora, L. Ma, C. Ahn, C. L. Staud, B. Li, J. A. McDougall, K. W. Chan, X. B. Xiong, D. J. Li

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2 Scopus citations


Twenty-five patients with primary squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus were treated with intracavitary hyperthermia combined with external beam radiation and intraluminal radiation at Nanjing Jinling Hospital, China. External beam radiation was given with a 6-MV X-ray; 1.8-2.0 Gy per fraction and five fractions per week; this brought the total dose to 60 Gy. Two weeks later, hyperthermia was applied with 915 MHz microwave intracavitary applicators, which were designed at the City of Hope. Temperature measurements were obtained while moving fibreoptic temperature sensors at 1.0 cm intervals in each of the six peripheral channels of the applicator. Hyperthermia was applied for 1 h before and after the intraluminal radiation. Intraluminal radiation was provided by low dose-rate iridium-192 ribbons in the same intracavitary applicator, giving 30 Gy at 0.75 cm from the applicator surface. The 3-month post-treatment responses showing complete response, partial response, no change and progressive disease were 60% (15/25), 24% (6/25), 8% (2/25) and 8% (2/25) respectively. The median follow-up time was 17 months (range 4-29 months). The 1- and 2-year overall survival rates were 72% (18/25) and 32% (8/25) respectively, and disease-free survival rates were 47 and 30% respectively. The median overall survival and disease-free survival periods were 17 and 10 months respectively. Fourteen patients had local recurrence (either at the primary site or in the lymph node) or had local progression, and five developed metastases. The median duration of the onset of local recurrence or of local progression was 9.5 months (range 0-20 months); the median of distant metastases was 8 months (range 2-16 months). Seventeen patients died. Of these, 15 died of cancer: six with local recurrence alone, four with local progression primary cancer alone, three with distant metastases alone, and two with both local and distant failure. Two patients with complete response of the primary disease died of other diseases. The toxicity was mild. According to the mucous reaction scoring criteria of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the acute toxicity grades I, II, III and IV were 0% (0/25)% 20% (5/25), 48% (12/25) and 32% (8/25) respectively. The major late complication was a mild oesophagus fibrosis and difficult swallowing. No serious side effects (grade IV), fistulas or perforations were seen. These results indicate that this method is safe and feasible for treating oesophageal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Hyperthermia applicator
  • Microwave
  • Oesophageal carcinoma
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cancer Research


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