Treatment volume and dose optimization of MammoSite breast brachytherapy applicator

Adam Dickler, Michael Kirk, Julia Choo, Wen Chien Hsi, James Chu, Kambiz Dowlatshahi, Darius Francescatti, Cam Nguyen
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2004 June 1, 59 (2): 469-74

PURPOSE: Limited information has been reported on the dosimetry achieved with the MammoSite breast brachytherapy applicator. We present our results regarding the volume of treatment and a comparison of a single prescription point, single dwell position optimization technique with a six prescription point, multiple dwell position method.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between October 14, 2002 and February 28, 2003, 21 patients with early-stage breast cancer were treated using the MammoSite device. The treatment was delivered in 10 fractions of 3.4 Gy/fraction, b.i.d., with a minimum of 6 hours between the daily fractions. CT of the lumpectomy cavity was obtained both with and without the inflated balloon. A planning target volume was constructed using a three-dimensional planning system. A three-dimensional expansion of the balloon surface was performed using the chest wall and skin as limiting structures. The volume of the inflated balloon was removed from this volume, and the volume of tissue treated in each patient was determined. A sequential expansion in 1-mm increments around the empty lumpectomy cavity was performed until the closest equivalent volume to the planning target volume was obtained. The treatment for the patients in this study was planned using both a single prescription point, single dwell position optimization technique and a six-prescription point, multiple dwell position technique. The single prescription point method has been described in a previous publication. The six-prescription point method used six points placed 1 cm from the balloon surface. Four points are in a plane transverse to the balloon axis perpendicular to the axis of the catheter, and two points are placed along the axis of the catheter. The prescription points along the catheter axis are used to compensate for the decreased dose coverage owing to anisotropy dose distribution of the source. The Nucletron HDR Plato Brachytherapy planning system was used to optimize the source positions and dwell times.

RESULTS: The volume of breast tissue treated by the MammoSite device was equal to the volume encompassed by a mean 1.6-cm (SD, 0.1) margin around the empty lumpectomy cavity. Compared with the single prescription point optimization method, the six prescription point method provided better dose coverage, with a mean percentage of volume receiving 90% of the prescription dose of 97.2% (SD = 2.1) vs. 89.5% (SD = 4.6) for the single-point method. The mean percentage of volume receiving 100% of the prescription dose was 88.9% (SD = 3.3) for the six-point method vs. 77.6% (SD = 6.1) for the single-point method. However, compared with the single-point method, the six-point optimization method resulted in treatment that was less uniform, with a mean dose homogeneity index of 0.62 (SD =.07) vs. 0.66 (SD =.08) for the single-point method.

CONCLUSION: The volume of normal breast tissue treated by the MammoSite device is comparable to other methods of interstitial brachytherapy that treat a 1-2-cm margin of tissue around the excision cavity. The six-prescription point, multiple dwell position method improved dose coverage with a slight decrease in dose homogeneity. The six-point method offers greater reliability of dose coverage compared with the single-point method by providing an increased number of reference points.

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