We aimed to compare the duration of survival among subjects receiving brachytherapy (BT) in combination with Nd:YAG laser therapy (LT), and those receiving LT or BT alone. The medical records of subjects who received endobronchial treatment for unresectable tracheobronchial malignancies between January 1997 and December 1999 in a single center were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 80 patients were evaluated. The overall symptomatic response rate after treatment was 86.5%. Median survival durations for the LT, BT, and combined therapy (CT) group were 111, 115, and 264 days, respectively. The survival duration was significantly longer in the CT group than in the BT group (p=0.0078), but the difference was not statistically significant between the CT and the LT group. The bronchoscopic finding of endobronchial polypoid lesion was associated with a longer survival time than extraluminal with compression type (p=0.0023) by univariate analysis. Other factors associated with the better prognosis included hemoglobin > or = 12.5 g/dL, serum albumin level > or = 37 g/L, and BT dose > or = 15 Gy at 1 cm distance. Of these factors, specific bronchoscopic findings, serum albumin level, CT modality, and dose of BT retained statistical significance in multivariate analysis. In conclusion, combined LT and BT is associated with increased patient survival compared with BT alone. Combined therapy may improve survival time in selected patients with endobronchial malignancies
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