Preliminary results of modified interstitial MIAMI brachytherapy applicator for treatment of upper and apical vaginal tumors

Payal Patel, Christopher Deufel, Michael Haddock, Ivy Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Intracavitary vaginal brachytherapy (VBT) cylinders are limited in treating upper/apical vaginal disease due to the distance between the target and radiation source positions. Interstitial brachytherapy devices directly expose the vaginal mucosa to radiation sources, increasing morbidity. To target apical disease while limiting excessive treatment to the vaginal mucosa and organs at risk, we modified the commercially available multichannel MIAMI applicator, allowing the direct extension of needles into the apex with the protection of cylinder. Material and methods: The device has one central plastic core with six peripheral channels. The modified device permits titanium needles to surpass the apical surface into vaginal tissue. A retrospective analysis on thirteen patients treated with this device was conducted. Patient demographics, gross tumor volume (GTV)/clinical target volume (CTV), initial diagnosis and management, toxicity data, and EQD2 data for the bladder and rectum were obtained. Results: There were ten patients with vaginal recurrences and three with primary vaginal/cervical cancers. Mean dosage of VBT treatment was 25.5 Gy in 3-5 fractions. Mean dosage of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) treatment was 44 Gy. Common acute toxicities included diarrhea, fatigue, cystitis, and nausea. Common chronic toxicities were pelvic pain, vaginal stenosis, and skin telangiectasia. Mean EQD2 dose for bladder and rectum were 72.3 Gy and 62.3 Gy, respectively. Ten patients had no evidence of relapse, two suffered from distant metastases, and one patient with stage IIIA cervical adenocarcinoma had loco-regional recurrence seventeen months after radiation treatment. Conclusions: Our data suggests that the custom applicator is associated with robust dosimetric coverage, good loco-regional control, acceptable toxicity, and reduced tissue trauma. This device allows treatment of apically located vaginal tumors without significant damage to the vaginal vault and organs at risk. Additionally, it provides the flexibility to treat multiple patients with variable vaginal diameters and sizes/depths of apical tumors using a single device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-571
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Apical tumor
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Multichannel
  • Vaginal brachytherapy
  • Vaginal cuff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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