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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Jul 15;59(4):1224-8.

3D CT-based high-dose-rate breast brachytherapy implants: treatment planning and quality assurance.

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  • 1Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, 600 Highland Avenue, K4-B100 CSC, Madison, WI 53792, USA.



Although accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) as the sole radiation modality after lumpectomy has shown promising results for select breast cancer patients, published experiences thus far have provided limited information on treatment planning methodology and quality assurance measures. A novel three-dimensional computed tomography (CT)-based treatment planning method for accurate delineation and geometric coverage of the target volume is presented. A correlation between treatment volume and irradiation time has also been studied for quality assurance purposes.


Between May 2002 and January 2003, 50 consecutive patients underwent an image-guided interstitial implant followed by CT-based treatment planning and were subsequently treated with APBI with a high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy remote afterloader. Target volume was defined as the lumpectomy cavity +2 cm margin modified to >/=5 mm to the skin surface. Catheter reconstruction, geometric optimization, and manual adjustment of irradiation time were done to optimally cover the target volume while minimizing hot spots. Dose homogeneity index (DHI) and percent of target volume receiving 100% of the prescription dose (32 Gy in 8 fractions or 34 Gy in 10 fractions) was determined. Additionally, the correlation between the treatment volume and irradiation time, source strength, and dose was then analyzed for manual verification of the HDR computer calculation.


In all cases, the lumpectomy cavity was covered 100%. Target volume coverage was excellent with a median of 96%, and DHI had a median value of 0.7. For each plan, source strength times the treatment time for every unit of prescribed dose had an excellent agreement of +/-7% to the Manchester volume implant table corrected for modern units.


CT-based treatment planning allowed excellent visualization of the lumpectomy cavity and normal structures, thereby improving target volume delineation and optimal coverage, relative to conventional orthogonal film dosimetry. Using the Manchester volume implant table calculated irradiation time can be used as quality assurance for the HDR computed time. Thus dosimetric quality assurance and adequate target volume coverage can be concurrently confirmed, allowing prospective evaluation and optimization of implants.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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