The purpose of this study was to prove that by using conformal external beam radiotherapy (RT) normal brain structures can be protected even when applying an alternative approach of biological dose escalation: hypofractionation (HOF) without total dose reduction (TDR). Traditional 2-dimensional (2D) and conformal 3-dimensional (3D) treatment plans were prepared for 10 gliomas representing the subanatomical sites of the supratentorial brain. Isoeffect distributions were generated by the biologically effective dose (BED) formula to analyse the effect of conventionally fractionated (CF) and HOF schedules on both the spatial biological dose distribution and biological dose-volume histograms. A comparison was made between 2D-CF (2.0 Gy/day) and 3D-HOF (2.5 Gy/day) regimens, applying the same 60 Gy total doses. Integral biologically effective dose (IBED) and volumes received biologically equivalent to a dose of 54 Gy or more (V-BED54) were calculated for the lower and upper brain stem as organs of risk. The IBED values were lower with the 3D-HOF than with the 2D-CF schedule in each tumour location, means 22.7 ± 17.1 and 40.4 ± 16.9 in Gy, respectively (p < 0.0001). The V-BED54 values were also smaller or equal in 90% of the cases favouri-ng the 3D-HOF-scheme. The means were 2.7 ± 4.8 ccm for 3D-HOF and 10.7 ± 12.7 ccm for 2D-CF (p = 0.0006). Our results suggest that with conformal RT, fraction size can gradually be increased. HOF radiotherapy regimens without TDR shorten the treatment time and seem to be an alternative way of dose escalation in the treatment of glioblastoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging