Radiation dosimetry of a conformal heat-brachytherapy applicator.
The purpose of this paper is to report the radiation dosimetric characteristics of a new combination applicator for delivering heat and radiation simultaneously to large area superficial disease <1.5 cm deep. The applicator combines an array of brachytherapy catheters (for radiation delivery) with a conformal printed circuit board microwave antenna array (for heat generation), and a body-conforming 5-10 mm thick temperature-controlled water bolus. The rationale for applying both modalities simultaneously includes the potential for significantly higher response rate due to enhanced synergism of modalities, and lower peak toxicity due to temporal extension of heat and radiation induced toxicities. Treatment plans and radiation dosimetry are calculated with IPSA (an optimization tool developed at UCSF) for 15 x 15 cm(2) and 35 x 24 cm(2) applicators, lesion thicknesses of 5 to 15 mm, flat and curved surfaces, and catheter separation of 5 and 10 mm. The effect on skin dose of bolus thickness and presence of thin copper antenna structures between radiation source and tissue are also evaluated. Results demonstrate the ability of the applicator to provide conformal radiation dose coverage for up to 15 mm deep target volumes under the applicator. For clinically acceptable plans, tumor coverage is > 98%, homogeneity index > 0.95 and the percentage of normal tissue irradiated is < 20%. The dose gradient at the skin surface varies from 3 to 5 cGy/mm depending on bolus thickness and lesion depth. Attenuation of the photon beam by the printed circuit antenna array is of the order 0.25% and secondary electron emissions are absorbed completely within 5 mm of water bolus and plastic layers. Both phenomena can then be neglected in dose calculations allowing commercial software to be used for treatment planning. This novel applicator should prove useful for the treatment of diffuse chestwall disease located over contoured anatomy that may be difficult to treat with single field external beam therapy. By delivering heat and radiation simultaneously, increased synergism is expected with a TER in the range of 2-5. Lowering radiation dose by an equivalent factor may produce lower radiation toxicity with similar efficacy, while preserving the option of subsequent retreatment(s) with thermoradiotherapy in order to further extend patient survival.
Taschereau, R; Stauffer, PR; Hsu, I-C; Schlorff, JL; Milligan, AJ; Pouliot, J
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