Send to

Choose Destination
Radiother Oncol. 2001 Apr;59(1):87-93.

Reduction of irradiated small bowel volume and accurate patient positioning by use of a bellyboard device in pelvic radiotherapy of gynecological cancer patients.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Rotterdam - Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, Division of Clinical Physics and Instrumentation, Groene Hilledijk 301, 3075 EA, The, Rotterdam, Netherlands.



To reduce the volume of small bowel within pelvic treatment fields for gynecological cancer using a bellyboard device and to determine the accuracy of the prone treatment position.


Fifteen consecutive patients with a gynecologic malignancy who were treated with postoperative pelvic radiotherapy were selected for this study. The volume of small bowel within the treatment fields was calculated for both the supine and prone treatment positions. The patients were treated in the prone position in a so-called bellyboard device. During treatment sessions electronic portal images were obtained. An off-line setup verification and correction protocol was used and the setup accuracy of the positioning in the bellyboard was determined.


The average volume of small bowel within the treatment fields was 229 cm(3) and 66 cm(3) in the supine and prone treatment, respectively, which means an average volume reduction in the prone position of 64% (95% CI 56-72%), as compared with the supine position. For the position of the patient in the field, the systematic error defined by the standard deviation (SD) of the mean difference per patient between simulation and treatment images was 1.7 mm in the lateral direction, 2.1 mm in the craniocaudal direction and 1.7 mm in the ventrodorsal direction. On average, only 0.4 setup correction per patient was required to achieve this accuracy. The random day-to-day variations were 1.9 (1SD), 2.6 and 2.3 mm, respectively. Standard deviations of the systematic differences between patient positioning relative to the bellyboard were 6.2 mm in lateral direction and 9.1 mm in craniocaudal direction.


Treatment of gynecological cancer patients in the prone position using a bellyboard reduces the volume of irradiated small bowel. An off-line verification and correction protocol ensures accurate patient positioning. Daily setup variations using the bellyboard were small (1 SD<3 mm). Therefore for pelvic radiotherapy in patients with a gynecological malignancy, the use of a bellyboard is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center