The standard treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer is radio-chemotherapy including external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), brachytherapy (BT) and concomitant chemotherapy with weekly Cisplatin. While image based conformal EBRT is routinely used, prescription and reporting of BT is still based on specific dose points defined in 2D. Thus, for several decades the BT dose has most often been prescribed and reported to the Manchester point A defined according to different traditions.
Recently, a working group from GEC-ESTRO has published recommendations on contouring of tumour target and organs at risk (OAR) as well as on dose volume parameters to be reported for image guided BT in definitive radiotherapy for locally advanced cervical cancer. These recommendations are mainly derived from retrospective single institution experience with MRI based intracavitary BT. The major advantage of this technique is the possibility to conform the dose given by BT with regard to both volume (3D) and time (4D). Thus, by repetitive imaging performed before each BT implant it is possible adapt the dose given by BT to the anatomy of each individual patient taking into account not only the position of OAR but also the tumour regression which often is obtained by preceding EBRT and chemotherapy. Based on the experience collected so far, the image based BT approach is expected to have a major impact on the clinical outcome with a concomitant decrease in the rates of both local failure and morbidity.