Intraoperative 125I brachytherapy for high-risk stage I non-small cell lung carcinoma

Alex Chen, Michael Galloway, Rodney Landreneau, Thomas D'Amato, Athanasios Colonias, Stephen Karlovits, Annette Quinn, Tibetha Santucci, Shalom Kalnicki, Douglas Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Purpose: Preliminary assessment of feasibility, efficacy, acute and chronic side effects associated with permanent intraoperative placement of 125I vicryl mesh brachytherapy in a select group of high-risk Stage I NSCLC who have undergone video-assisted thoracoscopic resection (VATR). Methods and Materials: From January 8, 1997 to March 16, 1998, 23 patients with Stage I NSCLC at high risk for conventional surgery due to cardiopulmonary compromise underwent combined VATR and intraoperative placement of 125I seeds embedded in vicryl mesh. Seeds embedded in vicryl suture were attached with surgical clips to a sheet of vicryl mesh, and thoracoscopically inserted over the target area (tumor bed and staple line) with nonabsorbable suture or surgical clips. A total dose of 100-120 Gy prescribed to the periphery of the target area (defined as the staple line and tumor bed with a 1-cm margin) was delivered. Results: The mean target area covered was 48 cm2 (range 40-72) and mean total activity was 22 mCi (range 17.2-28.2). The median length of postoperative stay was 7 days. The median follow-up was 11 months (range 2-20). Postoperative CT scans of the chest revealed no dislodgement of the seeds and no local recurrence in any patient. Three patients developed distant metastasis (1 died 6 months postoperatively; the other 2 are currently alive with disease). One patient developed an ipsilateral recurrence in the right lower lobe after having had a right upper lobe resection. There were 3 postoperative deaths due to medical comorbid conditions or surgical complications (1 in the immediate postoperative period). Pulmonary function testing performed 3 months after implantation revealed no significant difference between preoperative and postoperative values: mean preoperative FVC was 2.3 L (range 1.31-3.0) and postoperative FVC was 2.2 L (range 1.1-3.9), p = 0.42; mean preoperative FEV1 was 1.2 L (range 0.71-2.2), and postoperative FEV1 was 1.5 L (range 0.8-2.9), p = 0.28. Conclusion: Review of early data suggests that intraoperative 125I vicryl mesh brachytherapy in high-risk Stage I NSCLC is potentially effective and well tolerated, with no significant decline in measurable pulmonary function studies and no increase in postoperative complications. Longer follow-up is needed to determine ultimate local control and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1063
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 15 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Intra-operative brachytherapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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