Purpose: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based intracavitary brachytherapy offers several advantages over computed tomography (CT)-based brachytherapy, but many centers are unable to offer it at the time of brachytherapy because of logistic and/or financial considerations. We have implemented a method of integrating MRI into a CT-guided, high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy workflow in clinics that do not have immediately available MRI capability. Methods: At our institution, patients receiving high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy as a component of the definitive treatment of cervical cancer have a Smit sleeve placed during the first brachytherapy fraction in a dedicated suite with in-room CT-on-rails. After the first fraction of brachytherapy, an MRI is obtained with the Smit sleeve, but no applicator, in place. For each subsequent fraction, CT scans are coregistered to the MRI scan by the Smit sleeve. The gross target volume is defined by MRI and overlaid on the CT images for each brachytherapy treatment for dose optimization. Results: This MRI-integrated workflow adds <5 minutes to the brachytherapy session for image fusion. Our initial clinical experience suggests that this approach is feasible and results in target volume reductions compared with CT-alone brachytherapy. Conclusions: Our proposed combination MRI and/or CT workflow is a feasible compromise to preserve an efficient workflow while integrating MRI target delineation, and it provides many of the advantages of both MRI- and CT-based brachytherapy. The future collection and analysis of clinical data will serve to compare the proposed approach to non-MRI containing techniques.
- Cervical cancer