Day-to-day variation in bladder and rectal filling affects prostate location and positioning accuracy. Systems using ultrasonic localization or gold seed placement are most often used to help correct for these changes. At some institutions, patients are instructed to empty their rectum and fill their bladders prior to treatment in an attempt to standardize the prostate location, displace small bowel out of the radiation field, and move some of the bladder wall away from the high-dose area. Although instructed to come to treatment with a full bladder, it is presumed that there is variability in bladder filling each day of treatment, depending on the amount of fluids consumed and time to treatment. We have reviewed daily bladder volumes on a subset of 5 prostate patients, all of them prescribed to receive 7560 cGy in 42 fractions, and have evaluated the dosimetric consequences of bladder volume changes from full to two-third or one-third filling. All of these patients' positions were verified daily with ultrasonic localization. Those measurements have been used to help analyze the actual treated bladder volumes for comparison with the treatment plan. We find that, in general, maximum filling only occurred on the initial simulation/image acquisition day and was typically smaller on all the following treatment days. Based on our dose-volume model, we estimate that average bladder daily doses were 8-50% higher than predicted by the initial intensity-modulation radiation therapy (IMRT) plan.
- Bladder volume
- Prostate cancer