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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Feb 1;76(2):608-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.06.028. Epub 2009 Oct 30.

Intensity-modulated and 3D-conformal radiotherapy for whole-ventricular irradiation as compared with conventional whole-brain irradiation in the management of localized central nervous system germ cell tumors.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil.



To compare the sparing potential of cerebral hemispheres with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) for whole-ventricular irradiation (WVI) and conventional whole-brain irradiation (WBI) in the management of localized central nervous system germ cell tumors (CNSGCTs).


Ten cases of patients with localized CNSGCTs and submitted to WVI by use of IMRT with or without a "boost" to the primary lesion were selected. For comparison purposes, similar treatment plans were produced by use of 3D-CRT (WVI with or without boost) and WBI (opposed lateral fields with or without boost), and cerebral hemisphere sparing was evaluated at dose levels ranging from 2 Gy to 40 Gy.


The median prescription dose for WVI was 30.6 Gy (range, 25.2-37.5 Gy), and that for the boost was 16.5 Gy (range, 0-23.4 Gy). Mean irradiated cerebral hemisphere volumes were lower for WVI with IMRT than for 3D-CRT and were lower for WVI with 3D-CRT than for WBI. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy was associated with the lowest irradiated volumes, with reductions of 7.5%, 12.2%, and 9.0% at dose levels of 20, 30, and 40 Gy, respectively, compared with 3D-CRT. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy provided statistically significant reductions of median irradiated volumes at all dose levels (p = 0.002 or less). However, estimated radiation doses to peripheral areas of the body were 1.9 times higher with IMRT than with 3D-CRT.


Although IMRT is associated with increased radiation doses to peripheral areas of the body, its use can spare a significant amount of normal central nervous system tissue compared with 3D-CRT or WBI in the setting of CNSGCT treatment.

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