Does inadequate point-a dose warrant treatment plan modifications in CT-image-based cervix high dose-rate brachytherapy planning? A dosimetric perspective

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Background and purpose To investigate whether inadequate dose to Point-A necessitates treatment plan changes in a time of computed tomography (CT)-image-guided brachytherapy treatment planning for cervix cancer. Materials and methods A total of 125 tandem and ovoid insertions from 25 cervix patients treated were reviewed. CT-image-based treatment planning was carried out for each insertion. Point-A is identified and the dose documented; however, dose optimisation in each plan was based on covering target while limiting critical organ doses (PlanTarget). No attempts were made to equate prescription and Point-A dose. For each insertion, a second hypothetical treatment plan was generated by prescribing dose to Point-A (PlanPoint-A). Plans were inter-compared using dose-volume histogram analyses. Results A total of 250 treatment plans were analysed. For the study population, the median cumulative dose at Point-A was 80 Gy (range 70-95) for PlanTarget compared with 84·25 Gy for PlanPoint-A. Bladder and rectal doses were higher for PlanPoint-A compared with PlanTarget (p < 0·0001). Target D90 did not correlate with Point-A dose (p = 0·60). Conclusions Depending on applicator geometry, tumour size and patient anatomy, Point-A dose may vary in magnitude compared with prescription dose. Treatment plan modifications purely based on inadequate Point-A dose are unnecessary, as these may result in higher organ-at-risk doses and not necessarily improve target coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-325
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



  • HDR
  • cervix
  • dose prescription
  • point
  • volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology

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