Preclinical assessment of comfort and secure fit of thermobrachytherapy surface applicator (TBSA) on volunteer subjects.
A thermobrachytherapy surface applicator (TBSA) was developed for simultaneous heat and brachytherapy treatment of chest wall (CW) recurrence of breast cancer. The ability to comfortably secure the applicator over the upper torso relative to the CW target throughout treatment is assessed on volunteers. Male and postmastectomy female volunteers were enrolled to evaluate applicator secure fit to CW. Female subjects with intact breast were also enrolled to assess the ability to treat challenging cases. Magnetic resonance (MR) images of volunteers wearing a TBSA over the upper torso were acquired once every 15 minutes for 90 minutes. Applicator displacement over this time period required for treatment preplanning and delivery was assessed using MR visible markers. Applicator comfort and tolerability were assessed using a questionnaire. Probability estimates of applicator displacements were used to investigate dosimetric impact for the worst-case variation in radiation source-to-skin distance for 5 and 10 mm deep targets spread 17 × 13 cm on a torso phantom. Average and median displacements along lateral and radial directions were less than 1.2 mm over 90 minutes for all volunteers. Maximum lateral and radial displacements were measured to be less than 1 and 1.5 mm, respectively, for all CW volunteers and less than 2 mm for intact breast volunteers, excluding outliers. No complaint of pain or discomfort was reported. Phantom treatment planning for the maximum displacement of 2 mm indicated < 10% increase in skin dose with < 5% loss of homogeneity index (HI) for -2 mm uniform HDR source displacement. For +2 mm uniform displacement, skin dose decreased and HI increased by 20%. The volunteer study demonstrated that such large and uniform displacements should be rare for CW subjects, and the measured variation is expected to be low for multifraction conformal brachytherapy treatment.
Arunachalam, K; Craciunescu, OI; Markewitz, EJ; Maccarini, PF; Schlorff, JL; Stauffer, PR
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