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Investigation of the Dosimetric Impact of Tandem Loading in the Treatment of Cervical Cancer for HDR Brachytherapy Procedures

C Esquivel

C Esquivel*, L Patton , K Nelson , B Lin , Cancer Care Centers of South Texas, San Antonio, TX


SU-E-T-615 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

To quantify the dosimetric impact of the tandem loading in the treatment of cervical cancer for HDR brachytherapy procedures.

Ten patients were evaluated, each of whom received 5 fractions of treatment. Tandem and ovoid sets were inserted into the uterine cavity based on institutional protocols and procedures. Following insertion and stabilization, CT image sets of 1.5mm slice thickness were acquired and sent to the Oncentra V4.3 Treatment Planning System. Critical structures such as the CTV, bladder, rectum, sigmoid, and bowel were contoured and a fractional dose of 5.5Gy was prescribed to Point A for each patient. Six different treatment plans were created for each fraction using varying tandem weightings; from 0.5 to 1.4 times that of the ovoids. Surface dose evaluation of various ovoid diameters, 2.0-3.5cm, at the vaginal fornices was also investigated.

Critical structures were evaluated based on varying dose and volume constraints, in particular the 2.0 cc volume recommendation cited by the gynecological GEC-ESTRO working group. Based on dose volume histogram evaluation, a reduction of dose to the critical structures was most often discovered when the tandem weighting was increased. CTV coverage showed little change as the tandem weighting was varied. Ovoid surface dose decreased by 50-65% as the tandem weighting increased.

The advantage of 3D planning with HDR brachytherapy is the dose optimization for each individual treatment plan. This investigation shows that by utilizing large tandem weightings, 1.4 times greater than the ovoid, one can still achieve adequate coverage of the CTV and relatively low doses to the critical structures. In some cases, one would still have to optimize further per individual case. In addition, the ovoid surface dose was greatly decreased when large tandem weighting was utilized; especially for small ovoid diameters.

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