Oncology (Huntington NY)
Pediatric soft-tissue sarcomas are managed with a multimodality treatment program that includes surgery, chemotherapy, and external-beam radiotherapy (teletherapy). The use of teletherapy in young children can result in significant long-term toxicities (especially growth retardation of bones and organs). Brachytherapy, if feasible, is an attractive alternative for the treatment of pediatric soft-tissue sarcomas, since it irradiates small volumes and, thus, may potentially minimize complications. Aggressive chemotherapy is used to achieve systemic control and tumor shrinkage, thereby facilitating conservative surgery and brachytherapy. The brachytherapy techniques used in children are similar to those employed in adults. Low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy with manually afterloaded removable iridium-192 is commonly used, although it is associated with some radiation exposure hazards. Low-energy radionuclides (e.g., iodine-125) and remote afterloading technology have been used to reduce radiation exposure hazards. Brachytherapy, in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgery but without supplementary teletherapy, has produced good local control with acceptable late complications in selected patients with localized tumors. Brachytherapy can also be used as a boost to moderate dose external-beam radiotherapy for more extensive tumors. The use of newer modalities, such as high-dose-rate, pulsed-dose-rate, and intraoperative brachytherapy, has allowed brachytherapy to be given to younger children and infants, but the long-term morbidities of these modalities need to be established.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn