A randomized trial comparing radiation therapy versus concomitant radiation therapy and chemotherapy in carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus
- CM Arujo, L Souhami, +5 authors PC Canary
A method of brachytherapy treatment planning using MRI is presented. In 13 patients with inoperable squamous cell cancer of the thoracic oesophagus an intraluminal afterloading boost with MRI assistance was performed. A new type of flexible catheter was filled with 1/100 diluted Gd-DTPA and introduced into the oesophagus before performing MRI in the sagittal, coronal and transverse planes. One sagittal or coronal picture which showed the catheter tip and the residual cancer was magnified to “life size”. The position of the catheter was corrected if necessary and the treatment volume decided. The contrast medium was then aspirated out of the catheter and a thinner afterloading catheter pushed into the outer catheter. The patient was moved immediately to the afterloading room and received the first dose of boost irradiation. This method allows much more precise brachytherapy planning since it shows the cancer and the catheter together. It is superior to localising the cancer with a barium swallow or endoscopy because MRI visualises the whole extent of the residual cancer, which can then be covered with the necessary dose.