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Implementing a simulation-based curriculum for hybrid intracavitary/interstitial brachytherapy using a new, commercially available, US/MR/CT-compatible gynecologic phantom

Published:December 16, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2022.11.006

      ABSTRACT

      PURPOSE

      To establish a simulation-based workshop for teaching hybrid intracavitary/interstitial (IC/IS) brachytherapy skills using a new, commercially available US/CT/MRI-compatible gynecologic phantom prototype.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS

      The VIOMERSE gynecological trainer phantom consisted of tissue-like colloid material and was US, CT, and MRI-compatible. We designed a hands-on workshop incorporating the phantom prototype to teach skills for hybrid IC/IS brachytherapy including pre-implant planning, procedural steps of implant placement, and post-implant evaluation. The workshop impact was evaluated with pre- and post-workshop surveys and responses were analyzed with Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test.

      RESULTS

      Thirteen residents, divided into small groups, attended one of three separate 1-h workshop sessions held during the gynecologic education block. Workshop steps included IC applicator placement, tumor mapping and pre-planning desired location and depth of needles for hybrid IC/IS application, IS needle labelling and insertion, image review of needle placements, comparison of IC-alone versus IC/IS brachytherapy plans. Responses to questions ascertaining knowledge, confidence, and ability in planning and executing hybrid IC/IS procedures all demonstrated significant improvement from pre- to post-workshop. In response to whether the session was an effective learning experience, all residents rated the workshop with a score of 9 (n = 1) or 10 (n = 12) out of 10, with a score of 10 indicating “strongly agree.”

      CONCLUSIONS

      Implementation of a hybrid IC/IS brachytherapy workshop utilizing a new, commercially-available phantom prototype was successful, with clear, subjective benefit for the residents in our program. This experience may inform continued efforts towards standardizing brachytherapy curricula across programs and increasing trainee exposure to interstitial procedures.

      Keywords

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