Purpose: One of the issues that a planner is often facing in HDR brachytherapy is the selective existence of high dose volumes around some few dominating dwell positions. If there is no information available about its necessity (e.g. location of a GTV), then it is reasonable to investigate whether this can be avoided. This effect can be eliminated by limiting the free modulation of the dwell times. HIPO, an inverse treatment plan optimization algorithm, offers this option. In treatment plan optimization there are various methods that try to regularize the variation of dose non-uniformity using purely dosimetric measures. However, although these methods can help in finding a good dose distribution they do not provide any information regarding the expected treatment outcome as described by radiobiology based indices. Material and methods: The quality of 12 clinical HDR brachytherapy implants for prostate utilizing HIPO and modulation restriction (MR) has been compared to alternative plans with HIPO and free modulation (without MR). All common dose-volume indices for the prostate and the organs at risk have been considered together with radiobiological measures. The clinical effectiveness of the different dose distributions was investigated by calculating the response probabilities of the tumors and organs-at-risk (OARs) involved in these prostate cancer cases. The radiobiological models used are the Poisson and the relative seriality models. Furthermore, the complication-free tumor control probability, P+ and the biologically effective uniform dose (D) were used for treatment plan evaluation and comparison. Results: Our results demonstrate that HIPO with a modulation restriction value of 0.1-0.2 delivers high quality plans which are practically equivalent to those achieved with free modulation regarding the clinically used dosimetric indices. In the comparison, many of the dosimetric and radiobiological indices showed significantly different results. The modulation restricted clinical plans demonstrated a lower total dwell time by a mean of 1.4% that was proved to be statistically significant (p = 0.002). The HIPO with MR treatment plans produced a higher P+ by 0.5%, which stemmed from a better sparing of the OARs by 1.0%. Conclusions: Both the dosimetric and radiobiological comparison shows that the modulation restricted optimization gives on average similar results with the optimization without modulation restriction in the examined clinical cases. Concluding, based on our results, it appears that the applied dwell time regularization technique is expected to introduce a minor improvement in the effectiveness of the optimized HDR dose distributions.
- Treatment plan
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging