Investigation of the added value of high-energy electrons in intensity-modulated radiotherapy: four clinical cases.
SourceInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 52, 1, (2002), pp. 236-253
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
SubjectExperimental radiotherapy and neuro-oncology.; Experimentele radiotherapie en neuro-oncologie.
PURPOSE: Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with photon beams is currently pursued in many clinics. Theoretically, inclusion of intensity- and energy-modulated high-energy electron beams (15-50 MeV) offers additional possibilities to improve radiotherapy treatments of deep-seated tumors. In this study the added value of high-energy electron beams in IMRT treatments was investigated. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In a comparative treatment planning study, conventional treatment plans and various types of IMRT plans were constructed for four clinical cases (cancer of the bladder, pancreas, chordoma of the sacrum, and breast). The conventional plans were used for the actual treatment of the patients. The IMRT plans were optimized using the Orbit optimization code (Lof et al., 2000) with a radiobiologic objective function. The IMRT plans were either photon or combined electron and photon beam plans, with or without dose homogeneity constraints assuming standard or increased radiosensitivities of organs at risk. RESULTS: Large improvements in expected treatment outcome are found using IMRT plans compared to conventional plans, but differences in tumor control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCP) values between IMRT plans with and without electrons are small. However, the use of electrons improves the dose-volume histograms for organs at risk, especially at lower dose levels (e.g., 0-40 Gy). CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study indicates that addition of higher energy electrons to IMRT can only marginally improve treatment outcome for the selected cases. The dose-volume histograms of organs at risk show improvements for IMRT with higher energy electrons, which may reduce tumor induction but does not substantially reduce NTCP.
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