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Comparison of traditional low-dose-rate to optimized and nonoptimized high-dose-rate tandem and ovoid dosimetry. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2001 Jun 01;50(2):561-7



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0035370221   17 Citations


PURPOSE: Few dose specification guidelines exist when attempting to perform high-dose-rate (HDR) dosimetry. The purpose of this study was to model low-dose-rate (LDR) dosimetry, using parameters common in HDR dosimetry, to achieve the "pear-shape" dose distribution achieved with LDR tandem and ovoid applications.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Radiographs of Fletcher-Suit LDR applicators and Nucletron "Fletcher-like" HDR applicators were taken with the applicators in an idealized geometry. Traditional Fletcher loadings of 3M Cs-137 sources and the Theratronics Planning System were used for LDR dosimetry. HDR dosimetry was performed using the Nucletron Microselectron HDR UPS V11.22 with an Ir-192 source. Dose optimization points were initially located along a line 2 cm lateral to the tandem, beginning at the tandem tip at 0.5-cm intervals, ending at the sail, and optimized to 100% of the point A dose. A single dose optimization point was also placed laterally from the center of each ovoid equal to the radius of the ovoid (ovoid surface dose). For purposes of comparison, dose was also calculated for points A and B, and a point located 1 cm superior to the tandem tip in the plane of the tandem, (point F). Four- and 6-cm tandem lengths and 2.0-, 2.5-, and 3.0-cm ovoid diameters were used for this study. Based on initial findings, dose optimization schemes were developed to best approximate LDR dosimetry. Finally, radiographs were obtained of HDR applications in two patients. These radiographs were used to compare the optimization schemes with "nonoptimized" treatment plans.

RESULTS: Calculated doses for points A and B were similar for LDR, optimized HDR, and nonoptimized HDR. The optimization scheme that used tapered dose points at the tandem tip and optimized a single ovoid surface point on each ovoid to 170% of point A resulted in a good approximation of LDR dosimetry. Nonoptimized HDR resulted in higher doses at point F, the bladder, and at points lateral to the tandem tip than both the optimized plan or the LDR plan.

CONCLUSION: Optimized HDR allows specification of dose to points of interest, can approximate LDR dosimetry, and appears superior to nonoptimized HDR treatment planning, at least at the tandem tip. An optimization scheme is presented that approximates LDR dosimetry.

Author List

Decker WE, Erickson B, Albano K, Gillin M


Katherine Albano Medical Physicist Sr in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Beth A. Erickson MD Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
Iridium Radioisotopes
Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms