Clinical outcomes of 114 patients who underwent γ-knife radiosurgery for medically refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia.
ABSTRACT The optimal radiation dose and target of Gamma-knife radiosurgery (GKRS) for medically refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) are contentious. We investigated the effects and trigeminal nerve deficits of GKRS using two isocenters to treat a great length of the trigeminal nerve. Between January 2005 and March 2010, 129 patients with idiopathic TN underwent GKRS at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. A maximum central dose of 80-90 Gy was delivered to the trigeminal nerve root with two isocenters via a 4mm collimator helmet. One hundred and fourteen patients were followed-up periodically by telephone interview to determine the effects, trigeminal nerve deficits and time to the onset of pain relief. The mean follow-up duration was 29.6 months. One hundred and nine patients had complete or partial pain relief and the treatment failed in five patients. Nine patients experienced a recurrence after a mean time of 12.7 months, following an initial interval of pain relief. There were no significant differences between patients with different grades of pain relief with respect to central doses. The mean time to the onset of pain relief was 3.6 weeks. The time to the onset of complete pain relief was significantly shorter than that for partial pain relief. Forty-nine patients reported mild-to-moderate facial numbness and one patient experienced paroxysmal temporalis muscle spasms two weeks after the treatment. GKRS treatment for medically refractory idiopathic TN with two isocenters resulted in an initial pain improvement in 95.6% of patients. The early response to the treatment might suggest a good outcome but, given the high incidence of nerve deficits, GKRS for TN with two isocenters is not recommended as a routine treatment protocol.
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ABSTRACT: Heavy charged particle beam radiotherapy for cancer is of increasing interest because it delivers a highly conformal radiation dose to the target volume. Accurate knowledge of the range of a heavy charged particle beam after it penetrates a patient's body or other materials in the beam line is very important and is usually stated in terms of the water equivalent thickness (WET). However, methods of calculating WET for heavy charged particle beams are lacking. Our objective was to test several simple analytical formulas previously developed for proton beams for their ability to calculate WET values for materials exposed to beams of protons, helium, carbon and iron ions. Experimentally measured heavy charged particle beam ranges and WET values from an iterative numerical method were compared with the WET values calculated by the analytical formulas. In most cases, the deviations were within 1 mm. We conclude that the analytical formulas originally developed for proton beams can also be used to calculate WET values for helium, carbon and iron ion beams with good accuracy.Physics in Medicine and Biology 04/2010; 55(9):2481-93. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We comment on a previous article by Zhang and Newhauser (2009 Phys. Med. Biol. 54 1383-95) which presents several approximate ways of computing the water equivalent of an arbitrary degrader. First, we present a simple exact method which depends only on the range-energy relation of water and of the degrader material. Second, we point out that any theoretical method, approximate or exact, ultimately depends on the range-energy relation, that is to say, the correct value of the mean excitation energy I for the materials in question. Unfortunately I is particularly problematic for water. Therefore, at the present state of knowledge, we should measure water equivalent, rather than computing it, whenever an accurate value is needed.Physics in Medicine and Biology 04/2010; 55(9):L29-30; author reply L31-2. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the pencil beam dose model used for treatment planning at the PSI proton gantry, the only system presently applying proton therapy with a beam scanning technique. The scope of the paper is to give a general overview on the various components of the dose model, on the related measurements and on the practical parametrization of the results. The physical model estimates from first physical principles absolute dose normalized to the number of incident protons. The proton beam flux is measured in practice by plane-parallel ionization chambers (ICs) normalized to protons via Faraday-cup measurements. It is therefore possible to predict and deliver absolute dose directly from this model without other means. The dose predicted in this way agrees very well with the results obtained with ICs calibrated in a cobalt beam. Emphasis is given in this paper to the characterization of nuclear interaction effects, which play a significant role in the model and are the major source of uncertainty in the direct estimation of the absolute dose. Nuclear interactions attenuate the primary proton flux, they modify the shape of the depth-dose curve and produce a faint beam halo of secondary dose around the primary proton pencil beam in water. A very simple beam halo model has been developed and used at PSI to eliminate the systematic dependences of the dose observed as a function of the size of the target volume. We show typical results for the relative (using a CCD system) and absolute (using calibrated ICs) dosimetry, routinely applied for the verification of patient plans. With the dose model including the nuclear beam halo we can predict quite precisely the dose directly from treatment planning without renormalization measurements, independently of the dose, shape and size of the dose fields. This applies also to the complex non-homogeneous dose distributions required for the delivery of range-intensity-modulated proton therapy, a novel therapy technique developed at PSI.Physics in Medicine and Biology 03/2005; 50(3):541-61. · 2.70 Impact Factor