Background and purpose: Brachytherapy is applied in 39 radiotherapy institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium. Each institution has its own quality control (QC) programme to ensure safe and accurate dose delivery to the patient. The main goal of this work is to gain insight into the current practice of QC of brachytherapy in The Netherlands and Belgium and to reduce possible variations in test frequencies and tolerances by formulating a set of minimum QC-requirements. Materials and methods: An extensive questionnaire about QC of brachytherapy was distributed to and completed by the 39 radiotherapy institutions. A separate smaller questionnaire was sent to nine institutions performing intracoronary brachytherapy. The questions were related to safety systems, physical irradiation parameters and total time spent on QC. The results of the questionnaires were compared with recommendations given in international brachytherapy QC reports. Results: The answers to the questionnaires showed large variations in test frequencies and test methods. Furthermore, large variations in time spent on QC exist, which is mainly due to differences in QC-philosophy and differences in the available resources. Conclusions: Based on the results of the questionnaires and the comparison with the international recommendations, a set of minimum requirements for QC of brachytherapy has been formulated. These guidelines will be implemented in the radiotherapy institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium.
|Journal||Radiotherapy and Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|