Breast Treatment Planning: A retrospective comparison of present and past techniques
Vivian Mang Chou (student) 1, Janos Juhasz (Ph.D.) 2, Jeremy Siemens (MRT (T)) 2
1Mohawk-McMaster University, Medical Radiation Sciences Department, Hamilton, Ontario
2Juravinski Cancer Centre, Medical Physics Department, Hamilton, Ontario
In the past 20 years, how we deliver the tangential parallel opposed pair technique has changed considerably. Traditionally, patients was planned using two-dimensional (2D) techniques without tissue density corrections. Therefore with 2D planning, there was limited knowledge of precise dose distributions.Currently the field in field technique with three-dimensional (3D) planning, gives anatomical information of the entire breast, corrects for tissue density and has shown to achieve better dose homogeneity. This study compares between the field in field technique, wedged technique and the use of cobalt-60 to review how much treatment planning has advanced over the years in terms of target volume coverage, reduction in dose inhomogeneities, lung and heart doses.
Three treatment plans were generated for each of the 10 patients chosen for this study using the Pinnacle treatment planning software.
Field in field breast plans using 3D treatment planning and density corrections were created. Dose distributions were optimized using static multileaf collimator segments (MLC) by minimizing hotspots and shielding organs at risk as seen in Figure 1 and Figure 2
This was a traditional wedged technique using either a cobalt-60 (patient separation < 15cm), 6MV or 6/18 MV mixed beam (patient separation ≥ 15 cm). Density corrections was turned off to better simulate the dose distributions generated in the past. Asymmetric field sizes were used in 6MV or mixed beam plan as seen in Figure 3. However, the collimators of Cobalt-60 machines does not have asymmetric, therefore symmetric collimator jaws were set and a half beam block was drawn as seen in Figure 4.
All parameters for this plan were kept constant with Plan B by prescribing the same monitor units for each beam. However, density correction was turned on.
Dose grids were exported from Pinnacle and were run through Image J to have CT slices 6 cm superior to central axis, central axis, and 6 cm inferior to central axis subtracted from Plan A to Plan C.
Dose Volume Histogram Evaluation
The volume of lung receiving 1700 cGy (V17) was compared between Plan A to Plan C. The cardiac volume receiving 213 cGy for patients with right sided disease and 426 cGy for patients with left sided disease were compared between Plan A to Plan C.
Dose grids were generated using Image J. Comparisons of Plan A, Plan B and Plan C can be made (Figure 7a, 7b and 7c).
The differences in dose between Plan B and Plan C at a CT slice inferior to central axis (Figure 8a), central axis (Figure 8b) and a CT slice superior to central axis (Figure 8c) is displayed. The areas of white shows an overdose, while black shows areas of underdose.
Dose Volume Histograms were generated and an overall decrease in dose to the lung and heart with the field in field technique can be seen in Figure 9.
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