Intraoperative 32P high-dose rate brachytherapy of the dura for recurrent primary and metastatic intracranial and spinal tumors

Michael R. Folkert, Mark H. Bilsky, Gil'Ad N. Cohen, Marco Zaider, Lawrence T. Dauer, Brett W. Cox, Patrick J. Boland, Ilya Laufer, Yoshiya Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Treatment of spinal and intracranial tumors with dural involvement is complicated by radiation tolerance of sensitive structures, especially in the setting of previous treatment. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether intraoperative brachytherapy with short-range sources allows therapeutic dose delivery without damaging sensitive structures. METHODS: The median doses of previous treatment were 3000 cGy (range, 1800-7200 cGy) for 8 patients with primary/recurrent and 17 patients with metastatic spinal tumors and 5040 cGy (range, 1300-6040 cGy) for 5 patients with locally recurrent and 2 patients with metastatic intracranial tumors. Patients underwent gross total or maximal resection of the tumor and were then treated with an intraoperative brachytherapy plaque consisting of a flexible silicone film incorporating P. A dose of 1000 cGy was delivered to a depth of 1 mm; the percent depth dose was less than 1% at 4 mm from the prescription depth. Median postoperative radiation doses of 2700 cGy (range, 1800-3000 cGy) were delivered to 15 spinal tumor patients and 3000 cGy (range, 1800-3000 cGy) to 3 intracranial tumor patients. The median follow-up was 4.4 months (range, 2.6-23.3 months) for spinal tumor patients and 5.3 months (range, 0.7-16.2) for intracranial tumor patients. RESULTS: At 6-month follow-up, for all spinal tumor patients, local progression-free survival and overall survival rates were both 83.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 62.3%-94.3%); for all intracranial tumor patients, the local progression-free survival rate was 62.5% (95% CI: 23.8%-90.9%) and the overall survival rate was 66.7% (95% CI: 26.7%-92.9%). There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications secondary to radiotherapy. CONCLUSION: Use of the P brachytherapy plaque is technically simple and not associated with increased risk of complications, even after multiple radiation courses. Local control rates were more than 80% in patients with proven radiation-resistant spinal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1010
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • Brachytherapy
  • Dura
  • Intracranial
  • Intraoperative
  • Metastasis
  • Recurrent
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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