Non-uniform dwell times in line source high dose rate brachytherapy: Physical and radiobiological considerations
Jones B., Tan LT., Freestone G., Bleasdale C., Myint S., Littler J.
The ability to vary source dwell times in high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy allows for the use of non-uniform dwell times along a line source. This may have advantages in the radical treatment of tumours depending on individual tumour geometry. This study investigates the potential improvements in local tumour control relative to adjacent normal tissue isoeffects when intratumour source dwell times are increased along the central portion of a line source (technique A) in radiotherapy schedules which include a relatively small component of HDR brachytherapy. Such a technique is predicted to increase the local control for tumours of diameters ranging between 2 cm and 4 cm by up to 11% compared with a technique in which there are uniform dwell times along the line source (technique B). There is no difference in the local control rates for the two techniques when used to treat smaller tumours. Normal tissue doses are also modified by the technique used. Technique A produces higher normal tissue doses at points perpendicular to the centre of the line source and lower doses at points nearer the ends of the line source if the prescription point is not in the central plane of the line source. Alternatively, if the dose is prescribed at a point in the central plane of the line source, the dose at all the normal tissue points are lower when technique A is used.