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J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2010 Aug 15;11(4):3255.

Dosimetric comparison study between intensity modulated radiation therapy and three-dimensional conformal proton therapy for pelvic bone marrow sparing in the treatment of cervical cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


The objective was to compare intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with 3D conformal proton therapy (3DCPT) in the treatment of cervical cancer. In particular, each technique's ability to spare pelvic bone marrow (PBM) was of primary interest in this study. A total of six cervical cancer patients (3 postoperative and 3 intact) were planned and analyzed. All plans had uniform 1.0 cm CTV-PTV margin and satisfied the 95% PTV with 100% isodose (prescription dose = 45 Gy) coverage. Dose-volume histograms (DVH) were analyzed for comparison. The overall PTV and PBM volumes were 1035.9 ± 192.2 cc and 1151.4 ± 198.3 cc, respectively. In terms of PTV dose conformity index (DCI) and dose homogeneity index (DHI), 3DCPT was slightly superior to IMRT with 1.00 ± 0.001, 1.01 ± 0.02, and 1.10 ± 0.02, 1.13 ± 0.01, respectively. In addition, 3DCPT demonstrated superiority in reducing lower doses (i.e., V30 or less) to PBM, small bowel and bladder. Particularly in PBM, average V10 and V20 reductions of 10.8% and 7.4% (p = 0.001 and 0.04), respectively, were observed. However, in the higher dose range, IMRT provided better sparing (> V30). For example, in small bowel and PBM, average reductions in V45 of 4.9% and 10.0% (p = 0.048 and 0.008), respectively, were observed. Due to its physical characteristics such as low entrance dose, spread-out Bragg peak and finite particle range of protons, 3DCPT illustrated superior target coverage uniformity and sparing of the lower doses in PBM and other organs. Further studies are, however, needed to fully exploit the benefits of protons for general use in cervical cancer.

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