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Title: Limitations of the TG-43 formalism for skin high-dose-rate brachytherapy dose calculations

Purpose: 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. Methods: 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{sup 60}Co and {sup 192}Ir sources and a hypothetical {sup 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 implantmore » was studied. Results: For a 5 cm × 5 cm{sup 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 {sup 60}Co and {sup 192}Ir, yet −3% for {sup 169}Yb. For the interstitial implant, dose differences at the skin surface were −7% for {sup 60}Co, −0.6% for {sup 192}Ir, and −2.5% for {sup 169}Yb. Conclusions: 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 {sup 60}Co and {sup 192}Ir. For lower energy radionuclides like {sup 169}Yb, bolus may be needed; and (iii) for the interstitial case, at least a 0.1 cm bolus is advised for {sup 60}Co to avoid underdosing superficial target layers. For {sup 192}Ir and {sup 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.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Radiation Physics, ERESA, Hospital General Universitario, 46014 Valencia (Spain)
  2. Radiotherapy Department, La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital, Valencia 46026 (Spain)
  3. Department of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics, University of Valencia, Burjassot 46100, Spain and IFIC (UV-CSIC), Paterna 46980 (Spain)
  4. Department of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics, University of Valencia, Burjassot 46100 (Spain)
  5. Department of Radiation Oncology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251708
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; BRACHYTHERAPY; COBALT 60; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DEPTH DOSE DISTRIBUTIONS; DOSE RATES; IRIDIUM 192; MONTE CARLO METHOD; RADIATION DOSES; RADIATION SOURCE IMPLANTS; RADIATION TRANSPORT; SKIN; YTTERBIUM 169