Endoscopic brachytherapy for obstructive colorectal cancer Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Palliation of obstructive colon cancer is often challenging. Treatment options include Yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser, stent placement, and surgical intervention. High-dose-rate intraluminal brachytherapy (HDRILBT) has been used to relieve obstructive symptoms due to rectal, bronchial, and esophageal cancers. In this case report, we document the combined use of YAG laser and HDRILBT for the palliation of obstructive colon cancer at the hepatic flexure, not previously reported in the literature. METHODS AND MATERIALS: The patient in this case report had a large colonic tumor at the hepatic flexure causing near complete obstruction. Stent insertion and surgery were not feasible. YAG laser was used once and 11 days later, two fractions of HDRILBT were given 1 week apart. Under endoscopic vision and fluoroscopic guidance, a 150-cm Teflon catheter was passed through the lumen of the partially obstructed bowel for purposes of HDRILBT. A total dose of 10Gy was delivered at 1cm from the center of the source axis using a high-dose-rate afterloader. RESULTS: After treatment with the first fraction of HDRILBT, the tumor size decreased and the colonic lumen was significantly more patent. The patient's symptoms were significantly relieved after two fractions. Her weight increased and she was medically fit enough to undergo further chemotherapy. Further HDRILBT was not indicated. The calculated biological effective dose for the total HDRILBT treatments was well below the dose tolerances for acute effects for normal colonic tissue. CONCLUSION: HDRILBT should be considered as a possible treatment option for obstructive colon cancers when stent placement or surgery is not possible.


  • Tam, Tiffany Y
  • Mukherjee, Som
  • Farrell, Tom
  • Morgan, David
  • Sur, Ranjan

publication date

  • July 2009