[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To outline the evolution of computerized brachytherapy treatment planning in the United States through a review of technological developments and clinical practice refinements.
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy 06/2014; 6(2):185-90.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the in-air azimuthal anisotropy and in-water dose distribution for the 1 cm length of a new elongated (103)Pd brachytherapy source through both experimental measurements and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Measured and MC-calculated dose distributions were used to determine the American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group No. 43 (TG-43) dosimetry parameters for this source.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In surface and interstitial high-dose-rate brachytherapy with either 60Co, 192Ir, or 169Yb sources, some radiosensitive organs near the surface may be exposed to high absorbed doses. This may be reduced by covering the implants with a lead shield on the body surface, which results in dosimetric perturbations. Monte Carlo simulations in Geant4 were performed for the three radionuclides placed at a single dwell position. Four different shield thicknesses (0, 3, 6, and 10 mm) and three different source depths (0, 5, and 10 mm) in water were considered, with the lead shield placed at the phantom surface. Backscatter dose enhancement and transmission data were obtained for the lead shields. Results were corrected to account for a realistic clinical case with multiple dwell positions. The range of the high backscatter dose enhancement in water is 3 mm for 60Co and 1 mm for both 192Ir and 169Yb. Transmission data for 60Co and 192Ir are smaller than those reported by Papagiannis et al (2008 Med. Phys. 35 4898–4906) for brachytherapy facility shielding; for 169Yb, the difference is negligible. In conclusion, the backscatter overdose produced by the lead shield can be avoided by just adding a few millimetres of bolus. Transmission data provided in this work as a function of lead thickness can be used to estimate healthy organ equivalent dose saving. Use of a lead shield is justified.
Journal of Radiological Protection 04/2014; 34(2):297. · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKR) for cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVM) is predicated on inclusion of the entire nidus while excluding normal tissue. As such, GKR may be limited by the resolution and accuracy of the imaging modality used in targeting.
We present the first case series to demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing ultra-high-resolution C-arm cone beam computed tomography angiography (CBCT-A) in AVM targeting.
From June 2009 to June 2013, CBCT-A was utilized for targeting of all patients with AVMs treated with GKR at our institution. Patients underwent Leksell stereotactic head frame placement followed by catheter-based biplane 2-D digital subtraction angiography (DSA), 3-D rotational angiography (3DRA), as well as CBCT-A. The CBCT-A dataset was used for stereotactic planning for GKR. Patients were followed up at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months, and then annually thereafter.
CBCT-A-based targeting was used in twenty-two consecutive patients. CBCT-A provided detailed spatial resolution and sensitivity of nidal angioarchitecture enabling treatment. The average radiation dose to the margin of the AVM nidus corresponding to the 50% percent isodose line was 15.6 Gy. No patient had treatment-associated hemorrhage. At early follow-up (mean=16 months), 84% of patients had a decreasing or obliterated AVM nidus.
CBCT-A-guided radiosurgery is feasible and useful because it provides sufficient detailed resolution and sensitivity for imaging brain AVMs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In skin high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, sources are located outside, in contact with, or implanted at some depth below the skin surface. Most treatment planning systems use the TG-43 formalism, which is based on single-source dose superposition within an infinite water medium without accounting for the true geometry in which conditions for scattered radiation are altered by the presence of air. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the dosimetric limitations of the TG-43 formalism in HDR skin brachytherapy and the potential clinical impact.
Dose rate distributions of typical configurations used in skin brachytherapy were obtained: a 5 cm × 5 cm superficial mould; a source inside a catheter located at the skin surface with and without backscatter bolus; and a typical interstitial implant consisting of an HDR source in a catheter located at a depth of 0.5 cm. Commercially available HDR(60)Co and (192)Ir sources and a hypothetical (169)Yb source were considered. The Geant4 Monte Carlo radiation transport code was used to estimate dose rate distributions for the configurations considered. These results were then compared to those obtained with the TG-43 dose calculation formalism. In particular, the influence of adding bolus material over the implant was studied.
For a 5 cm × 5 cm(192)Ir superficial mould and 0.5 cm prescription depth, dose differences in comparison to the TG-43 method were about -3%. When the source was positioned at the skin surface, dose differences were smaller than -1% for (60)Co and (192)Ir, yet -3% for (169)Yb. For the interstitial implant, dose differences at the skin surface were -7% for (60)Co, -0.6% for (192)Ir, and -2.5% for (169)Yb.
This study indicates the following: (i) for the superficial mould, no bolus is needed; (ii) when the source is in contact with the skin surface, no bolus is needed for either (60)Co and (192)Ir. For lower energy radionuclides like (169)Yb, bolus may be needed; and (iii) for the interstitial case, at least a 0.1 cm bolus is advised for (60)Co to avoid underdosing superficial target layers. For (192)Ir and (169)Yb, no bolus is needed. For those cases where no bolus is needed, its use might be detrimental as the lack of radiation scatter may be beneficial to the patient, although the 2% tolerance for dose calculation accuracy recommended in the AAPM TG-56 report is not fulfilled.
Medical Physics 02/2014; 41(2):021703. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate potential causes for differences in TG-43 brachytherapy dosimetry parameters in the existent literature for the model IAI-125A(125)I seed and to propose new standard dosimetry parameters.
The MCNP5 code was used for Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Sensitivity of dose distributions, and subsequently TG-43 dosimetry parameters, was explored to reproduce historical methods upon which American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) consensus data are based. Twelve simulation conditions varying(125)I coating thickness, coating mass density, photon interaction cross-section library, and photon emission spectrum were examined.
Varying(125)I coating thickness, coating mass density, photon cross-section library, and photon emission spectrum for the model IAI-125A seed changed the dose-rate constant by up to 0.9%, about 1%, about 3%, and 3%, respectively, in comparison to the proposed standard value of 0.922 cGy h(-1) U(-1). The dose-rate constant values by Solberg et al. ["Dosimetric parameters of three new solid core (125)I brachytherapy sources," J. Appl. Clin. Med. Phys. 3, 119-134 (2002)], Meigooni et al. ["Experimental and theoretical determination of dosimetric characteristics of IsoAid ADVANTAGE™ (125)I brachytherapy source," Med. Phys. 29, 2152-2158 (2002)], and Taylor and Rogers ["An EGSnrc Monte Carlo-calculated database of TG-43 parameters," Med. Phys. 35, 4228-4241 (2008)] for the model IAI-125A seed and Kennedy et al. ["Experimental and Monte Carlo determination of the TG-43 dosimetric parameters for the model 9011 THINSeed™ brachytherapy source," Med. Phys. 37, 1681-1688 (2010)] for the model 6711 seed were +4.3% (0.962 cGy h(-1) U(-1)), +6.2% (0.98 cGy h(-1) U(-1)), +0.3% (0.925 cGy h(-1) U(-1)), and -0.2% (0.921 cGy h(-1) U(-1)), respectively, in comparison to the proposed standard value. Differences in the radial dose functions between the current study and both Solberg et al. and Meigooni et al. were <10% for r ≤ 5 cm, and increased for r > 5 cm with a maximum difference of 29% at r = 9 cm. In comparison to Taylor and Rogers, these differences were lower (maximum of 2% at r = 9 cm). For the similarly designed model 6711 (125)I seed, differences did not exceed 0.5% for 0.5 ≤ r ≤ 10 cm. Radial dose function values varied by 1% as coating thickness and coating density were changed. Varying the cross-section library and source spectrum altered the radial dose function by 25% and 12%, respectively, but these differences occurred at r = 10 cm where the dose rates were very low. The 2D anisotropy function results were most similar to those of Solberg et al. and most different to those of Meigooni et al. The observed order of simulation condition variables from most to least important for influencing the 2D anisotropy function was spectrum, coating thickness, coating density, and cross-section library.
Several MC radiation transport codes are available for calculation of the TG-43 dosimetry parameters for brachytherapy seeds. The physics models in these codes and their related cross-section libraries have been updated and improved since publication of the 2007 AAPM TG-43U1S1 report. Results using modern data indicated statistically significant differences in these dosimetry parameters in comparison to data recommended in the TG-43U1S1 report. Therefore, it seems that professional societies such as the AAPM should consider reevaluating the consensus data for this and others seeds and establishing a process of regular evaluations in which consensus data are based upon methods that remain state-of-the-art.
Medical Physics 02/2014; 41(2):021702. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: A new type of (103)Pd source (CivaString and CivaThin by CivaTech Oncology, Inc.) is examined. The source contains (103)Pd and Au radio-opaque marker(s), all contained within low-Zeff organic polymers that permit source flexibility. The CivaString source is available in lengths L of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 mm, and referred to in the current study as CS10-CS60, respectively. A thinner design, CivaThin, has sources designated as CT10-CT60, respectively. The CivaString and CivaThin sources are 0.85 and 0.60 mm in diameter, respectively. The source design is novel and offers an opportunity to examine its interesting dosimetric properties in comparison to conventional (103)Pd seeds.Methods: The MCNP5 radiation transport code was used to estimate air-kerma rate and dose rate distributions with polar and cylindrical coordinate systems. Doses in water and prostate tissue phantoms were compared to determine differences between the TG-43 formalism and realistic clinical circumstances. The influence of Ti encapsulation and 2.7 keV photons was examined. The accuracy of superposition of dose distributions from shorter sources to create longer source dose distributions was also assessed.Results: The normalized air-kerma rate was not highly dependent on L or the polar angle θ, with results being nearly identical between the CivaString and CivaThin sources for common L. The air-kerma strength was also weakly dependent on L. The uncertainty analysis established a standard uncertainty of 1.3% for the dose-rate constant Λ, where the largest contributors were μen∕ρ and μ∕ρ. The Λ values decreased with increasing L, which was largely explained by differences in solid angle. The radial dose function did not substantially vary among the CivaString and CivaThin sources for r ≥ 1 cm. However, behavior for r < 1 cm indicated that the Au marker(s) shielded radiation for the sources having L = 10, 30, and 50 mm. The 2D anisotropy function exhibited peaks and valleys that corresponded to positions adjacent to (103)Pd wells and Au markers, respectively. Dose distributions of both source types had minimal anisotropy in comparison to conventional (103)Pd seeds. Contributions by 2.7 keV photons comprised ≤0.1% of the dose from all photons at positions farther than 0.13 mm from the polymer source surface. Differences between absorbed dose to water and prostate became more substantial as distance from the sources increased, with prostate dose being about 13% lower for r = 5 cm. Using a cylindrical coordinate system, dose superposition of small length sources to replicate the dose distribution for a long length source proved to be a robust technique; a 2.0% tolerance compared with the reference dose distribution did not exceed 0.1 cm(3) for any of the examined source combinations.Conclusions: By design, the CivaString and CivaThin sources have novel dosimetric characteristics in comparison to Ti-encapsulated (103)Pd seeds. The dosimetric characterization has determined the reasons for these differences through analysis using Monte Carlo-based radiation transport simulations.
Medical Physics 01/2014; 41(1):011716. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
To measure the 2D dose distributions with submillimeter resolution for 131Cs (model CS-1 Rev2) and 125I (model 6711) seeds in a Solid Water phantom using radiochromic EBT film for radial distances from 0.06 cm to 5 cm. To determine the TG-43 dosimetry parameters in water by applying Solid Water to liquid water correction factors generated from Monte Carlo simulations.
Each film piece was positioned horizontally above and in close contact with a 131Cs or 125I seed oriented horizontally in a machined groove at the center of a Solid Water phantom, one film at a time. A total of 74 and 50 films were exposed to the 131Cs and 125I seeds, respectively. Different film sizes were utilized to gather data in different distance ranges. The exposure time varied according to the seed air-kerma strength and film size in order to deliver doses in the range covered by the film calibration curve. Small films were exposed for shorter times to assess the near field, while larger films were exposed for longer times in order to assess the far field. For calibration, films were exposed to either 40 kV (M40) or 50 kV (M50) x-rays in air at 100.0 cm SSD with doses ranging from 0.2 Gy to 40 Gy. All experimental, calibration and background films were scanned at a 0.02 cm pixel resolution using a CCD camera-based microdensitometer with a green light source. Data acquisition and scanner uniformity correction were achieved with Microd3 software. Data analysis was performed using ImageJ, FV, IDL and Excel software packages. 2D dose distributions were based on the calibration curve established for 50 kV x-rays. The Solid Water to liquid water medium correction was calculated using the MCNP5 Monte Carlo code. Subsequently, the TG-43 dosimetry parameters in liquid water medium were determined.
Values for the dose-rate constants using EBT film were 1.069±0.036 and 0.923±0.031 cGy U−1 h−1 for 131Cs and 125I seed, respectively. The corresponding values determined using the Monte Carlo method were 1.053±0.014 and 0.924±0.016 cGy U−1 h−1 for 131Cs and 125I seed, respectively. The radial dose functions obtained with EBT film measurements and Monte Carlo simulations were plotted for radial distances up to 5 cm, and agreed within the uncertainty of the two methods. The 2D anisotropy functions obtained with both methods also agreed within their uncertainties.
EBT film dosimetry in a Solid Water phantom is a viable method for measuring 131Cs (model CS-1 Rev2) and 125I (model 6711) brachytherapy seed dose distributions with submillimeter resolution. With the Solid Water to liquid water correction factors generated from Monte Carlo simulations, the measured TG-43 dosimetry parameters in liquid water for these two seed models were found to be in good agreement with those in the literature.
Applied Radiation and Isotopes. 01/2014; 92:102–114.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This white paper was commissioned by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors to evaluate the status of safety and practice guidance for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy. Given the maturity of HDR brachytherapy technology, this white paper considers, from a safety point of view, the adequacy of general physics and quality assurance guidance, as well as clinical guidance documents available for the most common treatment sites. The rate of medical events in HDR brachytherapy procedures in the United States in 2009 and 2010 was 0.02%, corresponding to 5-sigma performance. The events were not due to lack of guidance documents but failures to follow those recommendations or human failures in the performance of tasks. The white paper summarized by this Executive Summary reviews current guidance documents and offers recommendations regarding their application to delivery of HDR brachytherapy. It also suggests topics where additional research and guidance is needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To present the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) guidelines for plaque brachytherapy
of choroidal melanoma and retinoblastoma.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: An international multicenter Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force
(OOTF) was assembled to include 47 radiation oncologists, medical physicists, and ophthalmic oncologists
from 10 countries. The ABS-OOTF produced collaborative guidelines, based on their eye
cancerespecific clinical experience and knowledge of the literature. This work was reviewed and
approved by the ABS Board of Directors as well as within the journal’s peer-reivew process.
RESULTS: The ABS-OOTF reached consensus that ophthalmic plaque radiation therapy is best
performed in subspecialty brachytherapy centers. Quality assurance, methods of plaque construction,
and dosimetry should be consistent with the 2012 joint guidelines of the American Association
of Physicists in Medicine and ABS. Implantation of plaque sources should be performed by
subspecialty-trained surgeons. Although there exist select restrictions related to tumor size and
location, the ABS-OOTF agreed that most melanomas of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid could
be treated with plaque brachytherapy. The ABS-OOTF reached consensus that tumors with gross
orbital extension and blind painful eyes and those with no light perception vision are unsuitable
for brachytherapy. In contrast, only select retinoblastomas are eligible for plaque brachytherapy.
Prescription doses, dose rates, treatment durations, and clinical methods are described.
CONCLUSIONS: Plaque brachytherapy is an effective eye and vision-sparing method to treat
patients with intraocular tumors. Practitioners are encouraged to use ABS-OOTF guidelines to
enhance their practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A substantial reduction of uncertainties in clinical brachytherapy should result in improved outcome in terms of increased local control and reduced side effects. Types of uncertainties have to be identified, grouped, and quantified.
A detailed literature review was performed to identify uncertainty components and their relative importance to the combined overall uncertainty.
Very few components (e.g., source strength and afterloader timer) are independent of clinical disease site and location of administered dose. While the influence of medium on dose calculation can be substantial for low energy sources or non-deeply seated implants, the influence of medium is of minor importance for high-energy sources in the pelvic region. The level of uncertainties due to target, organ, applicator, and/or source movement in relation to the geometry assumed for treatment planning is highly dependent on fractionation and the level of image guided adaptive treatment. Most studies to date report the results in a manner that allows no direct reproduction and further comparison with other studies. Often, no distinction is made between variations, uncertainties, and errors or mistakes. The literature review facilitated the drafting of recommendations for uniform uncertainty reporting in clinical BT, which are also provided. The recommended comprehensive uncertainty investigations are key to obtain a general impression of uncertainties, and may help to identify elements of the brachytherapy treatment process that need improvement in terms of diminishing their dosimetric uncertainties. It is recommended to present data on the analyzed parameters (distance shifts, volume changes, source or applicator position, etc.), and also their influence on absorbed dose for clinically-relevant dose parameters (e.g., target parameters such as D90 or OAR doses). Publications on brachytherapy should include a statement of total dose uncertainty for the entire treatment course, taking into account the fractionation schedule and level of image guidance for adaptation.
This report on brachytherapy clinical uncertainties represents a working project developed by the Brachytherapy Physics Quality Assurances System (BRAPHYQS) subcommittee to the Physics Committee within GEC-ESTRO. Further, this report has been reviewed and approved by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 11/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to analyze the dosimetric influence of conventional spacers and a cobalt chloride complex contrast (C4) agent, a novel marker for MRI that can also serve as a seed spacer, adjacent to (103)Pd, (125)I, and (131)Cs sources for permanent prostate brachytherapy.
Monte Carlo methods for radiation transport were used to estimate the dosimetric influence of brachytherapy end-weld thicknesses and spacers near the three sources. Single-source assessments and volumetric conditions simulating prior patient treatments were computed. Volume-dose distributions were imported to a treatment planning system for dose-volume histogram analyses.
Single-source assessment revealed that brachytherapy spacers primarily attenuated the dose distribution along the source long axis. The magnitude of the attenuation at 1 cm on the long axis ranged from -10% to -5% for conventional spacers and approximately -2% for C4 spacers, with the largest attenuation for (103)Pd. Spacer perturbation of dose distributions was less than manufacturing tolerances for brachytherapy sources as gleaned by an analysis of end-weld thicknesses. Volumetric Monte Carlo assessment demonstrated that TG-43 techniques overestimated calculated doses by approximately 2%. Specific dose-volume histogram metrics for prostate implants were not perturbed by inclusion of conventional or C4 spacers in clinical models.
Dosimetric perturbations of single-seed dose distributions by brachytherapy spacers exceeded 10% along the source long axes adjacent to the spacers. However, no dosimetric impact on volumetric parameters was noted for brachytherapy spacers adjacent to (103)Pd, (125)I, or (131)Cs sources in the context of permanent prostate brachytherapy implants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Permanent prostate brachytherapy has been practiced for more than a century. This review examines the influence of earlier procedures on the modern transperineal ultrasound-directed technique. A literature review was conducted to examine the origin of current clinical practice. The dimensions of the modern brachytherapy seed, the prescription dose, and implant/teletherapy sequencing are vestigial features, which may be suboptimal in the current era of low-energy photon-emitting radionuclides and computerized dose calculations. Although the modern transperineal permanent prostate implant procedure has proven to be safe and effective, it should undergo continuous re-evaluation and evolution to ensure that its potential is maximized.
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy 06/2013; 5(2):89-92.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study explores the influence of source photon energy on eye plaque brachytherapy dose distributions for a 16mm COMS plaque filled with (103)Pd, (125)I, or (131)Cs sources or monoenergetic photon emissions ranging from 12keV to 100keV. Dose distributions were similarly created for all permutations of three common brachytherapy seed designs. Within this range, sources with average energy ≤22keV may reduce dose to the opposite eye wall by more than a factor of 2 while maintaining tolerable proximal sclera doses when prescribing to depths of 9mm or less. Current commercially-available brachytherapy sources can exhibit up to 15% relative dosimetric sensitivity to seed design at regions within the eye.
Applied radiation and isotopes: including data, instrumentation and methods for use in agriculture, industry and medicine 05/2013; 79C:62-66. · 1.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: The aim of this study was to obtain equivalent doses in radiosensitive organs (aside from the bladder and rectum) when applying high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy to a localized prostate carcinoma using Co or Ir sources. These data are compared with results in a water phantom and with expected values in an infinite water medium. A comparison with reported values from proton therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is also provided.Methods: Monte Carlo simulations in Geant4 were performed using a voxelized phantom described in International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 110, which reproduces masses and shapes from an adult reference man defined in ICRP Publication 89. Point sources of Co or Ir with photon energy spectra corresponding to those exiting their capsules were placed in the center of the prostate, and equivalent doses per clinical absorbed dose in this target organ were obtained in several radiosensitive organs. Values were corrected to account for clinical circumstances with the source located at various positions with differing dwell times throughout the prostate. This was repeated for a homogeneous water phantom.Results: For the nearest organs considered (bladder, rectum, testes, small intestine, and colon), equivalent doses given by Co source were smaller (8%-19%) than from Ir. However, as the distance increases, the more penetrating gamma rays produced by Co deliver higher organ equivalent doses. The overall result is that effective dose per clinical absorbed dose from a Co source (11.1 mSv∕Gy) is lower than from a Ir source (13.2 mSv∕Gy). On the other hand, equivalent doses were the same in the tissue and the homogeneous water phantom for those soft tissues closer to the prostate than about 30 cm. As the distance increased, the differences of photoelectric effect in water and soft tissue, and appearance of other materials such as air, bone, or lungs, produced variations between both phantoms which were at most 35% in the considered organ equivalent doses. Finally, effective doses per clinical absorbed dose from IMRT and proton therapy were comparable to those from both brachytherapy sources, with brachytherapy being advantageous over external beam radiation therapy for the furthest organs.Conclusions: A database of organ equivalent doses when applying HDR brachytherapy to the prostate with either Co or Ir is provided. According to physical considerations, Ir is dosimetrically advantageous over Co sources at large distances, but not in the closest organs. Damage to distant healthy organs per clinical absorbed dose is lower with brachytherapy than with IMRT or protons, although the overall effective dose per Gy given to the prostate seems very similar. Given that there are several possible fractionation schemes, which result in different total amounts of therapeutic absorbed dose, advantage of a radiation treatment (according to equivalent dose to healthy organs) is treatment and facility dependent.
Medical Physics 03/2013; 40(3):033901. · 2.91 Impact Factor