Back to Journals » OncoTargets and Therapy » Volume 13

Efficacy and Safety of Iodine-125 Brachytherapy in the Treatment of Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors Wu C, Li B, Sun G, Peng C, Xiang D

Received 27 June 2020

Accepted for publication 31 August 2020

Published 29 September 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 9657—9666


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjay Singh

Chunrong Wu,1 Bo Li,2 Guiyin Sun,1 Chunfang Peng,1 Debing Xiang1

1Department of Oncology, Jiangjin Central Hospital of Chongqing, Jiangjin, Chongqing 402260, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Cardiology, Jiangjin Central Hospital of Chongqing, Jiangjin, Chongqing 402260, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Bo Li; Debing Xiang
Department of Cardiology; Department of Oncology, Jiangjin Central Hospital of Chongqing, No. 725 Jiangzhou Avenue, Dingshan Street, Jiangjin 402260, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-23-47557382

Background: Recurrent or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a difficult challenge for physicians, especially when patients have been treated with external beam radiotherapy. The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical efficacy and safety of computed tomography (CT)-guided iodine-125 brachytherapy as a palliative treatment for R/M HNSCC.
Methods: From May 2011 to July 2018, we enrolled 87 patients with R/M HNSCC who had previously received external beam radiotherapy. Among these patients, 43 successfully underwent CT-guided iodine-125 brachytherapy and chemotherapy (group A); 44 patients who only received chemotherapy (group B) were matched with patients in group A. Patients’ pain score, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) score, tumor compression symptoms, and side effects of iodine-125 implantation were recorded. Clinical follow-up was performed to assess progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: Both groups of patients completed the treatment and were followed up for 9– 66 months, with a median follow-up time of 44 months. The OS was 51 months (95% CI: 42.93– 59.06 months) versus 28 months (95% CI: 23.79– 32.21 months) (p < 0.05), the PFS was 10 months (95% CI: 6.15– 13.84 months) versus 6 months (95% CI: 4.40-7.59 months) (p < 0.05) in groups A and B, respectively. The RR in group A was 25/43 (58.14%) versus 15/44 (34.10%) in group B (p < 0.05). Compared with group B, patients in group A had lower pain scores, better physical performance, and better improvement of compression symptoms. No serious treatment-related complications were observed in either group of patients.
Conclusion: Compared with chemotherapy alone, iodine-125 seed implantation combined with chemotherapy was a more effective and safer strategy for R/M HNSCC.

Keywords: iodine-125, brachytherapy, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, recurrent, metastatic

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]