Improvement in interobserver accuracy in delineation of the lumpectomy cavity using fiducial markers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics








Breast cancer; Delineation; Fiducial markers; Radiotherapy; Seroma cavity


Purpose: To determine, whether the presence of gold fiducial markers would improve the inter- and intraphysician accuracy in the delineation of the surgical cavity compared with a matched group of patients who did not receive gold fiducial markers in the setting of accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI). Methods and Materials: Planning CT images of 22 lumpectomy cavities were reviewed in a cohort of 22 patients; 11 patients received four to six gold fiducial markers placed at the time of surgery. Three physicians categorized the seroma cavity according to cavity visualization score criteria and delineated each of the 22 seroma cavities and the clinical target volume. Distance between centers of mass, percentage overlap, and average surface distance for all patients were assessed. Results: The mean seroma volume was 36.9 cm3 and 34.2 cm3 for fiducial patients and non-fiducial patients, respectively (p = ns). Fiducial markers improved the mean cavity visualization score, to 3.6 ± 1.0 from 2.5 ± 1.3 (p < 0.05). The mean distance between centers of mass, average surface distance, and percentage overlap for the seroma and clinical target volume were significantly improved in the fiducial marker patients as compared with the non-fiducial marker patients (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The placement of gold fiducial markers placed at the time of lumpectomy improves interphysician identification and delineation of the seroma cavity and clinical target volume. This has implications in radiotherapy treatment planning for accelerated partial-breast irradiation and for boost after whole-breast irradiation. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

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