Interobserver variations of target volume delineation in multicatheter partial breast brachytherapy after open cavity surgery

Tibor Major, Cristina Gutiérrez, Benjamin Guix, Emőke Mózsa, Jean-Michel Hannoun-Levi, Kristine Lössl, Peter Niehoff, Alexandra Resch, Erik van Limbergen, Csaba Polgár
Brachytherapy 2015, 14 (6): 925-32

PURPOSE: To investigate interobserver variations of target volume delineations in accelerated partial breast irradiation with multicatheter brachytherapy (BT) and to assess the impact of guidelines on consistency of contouring.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A contouring study with two phases in interstitial accelerated partial breast irradiation after open cavity surgery was conducted by the Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie-European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology Breast Cancer Working Group. Contours of cavity and planning target volume (PTV) on preimplant and postimplant CT images were delineated. In Phase 1, nine radiation oncologists defined the target volumes of 5 patients, whereas in Phase 2, four observers draw the contours of 4 patients applying guidelines. In Phase 1, experience in breast BT after open cavity surgery was assessed. The delineations were compared between Phase 1 and Phase 2, the impact of guidelines was assessed, and cavity visualization score was related to consistency of delineations.

RESULTS: Significant interobserver variability in delineations of lumpectomy cavity and PTV was observed among the participants. Observers with BT experience after open cavity surgery outlined the cavity and PTV more consistently (conformity indexgen: 0.52 vs. 0.48 and 0.59 vs. 0.55 for preimplant and postimplant cavities). For all volumes, the mean Vmax/Vmin was 2.2 vs. 2.8. Having used guidelines all conformity indices increased significantly. For cavity, the increase was 14% and 11%, whereas for the PTV, 28% and 17% on the preimplant and postimplant CT images, respectively. A strong correlation was found between consistency of contours and cavity visualization score.

CONCLUSIONS: Simple guidelines on defining the lumpectomy cavity significantly increased the consistency of contouring. Reliable consistency of target volume definition can be expected only for good cavity visibility.

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