eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 9
Original paper

Throwing the dart blind-folded: comparison of computed tomography versus magnetic resonance imaging-guided brachytherapy for cervical cancer with regard to dose received by the ‘actual’ targets and organs at risk

Winnie Wing Ling Yip
Joyce Siu Yu Wong
Venus Wan Yan Lee
Frank Chi Sing Wong
Stewart Yuk Tung

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2017; 9, 5: 446–452
Online publish date: 2017/10/30
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Purpose: Computed tomography (CT) is inferior to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in cervical tumor delineation, but similar in identification of organs at risk (OAR). The trend to over-estimate high-risk and low-risk clinical target volume (HRCTV, IRCTV) on CT can lead to under-estimation of dose received by 90% (D90) of the ‘actual’ CTV. This study aims to evaluate whether CT-guided planning delivers adequate dose to the ‘actual’ targets while spares the OAR similarly.

Material and methods: MRI-guided high-dose-rate image-guided brachytherapy (IGBT) was performed in 11 patients. The pre-brachytherapy CTs were retrospectively contoured to generate CT-guided plans. MRI-based contours (HRCTVmri, IRCTVmri, bladdermri, rectummri, and sigmoidmri) were fused to CT plans for dosimetric comparison with MRI-guided plans. Paired 2-tailed t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to analyze data.

Results: 63.6% of CT plans achieved the HRCTVmriD90 constraint (≥ 7.2 Gy in one fraction), compared with 90.9% for MRI plans. > 90% of both modalities achieved the OAR’s constraints (EMBRACE). The percentage of CT and MRI plans that achieved the aims (EMBRACE II) for bladder, rectum, and sigmoid were 36.4% vs. 81.8%, 63.6% vs. 63.6%, and 72.7% vs. 72.7%, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in HRCTVmriD90, IRCTVmriD90, or dose received by the most exposed 2 cm3 (D2cc) of OARmri between the modalities. Excluding the CT plans not achieving HRCTVmriD90 constraint, there were significant increase in bladdermriD2cc, rectummriD2cc, and sigmoidmriD2cc, compared with MRI plans (0.9 Gy/Fr, 95% CI 0.2-1.5, p = 0.018; 0.9 Gy/Fr, 95% CI 0.3-1.4, p = 0.009; 0.5 Gy/Fr, 95% CI 0.2-0.9, p = 0.027, respectively).

Conclusions: MRI-based IGBT remains the gold standard. CT planning may compromise HRCTVmriD90 or increase OARmriD2cc, which could decrease local control or increase treatment toxicity.

brachytherapy, cervical cancer, CT, MRI

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