Intracavitary brachytherapy with additional Heyman capsules in the treatment of cervical cancer

Sophia Scharl, Christine Hugo, Clara Bianca Weidenbächer, Holger Bronger, Christine Brambs, Marion Kiechle, Marcus R. Makowski, Stephanie E. Combs, Lars Schüttrumpf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Brachytherapy is a mandatory component of primary radiochemotherapy in cervical cancer. The dose can be applied with a traditional intracavitary approach (IC alone) or with multiple catheter brachytherapy to optimize dose distribution in an individual concept. We therefore evaluated whether the utilization of a tandem–ring applicator plus additional intracavitary applicators (add IC) provides an advantage over the traditional IC alone approach, as this method is less time consuming and less invasive compared to a combined intracavitary/interstitial brachytherapy. Methods: Twenty three procedures of intracavitary brachytherapy for cervical cancer with additional intracavitary applicators performed in seven patients treated between 2016 and 2018 in our institution were included in this study. Plans were optimized for D90 HR-CTV with and without the utilization of the additional applicators and compared by statistical analysis. Results: D90 for HR-CTV was 5.71 Gy (±1.17 Gy) for fractions optimized with add IC approach and 5.29 Gy (±1.24 Gy) for fractions without additional applicators (p < 0.01). This translates to a calculated mean EQD2 HR-CTV D90 of 80.72 Gy (±8.34 Gy) compared to 77.84 Gy (±8.49 Gy) after external beam therapy and four fractions of brachytherapy for add IC and IC alone, respectively (p < 0.01). The predictive value of improved coverage of HR-CTV in the first fraction was high. Conclusion: In a subgroup of cases, the addition of intracavitary Heyman capsules can be an alternative to interstitial brachytherapy to improve the plan quality compared to standard IC alone brachytherapy. The benefit from the addition of applicators in the first fraction is predictive for the following fractions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Brachytherapy
  • Cervical cancer
  • Heyman capsules
  • Tandem-ring applicator


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