Original Publication
Open Access

Post-Operative Prostate and Seminal Vesicle Fossae Contouring Module: Evaluation of Medical Student Target Delineation Before and After a Teaching Intervention

Published: September 10, 2015 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10199

Included in this publication:

  • Prostrate Fossa Countouring Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Instructor Information for PF Contouring Session.docx
  • Student Instructions for Prostate Fossa Contouring Session.docx
  • Prostate Fossa Contouring Guide.ppt
  • Prostate Fossa Contouring Module Evaluation.docx
  • CT Post-Op Prostate Video.avi
  • CT Image Set.zip

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Currently, there is a lack of formalized educational curricula for medical students rotating through radiation oncology electives. A curriculum including both didactics and hands-on training has been developed and implemented at numerous institutions throughout the nation. We have developed an additional module to augment this curriculum and give students experience with contouring tools used in treatment planning software. We also aim to teach a functional approach to contouring an unfamiliar target volume, a task certainly encountered during the early months of residency. Methods: This module was developed using a CT image set of a prostate cancer patient who has undergone prostatectomy. The clinical target volume (CTV) for this patient was delineated and confirmed by two genitourinary radiation oncology experts. A teaching guide, in PowerPoint format, was constructed to provide educational information on prostate and pelvic anatomy, contouring resources, and a step-by-step guide to contouring this specific CTV. Results: Across two institutions, 24 students completed the contouring module, and 21 completed the post-session evaluation. Out of the 21 who completed the postsession evaluation, eight students had participated in the care of a post-prostatectomy patient, and three were familiar with post-prostatectomy contouring guidelines. All students regarded this exercise as "moderately" (five students), "quite" (eight students), or "extremely" (eight students) important. The students reported their comfort/confidence level with a number of tasks. Many more students felt "moderately," "quite," or "extremely" comfortable (in contrast to "slight" or "not at all") after the teaching intervention for the following questions: ability to contour a PF (four students before vs. 20 after), ability to find and use contouring resources (10 before vs. 21 after), knowledge of CT prostate/pelvis anatomy (eight before vs. 21 after), and ability to use treatment planning software (nine before vs. 21 after). Discussion: In the future, we would like to expand this module to include many additional institutions. Additionally, modules for other commonly treated anatomic sites can be developed built on the same educational framework.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Contour the clinical target volume for a post-operative prostate patient.
  2. Understand prostate and pelvic anatomy.
  3. Explain where to find contouring resources such as atlases and articles.
  4. Utilize contouring tools in treatment planning software.

Author Information

  • Jillian Gunther, MD, PhD: MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Stanley Liauw, MD: University of Chicago Medicine
  • Seungtaek Choi, MD: MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Christopher Stepaniak, PhD: University of Chicago Medicine
  • Prajnan Das, MD, MS, MPH: MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Daniel Golden, MD: University of Chicago Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


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  3. Jagadeesan VS, Raleigh DR, Koshy M, Howard AR, Chmura SJ, Golden DW. A national radiation oncology medical student clerkship survey: didactic curricular components increase confidence in clinical competency. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014;88(1):51-56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.20111.206
  4. Michalski JM, Lawton C, El Naqa I, et al. Development of RTOG consensus guidelines for the definition of the clinical target volume for postoperative conformal radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010;76(2):361-368. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.006
  5. Wiltshire KL, Brock KK, Haider MA, et al. Anatomic boundaries of the clinical target volume (prostate bed) after radical prostatectomy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007;69(4):1090-1099.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.04.068


Gunther J, Liauw S, Choi S, Stepaniak C, Das P, Golden D. Post-operative prostate and seminal vesicle fossae contouring module: evaluation of medical student target delineation before and after a teaching intervention. MedEdPORTAL. 2015;11:10199. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10199