British Journal of Radiology
URL with Digital Object Identifier
We reviewed the literature on the use of margins in radiotherapy of patients with prostate cancer, focusing on different options for image guidance (IG) and technical issues. The search in PubMed database was limited to include studies that involved external beam radiotherapy of the intact prostate. Post-prostatectomy studies, brachytherapy and particle therapy were excluded. Each article was characterized according to the IG strategy used: positioning on external marks using room lasers, bone anatomy and soft tissue match, usage of fiducial markers, electromagnetic tracking and adapted delivery. A lack of uniformity in margin selection among institutions was evident from the review. In general, introduction of pre-and in-treatment IG was associated with smaller planning target volume (PTV) margins, but there was a lack of definitive experimental/clinical studies providing robust information on selection of exact PTV values. In addition, there is a lack of comparative research regarding the cost-benefit ratio of the different strategies: insertion of fiducial markers or electromagnetic transponders facilitates prostate gland localization but at a price of invasive procedure; frequent pretreatment imaging increases patient in-room time, dose and labour; online plan adaptation should improve radiation delivery accuracy but requires fast and precise computation. Finally, optimal protocols for quality assurance procedures need to be established.