WE-DE-201-11: Sensitivity and Specificity of Verification Methods Based On Total Reference Air Kerma (TRAK) Or On User Provided Dose Points for Graphically Planned Skin HDR Brachytherapy




To investigate the sensitivity and specificity of a novel verification methodology for image-guided skin HDR brachytherapy plans using a TRAK-based reasonableness test, compared to a typical manual verification methodology.


Two methodologies were used to flag treatment plans necessitating additional review due to a potential discrepancy of 3 mm between planned dose and clinical target in the skin. Manual verification was used to calculate the discrepancy between the average dose to points positioned at time of planning representative of the prescribed depth and the expected prescription dose. Automatic verification was used to calculate the discrepancy between TRAK of the clinical plan and its expected value, which was calculated using standard plans with varying curvatures, ranging from flat to cylindrically circumferential. A plan was flagged if a discrepancy >10% was observed. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated using as a criteria for true positive that >10% of plan dwells had a distance to prescription dose >1 mm different than prescription depth (3 mm + size of applicator). All HDR image-based skin brachytherapy plans treated at our institution in 2013 were analyzed.


108 surface applicator plans to treat skin of the face, scalp, limbs, feet, hands or abdomen were analyzed. Median number of catheters was 19 (range, 4 to 71) and median number of dwells was 257 (range, 20 to 1100). Sensitivity/specificity were 57%/78% for manual and 70%/89% for automatic verification.


A check based on expected TRAK value is feasible for irregularly shaped, image-guided skin HDR brachytherapy. This test yielded higher sensitivity and specificity than a test based on the identification of representative points, and can be implemented with a dedicated calculation code or with pre-calculated lookup tables of ideally shaped, uniform surface applicators.