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Med Phys. 2007 Apr;34(4):1193-7.

Evaluation of the accuracy of fetal dose estimates using TG-36 data.

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Department of Radiation Physics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The American Association of Physicists in Medicine Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group 36 report (TG-36) provides guidelines for managing radiation therapy of pregnant patients. Included in the report are data that can be used to estimate the dose to the fetus. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of these fetal dose estimates as compared to clinically measured values. TG-36 calculations were performed and compared with measurements of the fetal dose made in vivo or in appropriately-designed phantoms. Calculation and measurement data was collected for eight pregnant patients who underwent radiation therapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as for several fetal dose studies in the literature. The maximum measured unshielded fetal dose was 47 cGy, which was 1.5% of the prescription dose. For all cases, TG-36 calculations and measured fetal doses differed by up to a factor of 3--the ratio of the calculated to measured dose ranged from 0.34 to 2.93. On average, TG-36 calculations underestimated the measured dose by 31%. No significant trends in the relationship between the calculated and measured fetal doses were found based on the distance from, or the size of, the treatment field.

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