eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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Interview with Professor Janusz Skowronek
ABS 2015

Case Reports
Keeping an eye on the ring: COMS plaque loading optimization for improved dose conformity and homogeneity

Nolan L. Gagne, Daniel R. Cutright, Mark J. Rivard

J Contemp Brachyther 2012; 4, 3: 165-175
Purpose: To improve tumor dose conformity and homogeneity for COMS plaque brachytherapy by investigating the dosimetric effects of varying component source ring radionuclides and source strengths.

Material and methods: The MCNP5 Monte Carlo (MC) radiation transport code was used to simulate plaque heterogeneity-corrected dose distributions for individually-activated source rings of 14, 16 and 18 mm diameter COMS plaques, populated with 103Pd, 125I and 131Cs sources. Ellipsoidal tumors were contoured for each plaque size and MATLAB programming was developed to generate tumor dose distributions for all possible ring weighting and radionuclide permutations for a given plaque size and source strength resolution, assuming a 75 Gy apical prescription dose. These dose distributions were analyzed for conformity and homogeneity and compared to reference dose distributions from uniformly-loaded 125I plaques. The most conformal and homogeneous dose distributions were reproduced within a reference eye environment to assess organ-at-risk (OAR) doses in the Pinnacle3 treatment planning system (TPS). The gamma-index analysis method was used to quantitatively compare MC and TPS-generated dose distributions.

Results: Concentrating > 97% of the total source strength in a single or pair of central 103Pd seeds produced the most conformal dose distributions, with tumor basal doses a factor of 2-3 higher and OAR doses a factor of 2-3 lower than those of corresponding uniformly-loaded 125I plaques. Concentrating 82-86% of the total source strength in peripherally-loaded 131Cs seeds produced the most homogeneous dose distributions, with tumor basal doses 17-25% lower and OAR doses typically 20% higher than those of corresponding uniformly-loaded 125I plaques. Gamma-index analysis found > 99% agreement between MC and TPS dose distributions.

Conclusions: A method was developed to select intra-plaque ring radionuclide compositions and source strengths to deliver more conformal and homogeneous tumor dose distributions than uniformly-loaded 125I plaques. This method may support coordinated investigations of an appropriate clinical target for eye plaque brachytherapy.

eye plaque, TG-43 hybrid technique, dosimetry, conformity index, homogeneity index

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