Image-guided brachytherapy for cervical cancer: A Canadian Brachytherapy Group survey

Simon Pavamani, David P. D'Souza, Lorraine Portelance, Peter S. Craighead, Andrew G. Pearce, Laurel L. Traptow, Corinne M. Doll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: To survey the current use and future plans for image-guided brachytherapy (BT) for cervical cancer by radiation oncologists in Canada. Methods and Materials: Canadian radiation oncologists treating gynecologic malignancies were identified in January 2009. A 29-item questionnaire (English and French) querying the current practice in the use of imaging in BT planning, and plans for transition to three-dimensional (3D) image guidance for BT for cervical cancer (curative intent, intact cervix), was electronically circulated. Questionnaire responses were tabulated and analyzed by respondent and by center. Results: Response rate was 62% (36 of 58 radiation oncologists), representing 71% (22 of 31) of Canadian radiation oncology centers with a gynecologic BT facility. Most of the centers were using high-dose-rate BT (68%), followed by low-dose-rate BT (23%) and pulsed dose-rate BT (10%). Main imaging used for treatment planning by center was plain X-ray (50%), computerized tomography (CT) (45%), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (5%). For respondents using CT or MRI for planning, point A was the most common dose prescription point (50%), followed by gross tumor volume/clinical target volume as per Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie and the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology guidelines (44%). For centers using plain X-rays for planning, 73% planned to transition to a 3D image-based approach, with the majority to adopt CT imaging. Eighty percent of respondents agreed that 3D image-guided BT should become standard of care for treatment of cervical cancer in Canada, and additionally support the development of national guidelines. Conclusions: Most of the Canadian radiation oncologists surveyed and Canadian cancer centers are either using 3D imaging and planning or transitioning to a 3D image-based approach within the next year. Point A remained a commonly documented prescription point. Access to MRI was very low. These results may lead to national treatment guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Image-guided brachytherapy
  • Pattern of practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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