Independent brachytherapy plan verification software: Improving efficacy and efficiency

Antonio L. Damato, Phillip M. Devlin, Mandar S. Bhagwat, Ivan Buzurovic, Scott Friesen, Jorgen L. Hansen, Larissa J. Lee, Christina Molodowitch, Paul L. Nguyen, Desmond A. O'Farrell, Akila N. Viswanathan, Christopher L. Williams, Joseph H. Killoran, Robert A. Cormack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and purpose To compare the pre-treatment brachytherapy plan verification by a physicist assisted by custom plan verification software (SAV) with those performed manually (MV).

Materials and methods All HDR brachytherapy plans used for treatment in 2013, verified using either SAV or MV, were retrospectively reviewed. Error rate (number of errors/number of plans) was measured and verification time calculated. All HDR brachytherapy safety events recorded between 2010 and 2013 were identified. The rate of patient-related safety events (number of events/number of fractions treated) and the impact of SAV on the underlying errors were assessed.

Results Three/106 errors (2.8%) were found in the SAV group and 24/273 (8.8%) in the MV group (p = 0.046). The mean ±1 standard deviation plan verification time was 8.4 ± 4.0 min for SAV and 11.6 ± 5.3 for MV (p = 0.006). Seven safety events out of 4729 fractions delivered (0.15%) were identified. Four events (57%) were associated with plan verification and could have been detected by SAV.

Conclusions We found a safety event rate in HDR brachytherapy of 0.15%. SAV significantly reduced the number of undetected errors in HDR treatment plans compared to MV, and reduced the time required for plan verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • Errors
  • Plan verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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