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New technique for treating occlusive and stenosing tumours of the trachea and main bronchi: endobronchial irradiation by high dose iridium-192 combined with laser canalisation.
  1. H N Macha,
  2. K Koch,
  3. M Stadler,
  4. W Schumacher,
  5. D Krumhaar
  1. Department of Chest Diseases, Lungenklinik Hemer, West Germany.


    A new technique is described for treating patients with inoperable malignant tumours causing occlusion or stenosis of the trachea or main bronchi. High dose iridium-192 (20 Ci) was introduced by an afterloading device under computer control via a 4 mm delivery tube into the tumour mass. In 29 of the 56 patients the tumour mass was canalised by a neodymium-YAG laser immediately before the afterloading delivery tube was introduced. In 44 (79%) of the patients, there was impressive relief of dyspnoea, accompanied by tumour regression observed at endoscopy and also by highly significant improvement in ventilatory function values, lung perfusion scans, and levels of arterial oxygen tension. In the other 12 patients (21%) there was no detectable improvement. The findings suggest that this recently developed combination treatment is of value in patients with advanced tumours of the trachea and main bronchi in whom there is no possibility of further treatment by external irradiation or repeated laser coagulation.

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