Radiation therapy (RT) is delivered after radical prostatectomy (RP) either as salvage treatment for an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level1-6 or as adjuvant therapy for patients with highrisk pathologic features7-8. Recent prospective data demonstrated a disease-free survival benefit of adjuvant RT for pathologic T3N0 prostate cancer9-10. Despite literature supporting the delivery of post-RP RT to the prostatic fossa (PF), no clear target definition guidelines exist for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or image-guided RT (IGRT)11.

Visualization of the PF is limited on standard CT images, with significant interobserver variability and uncertainty in CTV definition12. Efforts to incorporate complementary imaging modalities such as MRI for PF target volume definition have generated neither demonstrably more reliable PF delineation, nor practical contouring guidelines13. Regardless of the imaging modality, direct visualization and delineation of the PF clinical target volume (CTV) is fraught with uncertainty. On the other hand, it is possible to distinguish the borders of important nearby pelvic structures, namely the bladder and the rectum. The reliability of rectal volume definition on helical CT is supported by analysis of rectal contours defined in a prospective trial, suggesting the feasibility of rectal dose-volume data collection in a multicenter setting14. Fiorino et al have described a correlation between PF CTV shift and anterior rectal wall shift for the cranial half of the rectum in their report of rectal and bladder movement during post-RP RT using weekly CT images15. These studies support the reliability of CT-defined rectum contours and a limited correlation between PF CTV and anterior rectal wall, an important tenet in the current study.

Int. J. Radiation Oncol. Biol. Physics, Volume 70, Issue 2, pages 431-436, Feb. 1, 2008.

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