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Med Phys. 2014 Feb;41(2):022701. doi: 10.1118/1.4862078.

Comparison of flat cleaved and cylindrical diffusing fibers as treatment sources for interstitial photodynamic therapy.

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Department of Imaging Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642.



For interstitial photodynamic therapy (iPDT) of bulky tumors, careful treatment planning is required in order to ensure that a therapeutic dose is delivered to the tumor, while minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissue. In clinical contexts, iPDT has typically been performed with either flat cleaved or cylindrical diffusing optical fibers as light sources. Here, the authors directly compare these two source geometries in terms of the number of fibers and duration of treatment required to deliver a prescribed light dose to a tumor volume.


Treatment planning software for iPDT was developed based on graphics processing unit enhanced Monte Carlo simulations. This software was used to optimize the number of fibers, total energy delivered by each fiber, and the position of individual fibers in order to deliver a target light dose (D90) to 90% of the tumor volume. Treatment plans were developed using both flat cleaved and cylindrical diffusing fibers, based on tissue volumes derived from CT data from a head and neck cancer patient. Plans were created for four cases: fixed energy per fiber, fixed number of fibers, and in cases where both or neither of these factors were fixed.


When the number of source fibers was fixed at eight, treatment plans based on flat cleaved fibers required each to deliver 7180-8080 J in order to deposit 90 J/cm(2) in 90% of the tumor volume. For diffusers, each fiber was required to deliver 2270-2350 J (333-1178 J/cm) in order to achieve this same result. For the case of fibers delivering a fixed 900 J, 13 diffusers or 19 flat cleaved fibers at a spacing of 1 cm were required to deliver the desired dose. With energy per fiber fixed at 2400 J and the number of fibers fixed at eight, diffuser fibers delivered the desired dose to 93% of the tumor volume, while flat cleaved fibers delivered this dose to 79%. With both energy and number of fibers allowed to vary, six diffusers delivering 3485-3600 J were required, compared to ten flat cleaved fibers delivering 2780-3600 J.


For the same number of fibers, cylindrical diffusers allow for a shorter treatment duration compared to flat cleaved fibers. For the same energy delivered per fiber, diffusers allow for the insertion of fewer fibers in order to deliver the same light dose to a target volume.

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