OBJECTIVES: To report the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient attendance at a radiotherapy department two months after the implementation of specific policies regarding the pandemic. METHODS: The proposed treatment schemes, favoring hypofractionated schedules, and COVID-19 management strategies regarding irradiation are presented. Attendance after two months of implementation of these policies was measured and compared with that during the same period in 2019. RESULTS: A 10% reduction in the number of treated patients and a 26% reduction in the number of sessions was observed. The main impact was a decrease in the treatment of benign diseases and gastrointestinal tumors, with a general increase in breast cancer treatments. Eighteen (1.7%) patients were confirmed as having COVID-19 during radiotherapy in April and May 2020, three of whom were hospitalized, and one patient died because of COVID-19. Among the 18 patients, 12 had their treatments interrupted for at least 15 days from symptom appearance. CONCLUSION: There was a decrease in the number of treated patients in our radiotherapy department, with a greater decrease in the total number of sessions. This indicated, overall, a smaller number of fractions/patients treated, despite our efforts to maintain the treatment routine. We had several patients who were infected with COVID-19 and one related death during treatment in the first few months of the pandemic in São Paulo Brazil.
OBJECTIVE: This study focuses on the biochemical response of the following variables: prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value, Gleason scores, staging, the risk of the disease, and hormonotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the period between February of 1998 and July of 2001, 46 patients with prostate cancer were treated with radiotherapy, in a combination of teletherapy and high-dose rate brachytherapy (HDR). The age ranged from 51 to 79 years (averaging 66.4 years). T1c stage was the most frequent one: 30 (65%). The Gleason score was below 7 in 78% of the patients. PSA ranged from 3.4 to 33.3, being below 10 in 39% of the cases. The average prostatic volume was 32.3cc. Twenty-eight percent of the patients received hormonotherapy. Teletherapy dose ranged from 45 to 50.4 Gy, associated to four fractions of 4 Gy of HDR. RESULTS: The follow-up period varied from 6 to 43 months. Four patients missed the follow-up and four died (one due to the disease). Out of the 39 patients that were analyzed, 76% presented a less than 1.5 PSA. None of the analyzed variables were found to be of statistical significance (p>0.05) regarding biochemical control. CONCLUSION: The use of HDR brachytherapy was found to be effective in the treatment of prostate cancer and, in this study, the variables considered as prognostic factors did not interfere in the biochemical control.
OBJETIVO: Analisar a resposta bioquímica nas variáveis volume prostático, valor do antígeno prostático específico (PSA), escores de Gleason, estádio, risco da doença e hormonioterapia. MATERIAIS E MÉTODOS: No período de fevereiro de 1998 a julho de 2001, 46 pacientes com câncer de próstata foram tratados com radioterapia, numa combinação de teleterapia e braquiterapia de alta taxa de dose (BATD). A idade variou de 51 a 79 anos (média de 66,4 anos). O estádio T1c foi o mais freqüente: 30 (65%). O escore de Gleason era abaixo de 7 em 78% dos pacientes. O PSA variou de 3,4 a 33,3, estando abaixo de 10 em 39% das vezes. O volume prostático médio foi de 32,3 cc. Um total de 28% dos pacientes recebeu hormonioterapia. A dose de teleterapia variou de 45 a 50,4 Gy, associada a quatro frações de BATD de 4 Gy. RESULTADOS: O seguimento variou de 6 a 43 meses. Quatro pacientes perderam seguimento e quatro morreram (um por doença). Dos 39 pacientes analisados, 76% apresentaram PSA menor que 1,5. Nenhuma das variáveis analisadas foi estatisticamente significante (p > 0,05) com relação ao controle bioquímico. CONCLUSÃO: A utilização de BATD foi eficiente no tratamento do câncer de próstata e, neste estudo, as variáveis consideradas como fatores prognósticos não interferiram no controle bioquímico.