Anatomy-based definition of point A utilizing three-dimensional volumetric imaging approach for high-dose-rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy dose prescription when treating cervical cancer using limited resources

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This study was designed to determine whether volumetric imaging could identify consistent alternative prescription methods to Manchester/point A when prescribing radiation dose in the treatment of cervical cancer using HDR intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT). One hundred and twenty-five treatment plans of 25 patients treated for carcinoma of the cervix were reviewed retrospectively. Each patient received 5 fractions of HDR ICBT following initial cisplatin-based pelvic chemoradiation, and radiation dose was originally prescribed to point A (ICRU-38). The gross tumor volume (GTV) and high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV) were contoured in three dimensions on the CT datasets, and inferior-superior, anterior-posterior, and left-right dimensions HR-CTV were recorded along with multiple anatomic and skeletal dimensions for each patient. The least square-best fit regression lines were plotted between one half of the HR-CTV width and pelvic cavity dimension at femoral head level and at maximum cavity dimension. The points in both plots lie reasonably close to straight lines and are well defined by straight lines with slopes of 0.15 and 0.17; intercept on y-axes of Symbol and Symbol, point A, at the same level as defined based on applicator coordinates, is defined using this correlation, which is a function of distance between femoral heads/dimensions of maximum pelvic cavity width. Both relations, defined by straight lines, provide an estimated location of point A, which provides adequate coverage to the HR-CTV compared to the point A defined based on applicator coordinates. The point A defined based on femoral head distance would, therefore, be a reasonable surrogate to use for dose prescription because of subjective variation of cavity width dimension. Simple surrogate anatomic/skeletal landmarks can be useful for prescribing radiation dose when treating cervical cancer using intracavitary brachytherapy in limited-resource settings. Our ongoing work will continue to refine these models.

PACS number(s): 87.55.D-,

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