Gynecologic oncology and pathologyFrom ‘points’ to ‘profiles’ in intracavitary brachytherapy of cervical cancerDatta, Niloy RanjanAuthor Information Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow 2668978, India Correspondence to Niloy R. Datta, MD, Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rae Barelli Road, Lucknow 226014, India Tel: +91 522 2668700 (ext. 2449); fax: +91 522 2668017, 2668978; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: February 2005 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 35-41 Buy SDC Abstract Purpose of review This article reviews some recent developments that have occurred with the widespread use of imaging modalities during intracavitary brachytherapy in cervical cancer. Recent findings The practice of dose prescription with intracavitary brachytherapy continues to be largely based on the traditional hypothetical point – point A. Recent studies have indicated that significant uncertainties could result with such point dose prescriptions. Gradually a shift is perceived towards the incorporation of target and normal structure outlines for dose prescription and treatment planning during intracavitary brachytherapy. Summary Dose prescriptions during brachytherapy could be framed with certainty if various imaging modalities are integrated during the intracavitary procedure. With the availability of computerized tomography/magnetic resonance imaging-compatible applicators, dose prescriptions and distributions could be based on either anatomical images of the diseased and normal organs obtained from computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging studies or on anatometabolic images after co-registration of the anatomical and functional images obtained from computerized tomography/magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. A shift from traditional two-dimensional ‘points’ to three-dimensional ‘profiles’ for targets and normal tissue doses could be expected in the near future with the use of image-guided intracavitary brachytherapy in cervical cancer. Abbreviations CT: computerized tomography; EXRT: external radiotherapy; HDR: high-dose-rate; ICBT: intracavitary brachytherapy; ICRU: International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements; MRI: magnetic resonance imaging; PET: positron emission tomography. Copyright © 2005 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.