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J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2017 Jul;18(4):116-122. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12101. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

Cost-effective immobilization for whole brain radiation therapy.

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Department of Radiation Physics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, TX, USA.


To investigate the inter- and intra-fraction motion associated with the use of a low-cost tape immobilization technique as an alternative to thermoplastic immobilization masks for whole-brain treatments. The results of this study may be of interest to clinical staff with severely limited resources (e.g., in low-income countries) and also when treating patients who cannot tolerate standard immobilization masks. Setup reproducibility of eight healthy volunteers was assessed for two different immobilization techniques. (a) One strip of tape was placed across the volunteer's forehead and attached to the sides of the treatment table. (b) A second strip was added to the first, under the chin, and secured to the table above the volunteer's head. After initial positioning, anterior and lateral photographs were acquired. Volunteers were positioned five times with each technique to allow calculation of inter-fraction reproducibility measurements. To estimate intra-fraction reproducibility, 5-minute anterior and lateral videos were taken for each technique per volunteer. An in-house software was used to analyze the photos and videos to assess setup reproducibility. The maximum intra-fraction displacement for all volunteers was 2.8 mm. Intra-fraction motion increased with time on table. The maximum inter-fraction range of positions for all volunteers was 5.4 mm. The magnitude of inter-fraction and intra-fraction motion found using the "1-strip" and "2-strip" tape immobilization techniques was comparable to motion restrictions provided by a thermoplastic mask for whole-brain radiotherapy. The results suggest that tape-based immobilization techniques represent an economical and useful alternative to the thermoplastic mask.


accuracy; immobilization; low- and middle-income countries; palliation; setup; whole-brain treatment

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