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Med Dosim. 2013 Autumn;38(3):233-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meddos.2013.02.002. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Dosimetric comparison of photon and proton treatment techniques for chondrosarcoma of thoracic spine.

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  • 1Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.


Chondrosarcomas are relatively radiotherapy resistant, and also delivering high radiation doses is not feasible owing to anatomic constraints. In this study, the feasibility of helical tomotherapy for treatment of chondrosarcoma of thoracic spine is explored and compared with other available photon and proton radiotherapy techniques in the clinical setting. A patient was treated for high-grade chondrosarcoma of the thoracic spine using tomotherapy. Retrospectively, the tomotherapy plan was compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy, dynamic arc photon therapy, and proton therapy. Two primary comparisons were made: (1) comparison of normal tissue sparing with comparable target volume coverage (plan-1), and (2) comparison of target volume coverage with a constrained maximum dose to the cord center (plan-2). With constrained target volume coverage, proton plans were found to yield lower mean doses for all organs at risk (spinal cord, esophagus, heart, and both lungs). Tomotherapy planning resulted in the lowest mean dose to all organs at risk amongst photon-based methods. For cord dose constrained plans, the static-field intensity-modulated radiation therapy and dynamic arc plans resulted target underdosing in 20% and 12% of planning target volume2 volumes, respectively, whereas both proton and tomotherapy plans provided clinically acceptable target volume coverage with no portion of planning target volume2 receiving less than 90% of the prescribed dose. Tomotherapy plans are comparable to proton plans and produce superior results compared with other photon modalities. This feasibility study suggests that tomotherapy is an attractive alternative to proton radiotherapy for delivering high doses to lesions in the thoracic spine.

Copyright © 2013 American Association of Medical Dosimetrists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Chondrosarcoma; Helical tomotherapy; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Proton therapy

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