Purpose: To compare the conventional 2-D, the simulator-guided semi-3-D and the recently developed CT-guided 3-D brachytherapy treatment planning in the interstitial radiotherapy of breast cancer. Patients and Methods: In 103 patients with T1-2, N0-1 breast cancer the tumor bed was clipped during breast conserving surgery. Fifty-two of them received boost brachytherapy after 46 to 50 Gy teletherapy and 51 patient's were treated with brachytherapy alone via flexible implant tubes. Single, double and triple plane implant was used in 6, 89 and 8 cases, respectively. The dose of boost brachytherapy and sole brachytherapy prescribed to dose reference points was 3 times 4.75 Gy and 7 times 5.2 Gy, respectively. The positions of dose reference points varied according to the level (2D, semi-3-D and 3-D) of treatment planning performed. The treatment planning was based on the 3-D reconstruction of the surgical clips, implant tubes and skin points. In all cases the implantations were planned with a semi-3-D technique aided by simulator. In 10 cases a recently developed CT-guided 3-D planning system was used. The semi-3-D and 3-D treatment plans were compared to hypothetical 2-D plans using dose-volume histograms and dose non-uniformity ratios. The values of mean central dose, mean skin dose, minimal clip dose, proportion of underdosaged clips and mean target surface dose were evaluated. The accuracy of tumor bed localization and the conformity of planning target volume and treated volume were also analyzed in each technique. Results: With the help of conformal semi-3-D and 3-D brachytherapy planning we could define reference dose points, active source positions and dwell times individually. This technique decreased the mean skin dose with 22.2% and reduced the possibility of geographical miss. We could achieve the best conformity between the planning target volume and the treated volume with the CT-image based 3-D treatment planning, at the cost of worse dose homogeneity. The mean treated volume was reduced by 25.1% with semi-3-D planning, however, it was increased by 16.2% with 3-D planning, compared to the 2-D planning. Conclusion: The application of clips into the tumor bed and the conformal (semi-3-D and 3-D) planning help to avoid geographical miss. CT is suitable for 3-D brachytherapy planning. Better local control with less side effects might be achieved with these new techniques. Conformal 3-D brachytherapy calls for new treatment planning concepts, taking the irregular 3-D shape of the target volume into account. The routine clinical application of image- based 3-D brachytherapy is a real aim in the very close future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging