Risk and Quality in Brachytherapy From a Technical Perspective

Publication Name

Clinical Oncology


Aims: To provide an overview of the history of incidents in brachytherapy and to describe the pillars in place to ensure that medical physicists deliver high-quality brachytherapy. Materials and methods: A review of the literature was carried out to identify reported incidents in brachytherapy, together with an evaluation of the structures and processes in place to ensure that medical physicists deliver high-quality brachytherapy. In particular, the role of education and training, the use of process and technical quality assurance and the role of international guidelines are discussed. Results: There are many human factors in brachytherapy procedures that introduce additional risks into the process. Most of the reported incidents in the literature are related to human factors. Brachytherapy-related education and training initiatives are in place at the societal and departmental level for medical physicists. Additionally, medical physicists have developed process and technical quality assurance procedures, together with international guidelines and protocols. Education and training initiatives, together with quality assurance procedures and international guidelines may reduce the risk of human factors in brachytherapy. Conclusion: Through application of the three pillars (education and training; process control and technical quality assurance; international guidelines), medical physicists will continue to minimise risk and deliver high-quality brachytherapy treatments.

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