Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):63-65

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Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):66-71

Nuclear Medicine developed when it was realised that a radioisotopic substitution of Iodine-131 for the stable Iodine-127 would follow the same metabolic pathway in the body enabling the thyroid to be imaged and the thyroid uptake measured. The Iodine could be complexed with pharmaceutical substrates to enable other organs to be imaged, but its use was limited and high gamma energy and beta emission restricted the activity of each radiopharmaceutical used, leading to long acquisition times and degraded images. As a pure gamma emitter of 140 keV and with a 6-h half-life, Technetium-99m is a better radionuclide and images a wider range of bodily organs. However, its short half-life also requires it to be eluted from its mother radionuclide, Mo-99, in a generator, delivered weekly from radiopharmaceutical companies who obtain the Mo-99 in liquid form from high-flux research reactors. All went well till around 2007, when the NRU Reactor in Canada was closed and all other reactors went down for various periods for unrelated problems, leading to widespread Mo-99 shortages. Although the reactors have since recovered, they are 48 to 57 years old, and it seems that few governments have made any future provision such as building replacement reactors.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):72-80

For routine quality assurance of helical tomotherapy plans, an alternative method, as opposed to the TomoTherapy suggested cylindrical solid water phantom with film and ionization chamber, is proposed using the PTW Seven29 2D-ARRAY inserted in a dedicated octagonal phantom, called Octavius. First, the sensitivity of the array to pitch was studied by varying the pitch during planning to 0.287, 0.433, 1.0, and 2.0. For each pitch selected, the dependence on field size was investigated by generating plans with field widths (FWs) of 1.06 cm, 2.49 cm, and 5.02 cm, for a total of 12 plans. Secondly, a total of 15 patient QA plans were delivered using helical tomotherapy with the Delta 4 and Seven29/Octavius for comparison. Using the clinical gamma criteria, 3% and 3 mm, all FW and pitch plans had a passing percentage of >90%. For patient QA plans, the average gamma pass percentage was 97.0% (94.4-99.8%) for the Delta 4 and 97.6% (92.5-100.0%) for the Seven29/Octavius. Both the Seven29/Octavius and Delta 4 performed to a high standard of measurement accuracy and had a 90% or greater gamma percent for all plans and were considered clinically acceptable.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):81-89

This article summarizes current knowledge concerning the characterization of prostatic edema and intra-prostatic seed movement as these relate to dosimetry of permanent prostate implants, and reports the initial application to clinical data of a new edema model used in calculating pre- and post-implant dose distributions. Published edema magnitude and half-life parameters span a broad range depending on implant technique and measurement uncertainty, hence clinically applicable values should be determined locally. Observed intra-prostatic seed movements appear to be associated with particular aspects of implant technique and could be minimized by technique modification. Using an extended AAPM TG-43 formalism incorporating the new edema model, relative dose error RE associated with neglecting edema was calculated for three I-125 seed implants (18.9 cc, 37.6 cc, 60.2 cc) performed at our center. Pre- and post-plan RE average values and ranges in a 50 × 50 × 50 mm 3 calculation volume were similar at ~2% and ~0-3.5%, respectively, for all three implants; however, the spatial distribution of RE varied for different seed configurations. Post-plan values of D90 and V100 for prostate were reduced by ~2% and ~1%, respectively. In cases where RE is not clinically negligible as a consequence of large edema magnitude and / or use of Pd-103 seeds, the dose calculation method demonstrated here can be applied to account for edema explicitly and there by improve the accuracy of clinical dose estimates.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):90-96

As the α/β value of prostate is very small and lower than the surrounding critical organs, hypofractionated radiotherapy became a vital mode of treatment of prostate cancer. Cyberknife (Accuray Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA) treatment for localized prostate cancer is performed in hypofractionated dose regimen alone. Effective dose escalation in the hypofractionated regimen can be estimated if the corresponding conventional 2 Gy per fraction equivalent normalized total dose (NTD) distribution is known. The present study aims to analyze the hypofractionated dose distribution of localized prostate cancer in terms of equivalent NTD. Randomly selected 12 localized prostate cases treated in cyberknife with a dose regimen of 36.25 Gy in 5 fractions were considered. The 2 Gy per fraction equivalent NTDs were calculated using the formula derived from the linear quadratic (LQ) model. Dose distributions were analyzed with the corresponding NTDs. The conformity index for the prescribed target dose of 36.25 Gy equivalent to the NTD dose of 90.63 Gy (α/β = 1.5) or 74.31 Gy (α/β = 3) was ranging between 1.15 and 1.73 with a mean value of 1.32 ± 0.15. The D5% of the target was 111.41 ± 8.66 Gy for α/β = 1.5 and 90.15 ± 6.57 Gy for α/β = 3. Similarly, the D95% was 91.98 ± 3.77 Gy for α/β = 1.5 and 75.35 ± 2.88 Gy for α/β = 3. The mean values of bladder and rectal volume receiving the prescribed dose of 36.25 Gy were 0.83 cm3 and 0.086 cm3, respectively. NTD dose analysis shows an escalated dose distribution within the target for low α/β (1.5 Gy) with reasonable sparing of organs at risk. However, the higher α/β of prostate (3 Gy) is not encouraging the fact of dose escalation in cyberknife hypofractionated dose regimen of localized prostate cancer.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):97-101

Helical tomotherapy's ability to provide daily megavoltage (MV) computed tomography (CT) images for patient set-up verification allows for the creation of adapted plans. As plans become more complex by introducing sharper dose gradients in an effort to spare healthy tissue, inter-fraction changes of organ position with respect to plan become a limiting factor in the correct dose delivery to the target. Tomotherapy's planned adaptive option provides the possibility to evaluate the dose distribution for each fraction and subsequently adapt the original plan to the current anatomy. In this study, 30 adapted plans were created using new contours based on the daily MVCT studies of a bladder cancer patient with considerable anatomical variations. Dose to the rectum and two planning target volumes (PTVs) were compared between the original plan, the dose that was actually delivered to the patient, and the theoretical dose from the 30 adapted plans. The adaptation simulation displayed a lower dose to 35% and 50% of the rectum compared to no adaptation at all, while maintaining an equivalent dose to the PTVs. Although online adaptation is currently too time-consuming, it has the potential to improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):102-106

Radiation-induced bystander effect refers to radiation responses which occur in non-irradiated cells. The purpose of this study was to compare the level of bystander effect in a couple of tumor and normal cell lines (QU-DB and MRC5). To induce bystander effect, cells were irradiated with 0.5, 2, and 4 Gy of 60 Co gamma rays and their media were transferred to non-irradiated (bystander) cells of the same type. Cells containing micronuclei were counted in bystander subgroups, non-irradiated, and 0.5 Gy irradiated cells. Frequencies of cells containing micronuclei in QU-DB bystander subgroups were higher than in bystander subgroups of MRC5 cells (P < 0.001). The number of micronucleated cells counted in non-irradiated and 0.5 Gy irradiated QU-DB cells was also higher than the corresponding values for MRC5 cells (P < 0.001). Another difference between the two cell lines was that in QU-DB bystander cells, a dose-dependent increase in the number of micronucleated cells was observed as the dose increased, but at all doses the number of micronucleated cells in MRC5 bystander cells was constant. It is concluded that QU-DB cells are more susceptible than MRC5 cells to be affected by bystander effect, and in the two cell lines there is a positive correlation between DNA damages induced directly and those induced due to bystander effect.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):107-111

Determination of the equivalent square fields for rectangular and shielded fields is of great importance in radiotherapy centers and treatment planning software. This is accomplished using standard tables and empirical formulas. The goal of this paper is to present a formula based on analysis of scatter reduction due to inverse square law to obtain equivalent field. Tables are published by different agencies such as ICRU (International Commission on Radiation Units and measurements), which are based on experimental data; but there exist mathematical formulas that yield the equivalent square field of an irregular rectangular field which are used extensively in computation techniques for dose determination. These processes lead to some complicated and time-consuming formulas for which the current study was designed. In this work, considering the portion of scattered radiation in absorbed dose at a point of measurement, a numerical formula was obtained based on which a simple formula was developed to calculate equivalent square field. Using polar coordinate and inverse square law will lead to a simple formula for calculation of equivalent field. The presented method is an analytical approach based on which one can estimate the equivalent square field of a rectangular field and may be used for a shielded field or an off-axis point. Besides, one can calculate equivalent field of rectangular field with the concept of decreased scatter radiation with inverse square law with a good approximation. This method may be useful in computing Percentage Depth Dose and Tissue-Phantom Ratio which are extensively used in treatment planning.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):112-116

Cancer incidence estimates and dosimetry of 120 patients undergoing hysterosalpingography (HSG) without screening at five rural hospitals and with screening using image intensifier-TV at an urban hospital have been studied. Free in air kerma measurements were taken for patient dosimetry. Using PCXMC version 1.5, organ and effective doses to patients were estimated. Incidence of cancer of the ovary, colon, bladder and uterus due to radiation exposure were estimated using biological effects of ionising radiation committee VII excess relative risk models. The effective dose to patients was estimated to be 0.20 ± 0.03 mSv and 0.06 ± 0.01 mSv for procedures with and without screening, respectively. The average number of exposures for both procedures, 2.5, and screening time of 48.1 s were recorded. Screening time contributed majority of the patient doses due to HSG; therefore, it should be optimised as much as possible. Of all the cancers considered, the incidence of cancer of the bladder for patients undergoing HSG procedures is more probable.]]>

Journal of Medical Physics 2012 37(2):117-119

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