Cure of cervical cancer using 252Cf neutron brachytherapy

Y. Maruyama, J. R. Van Nagell, J. Yoneda, E. S. Donaldson, H. H. Gallion, R. Higgins, R. J. Kryscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


252Cf neutron brachytherapy was tested in a feasibility trial for efficacy for cervix cancer therapy vs. high stage radioresistant and subsequently for all stages of disease. Actuarial survival curves were analyzed for 218 patients treated between 1976 and 1983 and followed five to 14 years to the present time. A variety of doses, schedules and methods for brachytherapy was tested during this peroid, and a dose response relationship for tumor eradication studied. All treatments were combined with whole-pelvis photon radiotherapy to approximately 45 to 60 Gy. This combination was found effective, particularly if an early implant schedule was used for the Cf implant, followed by whole-pelvis photon radiotherapy. For bulky/barrel shaped low-stage disease in medically fit patients, 252Cf implants were combined with surgery, i.e., extrafascial hysterectomy and was readily usable for treatment without complications and with high cure rates (92% five-year survival). All survivals and outcomes to 13 years match the best results of conventional photon radiotherapy. For all stages better results were observed for bulky, barrel, and advanced-stage tumors, especially for local tumor control, if optimal schedules, doses and implant numbers were used. Knowledge about neutron dose, dose per implant, number of implants and combination with photon beam therapy evolved during the trials. 252Cf represents a new quickacting effective radioisotope for human cancer therapy especially for treatment of radioresistant, bulky and high stage cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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