The role of external beam in brachytherapy
In this paper we put forward the claim that the combination of low dose-rate brachytherapy (BRT) and fractionated external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) may, when planned to take advantage of the relative advantages of each of these two modalities, result in enhanced tumor dose with no penalties to organs at risk. The concept of iso-effective dose (IED) serves the role of common currency for fusing BRT and EBRT and, for evaluation purposes, converting back the resulting IED distribution into a biologically equivalent plan delivered by any single modality. If we accept this view, there are further questions that must be answered regarding practical matters. We show how to deal with these questions by describing an actual patient plan.