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Clinical Experience of Brass Mesh Bolus: Patient-Specific Parameters as Predictors of Measured Dosimetric Effect

A Yock

A Yock*, R Manger , J Einck , C Yashar , P Sanghvi , J Hattangadi-Gluth , L Cervino , University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, CA


SU-E-T-176 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Increasingly, brass mesh bolus is used to insure dosimetric coverage of the skin for patients treated post-mastectomy for breast cancer. Contribution of photoelectrons from interactions between the bolus and the primary beam increases dose superficially without affecting dose at greater depths. We present our experience using brass mesh bolus – including patients for whom the bolus was dosimetrically inadequate – along with analysis of relevant patient-specific parameters.

Optically-stimulated luminescent dosimeters (OSLDs) were used to determine the effect of the bolus for 15 patients. They were positioned beneath the bolus within the tangent fields at three positions: 1.5-3cm inside the medial and lateral field edges, and midway between the two. All OSLDs were midfield in the cranial-caudal direction. The measurements were compared with patient-specific parameters including separation, chest wall/breast tissue thickness, beam angle incidence, and planned surface dose.

The average OSLD measurement at the medial field edge, midfield, and lateral field edge position was 86.8%, 101.8%, and 92.8% of the prescription dose, respectively. A measurement for one patient was low enough (77.0%) to warrant a switch to an alternative type of bolus. Anatomic parameters were analyzed to investigate the low dose in this case, not observed in the planning system. The patient was observed to have a thin chest wall and very oblique beam angles. A second patient was also switched to an alternative type of bolus due to her being high risk and treated with an electron patch that extended onto the breast.

Brass mesh bolus increases dose superficially while leaving dose at greater depths unaffected. However, our results suggest that this effect may be insufficient in patients with a thin chest wall or very oblique beam angles. More data and analysis is necessary to proactively identify patients for whom brass mesh bolus is effective.

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